How to Create an Invoice — 5 Easy Ways

Creating an invoice

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 an invoice, you have options. If you’re new to invoicing, there are plenty of services that provide templates. If you’ve been invoicing for a while and are looking to upgrade your process, there are also programs that can make invoicing your customers simple and painless. Here are five of the most popular ways to create an invoice.

How to create an invoice in Google Docs

Google Docs provide 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 template:

  1. Log in to your Google account and go to your Google Drive.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Fill out the new page with the template you selected. This includes custom entry fields with things like company name, address, phone number, email, logo, payment terms, and official payee name for receiving payments.
How to create an invoice with a free invoice template

If you’re not using any of the above programs or their templates, you can use free template software. Square and a handful of accounting software services, like QuickBooks, offer free invoicing templates. To use a free invoice template from Square, follow these steps:
On the Square invoice template page, select the color and file format for the invoice you want to create.
Enter your email address in the pop-up and the template will open in a new tab. If you don’t see the template pop up immediately, check your pop-up blocker settings for Square’s website.
Add in the entry fields for your business name, customer name, sent and due dates, the items, and the amounts.
Download that template and send it to your customer as an attachment.

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 you are most familiar with the software. However, it can be also a bit cumbersome. This is especially true when it comes to getting paid. Printing and sending paper invoices via snail mail can have a long turnaround time. And even if you’re sending a Word file via email, you have to figure out the best method for customers to pay you. Usually this involves using a third-party system (like an online payments app) or having them send along a physical check. But if you still prefer to create invoices in Word, here’s how you do it:

  1. Choose from Word’s invoice template under New in the File menu.

  2. Look for the Invoice icon in the dialog box (usually on the left-hand side), and select the invoice type that best fits your needs.

  3. Set a professional header that contains your business’s contact information: business name, mailing address, phone number, email, and logo.

  4. Put in 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.

  5. Include the unique invoice number, date the invoice was prepared, and a payment due date.

  6. Indicate the payment method to set clear expectations.

  7. Break down products or services into line 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 grand total in bold font so that it clearly stands out.

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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.

  1. Open a new workbook from the File menu and then look for the Invoice icon in the dialog box (usually on the left-hand side).

  2. Choose the invoice type that best fits your needs — from a basic product invoice to invoices for specific types of services.

  3. Fill out the custom entry fields with things like company name, address, phone number, email, logo, customer ID (if applicable), payment terms, and official payee name for receiving payments.

  4. Be sure to include a unique invoice number, a description of products or services, and the client’s information.

How to create an invoice online with Square Invoices.

Square Invoices has professional, ready-to-go invoice templates that you can use to stay organized and save time. All the invoices are organized 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 customizable, which means you can do things like apply discounts (without having to do the math on 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 2.9 percent plus 30 cents per paid invoice. If your client pays with a credit or debit card stored on file it’s 3.5 percent plus 15 cents. And invoices are easy to send — you can shoot them out directly from your mobile device or your Square Dashboard.

Creating a Square invoice on desktop

  1. Sign up for your free account here.

  2. Go to Invoices in your online Square Dashboard.

  3. Click Create Invoice.

  4. Select a customer from your Customer Directory, or enter a new name and email address. You can enter up to nine recipients.

  5. Add the invoice details and any applicable discounts.

  6. Click Send.

  7. When your clients receive the invoice in their email, they can pay you securely online. The money is usually deposited in your bank account in one or two business days.

Creating a Square invoice on mobile

  1. Sign up for your free account here and download the Square Point of Sale app for iOS or Android.
  2. Select Invoices from the navigation menu.
  3. Tap Create Invoice.
  4. Enter your customer’s name and email address, then tap Add to Invoice.
  5. If you want to send this invoice at a later date, tap the Send option and choose another send date.
  6. Tap Add Item to add items from your item library, or enter a custom amount.
  7. Tap Send.
  8. When your clients receive the invoice in their email, they can pay you securely online. The money is usually deposited in your bank account in one or two business days.

Learn more about mobile invoicing here.

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