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7 Different Invoice Templates and Finding What’s Right for You
Invoice templates are like the bread and butter of a business—they keep the money coming in, keep track of the money going out, and generally form the basis for those all-important financials. But in this day and age, even something as seemingly straightforward as an invoice requires some background knowledge and expertise. Especially if you’re in the early stages of building your business.
Invoice templates provide a welcome structure for new entrepreneurs who don’t want to draw up documentation from scratch. That said, you might be relieved to find out that most people continue to use templates throughout their careers!
There are several different types of invoice templates you might need to use at some point in your business. Let’s go through seven of the most commonly needed invoice templates so that you know what to use, when, and why.
Why Professional Invoice Templates Are So Important
If you don’t know your way around a good invoice, your business is practically asking to be fraught with payment issues—whether they’re coming in or going out.
Knowing how to compile, assess, and send out the right invoice at the right moment will mean your business gets paid on time, reduces billing queries, and experiences minimal payment tracking problems.
You really can’t afford to miss out on the benefits that a great invoice can bring.
Well-timed, properly laid-out invoices also communicate a sense of professionalism to external parties. This is extremely important, especially for younger businesses that are just starting to develop a reputation in their industry.
Invoice templates are much easier to navigate because they already contain all the structural and formatting requirements of the invoice you are sending. So instead of creating one from scratch, you can simply enter your details and hit “send.”
1. Basic invoice
A basic invoice is typically sent from a business to a client. It’s the most common and straightforward of all invoice templates, which makes it an important one to learn for future reference.
A basic invoice is simple and flexible enough for businesses to make it fit their industry and style. It contains:
- Your business’s name, address, and contact information
- The recipient’s name, address, and contact information
- The date
- A unique invoice number (such as INV0001)
- An outline of the goods/services exchanged
- The payment amount due
This is the invoice type that your business will need to use on a fairly regular basis. Finding a basic invoice template online is extremely easy, and there are lots of different stylistic options to choose from.
2. Debit invoice
A debit invoice (also known as a debit memo) is an invoice you would issue if you need to increase the amount owed to your business from a client.
This invoice type is particularly useful for freelancers and small businesses, who often need to adjust their bills due to timing or project-related changes.
For example, if you have already sent your client a basic invoice but two weeks later, the project requires additional hours to complete, you might want to send them a debit invoice for the extra hours of work.
3. Credit invoice
A credit invoice (also known as a credit memo) is typically issued when a business needs to give its client a refund or discount for a previously determined payment. It’s also the appropriate invoice type to issue when you have made an error in your previous invoice.
Something important to note about this invoice type is the fact that the numbers are always written as negatives. For example, if your business is sending a credit invoice to a client detailing a refund of $100, the total sum on the document would read as–$100.
4. Mixed invoice
A mixed invoice is a combination of both a credit invoice and a debit invoice. It’s not often that most types of small businesses need to issue a mixed invoice. However, it can be useful when billing a client for two different projects (one that requires a refund and one that requires an error adjustment).
5. Commercial invoice
A commercial invoice is an invoice you would use when seeking payment for goods your business has sold internationally. It will include information pertaining to the shipment of goods involved, such as:
- Weight or volume of shipment
- Description of products
- Packaging format
- Shipment quantity
- Total amount owed
All the information added to a commercial invoice should answer any questions posed at cross-border stations, making the overall transportation, delivery, and payment procedure as smooth as possible.
6. Timesheet invoice
A timesheet invoice is an invoice used for outlining payments based on both hourly rates and a standard pay rate. For example, if you run a small creative agency, you might need to send an invoice that highlights what you’re owed per hour and how many hours of work it took you to complete a project.
7. Final invoice
A final invoice is what your business would send once a project has reached completion, especially if it involved numerous formal changes and adjustments along the way. This type of invoice clears everything up and acts as a final statement of what is owed.
Final invoices must include:
- Invoice number
- Invoice due date
- List of all goods/services provided
- Total amount owed
- Acceptable payment methods
As a small business owner, managing your money is crucial every step of the way. A lack of proper invoices can quickly cause problems, especially when you’re short of funds, or tax season is on the horizon. Fortunately, thanks to a wide variety of online invoice templates, no business needs to fret over these essential documents for long. Now that you know the basics, your business can send or receive payments with ease.