If it seems like a lot of your invoices are going unanswered and paid late, then maybe it's time to look at your invoices again. The format and wording of your invoice can have a
huge impact on how likely a customer will pay. Often times, mistakes such as this become a hurdle for your customers to overcome in order to pay you. For example, if the payment amount and due date are in small type they will actually have to go searching to find the most important part of the invoice. We've included some tips to help you create a well-crafted invoice and included an invoice template.
Font and Colors
When you first start creating an invoice, you want to check what font and colors you are using. Depending on these factors, your invoice will be easier or more difficult for your customer to read. The more difficult it is, the more likely you will not get paid on time. Opt for a simple black color wording on a white background. As for fonts, stay away from any cursive or bubbly types. Studies show that Open Sans is currently the easiest font for people to read, so we suggest using something similar to this. Other fonts that are simple include Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman.
The header is an important aspect of the invoice so your customer knows who is invoicing them. Without it, they may struggle to figure out where the payment needs to be sent. Your logo and company name should be clearly visible at the top of the invoice, particularly the top left. Below the logo should be the company name, address, contact phone number and website. In order to make it more visible, it should be in a larger and bolder font than the rest of the invoice.
The invoice details are quite possibly the most important part of the invoice, and the area that could make a difference in how quickly you get paid. This includes the invoice number, date prepared, invoice amount and due date. The invoice number is crucial for many businesses, if no invoice number is present they often cannot pay the invoice. The invoice amount and due date should be front and center in bold face type. If a customer struggles to find how much they owe or when it needs to be paid by, you're going to run into a huge issue. Another detail that is great to add into this section is a possible online payment portal. This link will take the customer directly to an online portal where they can securely view invoices and make a payment immediately via credit card or ACH.
To ensure that you end up with the least amount of invoice disputes as possible, include a breakdown of services for the customer to review. Be sure that each product of service is line itemed with a cost. Be specific on each product or service instead of using general terms such as "Service Charge". Any missing, incorrect, or unclear information will simply mean you will wait longer for the customer to pay you.
Creating the right invoice templates means less time you will spend individually crafting each one for a customer. By keeping these on invoice templates on hand, you can pull them out and input the correct information for each customer. When you use an automated accounts receivable software, these invoice templates can be saved in the system and automatically sent out for you with the correct invoice number, invoice details, payment information and breakdown of services. Below, you will find an invoice template example.
For even more tips and tricks with invoice templates and getting paid on time, check out our whitepaper on How to Eliminate Invoice Disputes here.