It’s safe to say that at the end of the day, getting paid for services rendered is every freelancer’s ultimate goal. And why wouldn’t it be?
Putting your blood, sweat, and tears into one remarkable creation is no easy feat. It takes time, effort, and skill. This is why it’s important to make sure that you get paid on time.
One of the ways to make this happen is by sending your clients an invoice for work done using a freelance invoice template.
Keep reading to learn what freelancers should know about creating invoices.
Before we go on any further, it’s important to understand what an invoice is and how it differs from a bill.
An invoice is a document created by a service provider or in this case, a freelancer like you. This document is then sent to a client so they can see a breakdown of the services rendered.
As a freelancer, creating an invoice is essential because it helps you keep track of the services you provided. More importantly, it allows you to receive the right amount of money on time.
Unlike a bill, an invoice is more than just a payment request. It includes important information like an invoice number, payment terms and conditions, or even tax details in some instances.
That being said, an invoice is a more formal way of requesting for payment.
Since there are dozens of freelance roles to choose from, the kinds of invoices one can make varies too. Some tasks work best when paid on an hourly rate while some are better paid per project.
For instance, a writer can charge clients on an hourly basis though it’s also possible to charge per article. Some even charge per word. A video editor, on the other hand, can charge on a per-project basis even if doing it per hour can is also a possibility.
The good news is there are several freelance invoice templates you can choose from. It all depends on the particulars of the services you offer.
Regardless of the skills required by the client, there are a couple of elements that should be present in an invoice. Below are some of the most important ones for your reference.
Invoice numbers are essential especially for clients you’ll be working with for a long time. Each invoice number needs to be completely unique from one another so you can easily track them.
That being said, you should never use the same invoice number more than once because it creates confusion. More than the confusion, it can also put your reputation in question.
Crafting invoice numbers shouldn’t be a complicated process. The common practice is to include the year or month when the invoice was created. For 2020, you can begin with 20001, 20002, 20003, and so on.
It’s important to understand that the business information being referred to in this section isn’t just about the client. It also involves your own information as a freelancer. This includes registered business names, billing addresses, and contact details among others.
Make sure to get these pieces of information accurately to avoid hiccups. You wouldn’t want to get your payment delayed because of “minor” mistakes, wouldn’t you?
These are perhaps some of the most important elements a freelance invoice template should contain. This is why it’s equally important to understand the difference between the two.
The invoice date is the date when the invoice was issued and sent out to the client. The payment due date, on the other hand, establishes the deadline when the client must pay.
The payment due date is usually dependent on the invoice date. It is often stated in the following terms:
This will, of course, depend on you and your client’s agreement.
The service information section is perhaps the most critical part of a freelance invoice template. This is the part you can’t afford to leave out because it details the services you provided against the rate or amount the client owes.
If you’re a social media manager, just putting “social media management” seems vague. You need to be more detailed to show your client complete transparency.
What other tasks are involved with social media management? Content calendar creation, research, image sourcing, are some of the things that come to mind. You can then add other tasks like copywriting, image editing, and scheduling for that matter.
You will then add the amount of time it took you to complete each task and how much it incurred based on your going rate.
Providing all this information will help the client get a better picture of what they’ll be paying for. It will also help ensure that you are paid accurately and on time.
Some freelancers also charge VAT or a value-added tax based on the invoice amount. If you prefer to charge VAT to a client, there are tools available on the internet that will allow you to get the right amount.
You can also incorporate discounts to your freelance invoice template so you can encourage the client to pay faster. Offer a 2% discount, for example, if they can pay up before the 15-day standard waiting time.
Both of these are purely optional. Your invoice can go without them if you wish unless it’s totally necessary.
You also have the option to add include any additional information you deem significant. You can use the footer area of the invoice to incorporate relevant details about the payment or due date, among others.
Then again, you can also use it to add a short and simple “Thank You” note as a way of showing gratitude to your client for trusting you enough to do business with you.
Let’s face it, not everyone is Excel or Google Sheets-savvy. Some just don’t have the time to create an invoice from scratch which is fine because there are online options you can lean on.
Invoicely is one of the most popular free online invoicing services today. A possible reason behind this is the fact that the app allows you to customize your invoice by letting you add your brand. It also allows you to add taxes, discounts, and shipping fees which the service all calculates.
Popular payment schemes like PayPal and similar platforms also come with their own invoicing feature. The online invoicing feature is somewhere similar to what Invoicely has to offer. It also allows you to create, customize, and send your invoice in a few easy steps.
What makes this a very good option is that you’ll be able to see all your invoices at a glance, helping you manage and keep track of all your payments easier. Below are some additional options for online invoicing platforms:
Invoice Simple is another online invoicing service that allows you to invoice your customers whenever, wherever.
The app prides itself on being the world’s easiest way to create invoices, even allowing users to do it from a phone or laptop.
With a handful of professional templates to choose from, invoicing clients shouldn’t take a lot of time.
Xero is an online invoicing software that allows you to create professional invoices easier and faster.
With a bevy of customizable templates, automated reminders and online payment options to choose from, the level of personalization you can do is almost limitless.
You can even modify banding themes, include payment terms, and upload your logo to complete the process.
Perhaps more importantly, the service ensures that invoices you send are secured and free from unauthorized access or changes.
Like its competitors, Wave Accounting promises faster and easier invoicing via its professional-looking templates that saves you a lot of time.
The service also prides itself for allowing users to set up recurring invoices as well as automatic credit card payments.
These features are aimed towards repeat customers and aims to keep you from chasing payments.
Online Invoices doesn’t only make it easy to create invoices, but it also allows you to do a lot more.
Apart from providing you the tools you need to easily invoice your clients, the service also lets you manage sales, calculate taxes, do real-time reporting, and keep track of payments, among others.
The app is more than a invoicing service because it allows you to monitor business activity at practically any level.
As mentioned earlier, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to invoicing, especially for freelancers who have different specializations.
To make things easier for you, here are some of the freelance invoice templates we created as well as the type of freelancer who can benefit most from each of them:
This freelance invoice template works best for your typical freelancer who opts to get paid on an hourly basis. From virtual assistants to graphic designers, any freelancer who works on an hourly rate will find this invoice easy to use.
Here’s a variation of the basic hourly template that allows you to include additional notes as well as other additional charges.
Some freelancers get paid via a fixed price or a project-based payment. These freelancers charge clients for a certain amount with everything included. The types of freelancers who usually charge per project are writers, video editors, graphic designers, and web developers, among others.
The great thing about writers is that they can be paid in several ways. They can be paid by the hour, per project, and even on a per word basis in some instances. Most professional writers prefer this option and if you’re one of them, this invoice suits you.
The per-word freelance invoice template also comes with a variation where you can include details about the project.
Getting paid the right amount promptly is something every freelancer aspires for whether on a weekly or a monthly basis. Though this shouldn’t be that big of a deal considering how professional most clients are, it pays to be meticulous. After all, this is money we’re talking about.
Creating and sending an invoice as a means of requesting for payment is a good way of protecting yourself from any delays or non-payment. Sending a detailed breakdown of the services you rendered gives your client a more accurate picture of what they should be paying you.
It also provides them the necessary information they need like the due dates they need to comply with so you can have the payment in time. This is crucial especially for people whose only source of income is freelancing. You can’t afford any delays if you are on a weekly or monthly budget.
The templates above should help you take the initial step towards creating a freelance invoice template. Regardless whether you work on an hourly, per project, or per word basis, there’s an invoice template readily made for you.
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