Getting paid is the pot of gold at the end of the freelance rainbow. Like most aspects of freelancing, invoicing is rarely simple, and letting inaccuracies slip in can hurt your accounting and tax returns
. Sloppy invoicing can also damage your professional image in front of customers
, as it's a key part of the service you provide.
What should a proper invoice include? They suggest the following data:
- Title - make it easy to understand that the document is an invoice
- Your logo - an optional element, but it will help to keep your brand fresh in the eyes of your customer
- Invoice number for accounting purposes so each invoice can be tracked
- Your company data and your customer's data: address, company name, contact information and a VAT number if applicable
- Invoice date and due date, plus interest rate for overdue payments if you prefer to have it. The latter might have an effect on the payment discipline. Usually, 0.01 or 0.02% per day is used.
- A detailed description of the service provided since it needs to be very clear what the invoice is created for.
- Total amount to be paid - you can also add information about how the amount was calculated (whether it's an hourly rate or rate per piece etc)
- VAT - are you charging VAT as well? If so, make sure to indicate this on the invoice. The invoice should include the VAT %, the amount without VAT and the VAT amount. If you're creating a reverse charge invoice (VAT 0%), you also need to have the following sentence on your invoice: 'The purchase is liable to Intra-Community supply 0%, Reverse charge.' (You can verify your customer VAT here. Questions about whether or not you have yo charge a VAT, please check this source)
- Payment details - how can the customer pay you: IBAN of a bank account, name of the bank, SWIFT code, bank information
To see an example of how a professional invoice looks, click here
Invoicing may sound simple, but as you can see, there's a lot of data that goes into the document. Creating an invoice from scratch can be a difficult process, and it's possible to make a mistake, causing your accountant to scratch their head in confusion. If you want to avoid all that, you can use an invoicing tool for freelancers
such as Xolo Go - a solution built for running a business without registering a company. It allows you to create professional invoices in only 10 minutes - click here
to learn more.
You've found the client and done the work, great job! Don't trip on the last obstacle - make sure your invoices are correct and your client and accountant will be grateful