When you start a new business, one of the most important details is getting paid. If you're offering goods or services to people on "pay later" terms, you'll need to put together a blank invoice for each customer. This way, whenever you receive a purchase order, all you have to do is fill the order and then type the details into your invoice for forwarding to the customer either through mail, e-mail or fax.
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Things you need
- Microsoft Word or Excel
- Invoice template
Go to Microsoft Office's template wizard (see Resources for the link). Click "Invoices" in the "Browse" section. You will be presented with a list of invoice templates.
Find a template to use for your standard commercial invoice. Take note of the program that the template is made with (Word or Excel), and the version that it is compatible with when making your choice. For instance, you cannot download a Microsoft Word 2000 template if you have Word 1997. Excel templates are preferable because they do automatic calculations once you start entering information into your blank invoice.
Select the template that you prefer. Click "Download," then "Save" to deposit it onto your computer. Find and open the zipped file and then click on the .cab file to launch it in your program.
Enter your company name and your company slogan at the top. You can also click "Insert" > "Picture" to add a logo. Fill in your business address, phone number and fax number where designated. List the address on your invoice where you want to receive payments. Finally, type in the name, address and phone of the customer whom you will be billing.
Type in the very first invoice number for that customer at the top of your invoice. A best practice is to first assign each customer a three-digit code (like 545 or 679) to proceed their invoice number, then just add a couple of zeros and create invoices in numerical order (for example, 545001). Most templates are already set up to automatically update the date.
Enter in the sales tax rate for your jurisdiction (if applicable to the customer).
At the bottom of your invoice, clearly state the terms of the invoice, such as 30-day net or payment due within 60 days of invoice date. Type in the name to write checks to, how to call in a credit card order or how to pay the invoice online.
Tips and warnings
- You need ActiveX controls on your computer to download Microsoft templates properly (see the "Downloading Help" link for more information about downloading files below).
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