How to Format an Invoice

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Invoices provide a way for companies to get paid for their services and provide the proper records for consumers to use for budgeting and tax purposes. When formatting your invoice, including the right information and sections can save everyone time, money and confusion.

Decide on what you will use to create the invoice. Word processing or spreadsheet software can both do the job. It all depends on what is more comfortable for you. There is also an abundance of templates available through Microsoft Word and Excel and the Internet that you can tailor to your company's needs.

Include your company information and dates related to the invoice. If your customer ever wonders how to get in touch with you, your invoice provides everything she needs to know. Include your name, address, phone number, web address and email address. Also don’t forget to include the date the invoice was issued as well as the due date.

Include information about your consumer: name, address, phone number, email address and customer ID number, if applicable. This allows you to be sure that the right person is receiving the invoice and reminds the customer to update his personal information when necessary.

Include information important to the consumer such as a reference number, an itemized list of charges with short descriptions, included taxes, and a total amount. Not only does this show the customer what she purchased, but it protects you in case the customer claims that you did not fulfill your promise on a specific service.

List the payment options. By plainly explaining your expectations and the customer’s options for payment, the likelihood that the invoice will be paid quickly and properly will increase. This also saves time because it answers questions that would have normally been asked over the phone or over email.