There’s a sense of accomplishment when a project gets done and even more so when you get paid following a properly prepared invoice. Preparing an invoice is not a complicated task, all you need is a computer and the necessary information that will support the payment process until the money is in your hands.
Here’s how to draft an invoice:
- Use software that you are familiar with. There is wisdom to the saying, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” There’s no need to rely on a learning curve when preparing your invoice. Do yourself a favor. Keep it simple and use Excel or Word to prepare your invoice.
- Stamp your mark on it. Who says advertising is only limited to inanimate brands? You are a brand yourself so make sure you have your own logo stamped on your invoice unless otherwise prevented from doing so because you are required to use your employer’s official invoice. If you are free to use creative license, think of your invoice as your personal stationery without the scent.
- Remember the basics. Include your name, address, designation, and employee number (if any), and bank details in your header. Never submit your invoice without these basics.
- Enumerate the details. Are you paid on retainer, by the hour, per word, or per page? What’s the denomination? How many hours did you put in? What’s the project about? List everything down as a matter of course and necessity when preparing your invoice.
- Use columns. Everything in its place at one glance, this is the advantage of using columns to prepare your invoice. You can even add up your total billing very easily. What’s more, it’s easier for your employer to see how much it would cost to keep you on the payroll.
- Be very clear about the payment process. If you prefer to get paid through online banking or PayPal, you have to specify this very clearly along with your correct account name, number, and bank branch or PayPal location. The point is, include these details so you get paid on time all the time.
- Highlight your total billing charges. It’s frustrating for anyone who deals with numbers to look for the sum or total of your invoice because it’s not only your invoice that takes up their time. Do that person a favor. Be kind – HIGHLIGHT.
- Don’t be afraid to add a blurb or two. Depending on your terms of agreement, do not hesitate to gently nudge your employer “invoice-style” to have the payment deposited as agreed into your bank account on a specific date. How can this be achieved? Add a blurb after the total billing. Something like: $5,000.00 due 15 May 2010 (Date/Month/Year).
- Never send your invoice out without proofreading. It’s catastrophic to miss out on important details in your invoice because this is the basis of you bringing home the bacon. Proofread everything down to the last cent. The best way to proofread anything? Read it backwards. It’s easier to spot errors this way. Give it a try!
Now, sit back, relax, and wait for your money to arrive in the bank!