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Thursday, September 11, 2008

What to Include on an Invoice?

Some companies will provide you with their template for invoicing, and if you use PayPal you can use their invoicing tool. However, what if you have a client or company that wants you to submit your own invoice? What do you include and what don't you include?

For me, I include the same thing on most invoices unless I'm asked to provide some additional information. I have a standard template, and there are a few blank fields for those clients that require me to add additional information. However, I generally follow the same template for each one, using the template you see below.

The main things I include are the company's name and address, my name, address, telephone number and email, the date of the invoice, the date the file was due, name of the file, number of audio minutes, rate per audio minute (adjust for other types of billing) and a reference number if you have been given one. I have one contract that requires me to put my Social Security number on the invoice, and so I made a small field on the bottom to do that.

The nice thing about working in Excel is having it do the math for me. I can also add fields as necessary and put in discounts, bonuses for audio quality all on the same invoice just by putting them underneath the audio they are applied to and entering the rates in the cells.

I have found that it's easiest for me to work off a general template that I modify into templates for each company or client with their exact specifications. It helps immensely when adding a new company to the list as well. Instead of starting from scratch, I have a basic format to work with and modify right away. This makes adding them to my invoicing routine much easier. Having similar invoices also makes it easy to compile data for bookkeeping and tax purposes. You always know exactly where to look to get the numbers you need.