Invoice Templates for Business

 A central part of business is invoicing customers for services or products. There are a number of items that have to be included on an invoice template such as date, the business name and address, the customer details, the amount billed, vat or tax, details of the product or service, payment dates and other terms. It is important to ensure that you choose the right template for your business.

A limited company has to include certain information by law on an invoice. The template should include the full company name (as shown on the certificate of incorporation), any other business name and the company address. A sole trader only has to show the business name and address.

Invoice TemplateIt is possible to create an invoice template using a program such as Word or Excel or the Open Office equivalents. There is also dedicated software designed specifically to create invoices and these may be part of larger accounting packages such as Sage. A search on the internet will reveal a number of sources that provide templates for download and these may be free or charged.

Invoice creation software is available from online retailers such as Amazon.

Businesses use the word invoice for what ordinary people call 'bills'. In modern business invoices are usually forms printed in duplicate or triplicate, with serial numbers, and bound into books. The firm's name and address are printed boldly in the middle of the form, and above it are lines on which the name and address of the buyer of the goods may be written or typed. The rest of the form is ruled in columns so that the quantities of different goods ordered, their price, the value of each separate purchase, and the total amount, can be clearly seen.

Invoices used in the wholesale trade usually state when payment is expected, and what cash discount will be allowed if payment is made earlier than the stipulated date.

When we buy goods for cash in a shop, the invoice, or bill, is receipted at the time of purchase. If payment is not made at the time of purchase, an account is opened for the buyer, and most of the entries in the seller's account books are made from the invoices. At the end of the month the purchaser receives a 'statement'. This is a copy of the buyer's account in the firm's books; it includes the total of all invoices issued during the month, together with any balance already owing; from this total payments made during the month and the amounts of any credit notes issued are subtracted.

Credit notes are forms like invoices, generally bound in books with serial numbers and usually printed in red ink, whereas invoices are printed in black. Credit notes are used when a purchaser returns unsatisfactory or damaged articles, or if he complains about the quality of goods and arranges with the seller a reduction in the price. Invoice totals are debited to customers in a firm's books; credit notes and cash payments are credited.

If payment is made for the total of the monthly statement, it is usual for buyers to attach their statements to their cheques; the statements then come back receipted by the seller. Payments of less than the total of a statement are called payments 'on account'. Receipts are usually written on special receipt forms, also often bound up in book form and serially numbered.