If you’re a small business owner, you need to know how to create an invoice. The good news is that it’s pretty easy, especially if you use the right tools to streamline the process.
When it comes to creating invoices, you have options. If you’re new to invoicing, there are plenty of services that provide basic invoice templates. If you’ve been invoicing for a while and are looking to upgrade your process, there are also invoicing software services that can make sending invoices to your customers simple and painless. Square Invoices lets you create and send professional invoices from your computer and now your phone.
Here are five of the most popular ways to create an invoice.
1. How to create an invoice in Google Docs
Google Docs provides an easy-to-share option for creating an invoice document. With easily downloadable templates you can quickly generate an invoice, or start from scratch and create your own. To use a Google Docs invoice template:
- Log in to your Google account and go to your Google Drive.
- Click the “+ New” button and scroll down to Google Docs in the drop-down menu. Click the arrow next to it and select “From a template.” This brings you to the templates page.
- Type “invoice” in the search bar on the templates page. A selection of invoice templates should appear in the results. Review the choices and select the best invoice template for your business.
- Fill out the new page with the template you selected. This includes custom entry fields with things such as company name, address, phone number, email, logo, payment terms, and official payee name for receiving payments.
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2. How to create an invoice in Microsoft Word
There are a variety of easy, professional-looking templates in Word. Creating invoices this way can work well, especially if this is the software you are most familiar with. However, it can also be a bit cumbersome. This is especially true when it comes to getting paid. Printing and sending paper invoices via post can have a long turnaround time.
And even if you’re sending a Word file via email, you have to work out the best method for customers to pay you. Usually this involves using a third-party system (such as an online payment app) or having them send a physical cheque. But if you’d still prefer to create invoices in Word, here’s how to do it:
- Choose from Word’s invoice template under New in the File menu.
- Look for the Invoice icon in the dialogue box (usually on the left-hand side), and select the invoice type that best fits your needs.
- Set a professional header that contains the contact information of your business: company name, mailing address, phone number, email, and business logo.
- Input the client’s information (usually underneath and on the opposite side from your company’s contact info). And be sure to include the name of the business, mailing address, phone number, and email.
- Include the unique invoice number, date the invoice was prepared, and a payment due date.
- Indicate the payment method to set clear expectations.
- Break down products or services into item descriptions, along with charges associated with each. Calculate the total, including any applicable sales tax, delivery fees, etc. It’s helpful to put the total in bold font so that it clearly stands out. Then, download your invoice.
3. How to create an invoice in Microsoft Excel
Excel offers a variety of clean, easy-to-use invoice templates, depending on your needs. However, you may run into the same logistical challenges as sending invoices via Word.
- Open a new workbook from the File menu and then look for the Invoice icon in the dialogue box (usually on the left-hand side).
- Choose the invoice type that best fits your needs — from a basic product invoice to invoices for specific types of services.
- Fill out the custom entry fields with information such as company name, address, phone number, email, logo, customer ID (if applicable), payment terms, and official payee name for receiving payments.
- Be sure to include a unique invoice number, a description of products or services, and the client’s information.
4. How to create an invoice online with Square Invoices
Square Invoices has professional, ready-to-go invoice templates that you can use to stay organised and save time. All the invoices are organised in one place (your Square Dashboard), so it’s easy to keep track of what’s been paid and what’s outstanding. Square’s online invoices are customisable, which means you can apply discounts (without having to do the calculations at your end) and add a custom tip field (in case customers are inclined to leave you a little bonus). You can even enable invoice scheduling or recurring payments to give yourself greater flexibility when it comes to sending invoices.
Square Invoices has clear pricing — it’s only 2.5% + VAT per paid invoice. And invoices are easy to send — you can send them directly from your mobile device or your Square Dashboard.
Creating a Square invoice on desktop
- Sign up for your free account here.
- Go to Invoices in your online Square Dashboard.
- Click Create Invoice.
- Select a customer from your Customer Directory, or enter a new name and email address. You can enter up to nine recipients.
- Add the invoice details and any applicable discounts.
- Click Send.
- When your clients receive the invoice in their email, they can pay you securely online. The money is usually transferred in your bank account in one or two business days.
Creating a Square invoice on the invoicing app
- Download the Square Invoices app on your iOS or Android device.
- Create your free Square account or sign in with your existing Square account.
- Click the ‘+’ sign on the navigation bar and select ‘Invoice’.
- Click ‘Add Customer’ and either select an existing customer from your Directory or tap ‘Create Customer’ to enter your customer’s name and email address.
- Click ‘Add Item’ to add an item from your Item Library or add a custom amount.
- Add a custom message, set automatic reminders, or request a deposit if needed.
- Click Send.
- When your clients receive the invoice in their email, they can pay you securely online. The money is usually transferred to your bank account in one or two business days.