Top 5 Invoice Design Mistakes

Your invoices are arguably your business’s most important documents. They enable customers to pay you, of course, but they also help to ensure payments come in quickly and within your payment terms.

In addition, invoices can help maintain good relationships with your customers by, for example, keeping disputes to a minimum, i.e. disputes over what the client thinks was agreed and what you include on your invoice.

As invoices are so important, it is crucial you design them properly. Here are the top five invoice design mistakes you should avoid.

1. No Invoice Number

The main purpose of an invoice number is traceability both for you and your customer. It ensures you both look at the same document, for example, whenever you are discussing an invoice.

Invoice numbers also ensure you can match payments with the products or services you provide, plus they enable you to stay on top of your debtors’ ledger.

2. Poor Itemisation

One of most common causes of invoice queries and disputes is where the customer doesn’t understand what you are billing them for. In other words, invoices where the itemisation is not clear and/or detailed enough.

How much information should you include on your invoices, however? This is a common question. After all, it is possible to include too much information as well as too little. The answer depends on your business and the products/services you sell, but a good approach is to match the details on your invoice with the main headings you include on quotes you send to clients.

3. Missing Contact Information

All invoices should include accurate and complete contact information. This starts with your invoice template which should have your full address details, including multiple ways for customers to get in contact with you – include an email address and phone number at a minimum.

Also, make sure your contact information is easy to understand. Problems can arise, for example, when the legal name of your business is different from the business name that your customers know you by.

Finally, make sure you include full contact information of your customers on your invoices too.

4. Missing Customer Reference Numbers

If a customer issues you with a reference number, such as a PO number, you should always include this on your invoice. After all, customers have reference number systems to help, in part, with their payment processes. When you don’t include them, it may cause delays in getting your invoice paid.

5. Missing Payment Terms and Methods to Pay

Finally, make sure you include detailed payment terms on your invoice, so your customer is clear on what you expect. Of course, you should always discuss and agree on payment terms long before you send the customer an invoice, but it is important you include those terms.

Also, make it as easy as possible for the customer to pay you by including details of the payment options you accept. Again, this reduces payment delays.

If you need help setting up an invoice template or anything else in relation to invoicing or accounts in your business, please get in touch with Gilroy Gannon today.

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