How To Write An Invoice That Gets Paid On Time: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Discover how to write an invoice that gets paid on time with this simple step-by-step guide and free invoice template.

Follow these easy steps to get customers to paying your invoices on time. You’ll have great cash flow and less stress.  Read on to find out why…

Fact #1:   More than 50% of late payments are due to an unresolved query on the invoice.

Fact #2:   One of the biggest reasons for an invoice not to be paid on time is because there’s a mistake on the invoice.

Fact #3:   64% of small businesses report having invoices go unpaid for at least 60 days (NFIB)

How important is it to you to get your invoices paid in full and on time? My guess is that it’s very important.

Use this easy step-by-step invoice template and write 100% correct invoices.

This is Step-by-Step Guide and Template is Proven!

This is the process I followed in my small business to get our customers paid by the due date. It worked well so we always had strong cash-flow.

Strong cash flow meant that the business was always self-funded. There was never a need to borrow money or have an overdraft.  even when I opened offices 2 and 3.

One of the reasons our customers paid on time was because we knew how to write an invoice that was 100% perfect.

By writing 100% correct invoices we minimized queries on invoices. Queries are a legitimate way to delay payment.

I know lots of quick and easy tips on how to get invoices paid on time and improve cash flow. Learning how to write an invoice that’s perfect is a key place to start.

Follow this guide and writing invoices will be simple AND your invoices will have a 50% better chance of being paid on time. 

How To Write An Invoice That Is 100% Correct…

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  

John Wooden

Using this template and guide will save you lots of time and frustrations. By getting it ‘right first time’, just think…

  • You won’t have to chase up so many customers for payment of overdue invoices – which is SO frustrating!
  • You won’t have to stop what you’re doing to resolve queries on invoices.
  • You’ll have more time to grow your business.
  • When customers pay on time you’ll have better cash flow and more money in the bank.
  • Your customers will be impressed at your efficiency.
  • Less queries will improve relationships with your customers.

The list of positives is endless so let’s get started…

How To Write An Invoice Using a Proven Invoice Template

I saw a lots of ‘how to write an invoice’ templates on line.  None seemed to include all the important aspects that reduce queries and encourage customers to pay on time.

That’s the most important thing… use a template that makes sure your payments don’t get held up by queries.

Remember, a query on an invoice is a legitimate excuse for your customer not to pay. Getting them right is key.

With all that in mind, and following the simple step-by-step process I used in my business, I’ve recreated a FREE invoice template using Microsoft Word.

An easy invoice template

To make it really easy to follow, I’ve split the invoice template into 3 sections. When you are learning how to write an invoice it’s good to take it slowly.

I’ll show you everything you need to enter on each of the 3 parts.  This free invoice template will prompt you to include everything your customer needs to be able to pay you on time.

The invoice template has a few more lines than you might need.  These lines are just to guide you.  They can easily be erased before you send it to your customer.

When your invoice is complete you can delete as many lines as you wish.  To do that, right click the cell -> borders.  You can chose here what lines to add/delete.

I’m a real novice on Microsoft Word – if I can follow this, you can too.

How to Write An Invoice Part #1:  

Top section: Check and Enter All The Basic Details:

  • Send your invoice to exactly the right address. I know that sounds really basic but so many invoices go to the wrong address. That wastes a lot of time and delays payment.
  • Send your invoice to exactly the right person: the person who can pay it. If you aren’t 100% sure, call to check first.
  • Write your invoice to show your customer that they owe you money.  Clearly state exactly the goods you have shipped or the service you have provided. 

How to write an invoice part 1

  1. Type your company name or insert your (picture) logo.
  2. Write INVOICE in large bold letters (depending on your location, you may have to write ‘TAX INVOICE’)
  3. Fill in the ‘Bill To’ address (generally where your customer’s accounts department is).
  4. Fill in the ‘Ship To’ address (where the goods or service were delivered).
  5. If you have a contact name for your customer’s order, insert it here
  6. Enter your invoice number
  7. If you have a purchase order from your customer, enter the number here. If not enter the date the order was placed with you.
  8. Enter today’s date. NOTE: You should send out invoices immediately the goods were sent or your service delivered.  The same day if possible.
  9. Enter any special instructions your customer gave you or any important note(s) relating to the order / invoice.

How To Write An Invoice Part #2: 

Middle Section: Record What You’ve Provided and What Your Customer Owes You…

  • Exactly what you delivered and how much you are charging your customer.
  • The taxes you are obliged to collect on behalf of the government.
  • The total your customer owes you.

invoice-middle-final

  1. Enter the quantity you provided.
  2. If you have an item code or reference enter it here.
  3. Describe the goods or service.
  4. Enter the unit price (How much they are each).
  5. Calculate the number shipped x the unit price.
  6. Write a message of thanks to your customer.
  7. The sub total your invoice here.
  8. Calculate the taxes you are obliged to collect on behalf of the government.
  9. Enter the total your customer owes you.

How To Write An Invoice Part #3: 

Last Section: Focus On Getting Your Invoice Paid Quickly.

Remember to include:

  • Your trading terms.
  • The date your customer needs to pay your invoice.
  • The name of a contact in your organisation in the event of a query.
  • Payment methods and details so your customers’ payment can reach you as quickly as possible.

invoice-bottom-third-final

  1. Enter your trading terms for this shipment / service. I prefer to use terms such as  ’30 Days From Date of Invoice’ so the customer is quite clear of the exact date payment is due.
  2. Write in here the exact payment due date. Make it really clear so it can’t be overlooked or mistaken.
  3. Make it easy for your customer to know who to contact if they do have a query (but they shouldn’t if the invoice is 100% correct!).
  4. Make it clear who checks should be made out to and the address to which they should be sent.
  5. Encourage customers to pay directly into your bank (saves time and $$). List here all your bank details.
  6. Remind your customer to include reference numbers with their payment.
  7. Enter your website address if you have one.
  8. Display your legal business credentials.

Follow my FREE, easy step-by-step invoice template so you can see how to write an invoice that includes all the details your customer needs.

Include every single detail your customer needs to avoid queries that delay payment. You’ll reduce overdue invoices and improve your cash flow.

When you are finished you can remove any unwanted grid lines and add colors to suit your business. Like this neat, professional looking invoice example:

How to write an invoice_completed

How to Write an Invoice – Your To-Do List:

Download this FREE invoice template.  Then follow the step-by-step guide and see how easy it is to write an invoice that’s perfect.

You’ll be able to create invoices that get paid faster. You’ll avoid overdue invoices and improve your cash flow.

If you have any questions, comments or frustrations on how to write an invoice just write them in the comments section below. I’ll be sure to get back to you promptly.

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Are Late-Paying Customers Driving You Crazy And Sending You Broke?

If You Want Stronger Cash Flow, Bigger Profits and Less Stress, Discover How Easy It Really Is To Get All Your Invoices Paid Just By Asking For Payment Politely

About Jan Reeves

Jan has been involved in collections her whole career, most recently as the owner of a continually self-funded specialist credit and collections recruitment company.

Having sold that business, Jan has now turned her focus to sharing her successful business and collections strategies with other small business owners.

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