Get Your Business Started Right with a Sample Invoice
Posted : 13 December, 2013
Have you recently started your own service or product-related business and are now in need of a sample invoice or invoice template with which to issue receipts to customers and accurately track sales records? Were you aware of the many invoice samples now available online—simple invoice templates that can help you create your own personalized and business-specific forms? Sample invoice forms are now available on literally hundreds of business-document websites, and in some cases, they can be downloaded at no charge whatsoever to the borrower. These legally-binding documents can be an extremely helpful tool for new business owners, saving them the time, hassle and filing mess associated with the old carbon-copy style of invoices, not to mention the expense of having to constantly replenish them. These simple invoice templates not only contain all of the required topics and fields an invoice must contain in order to meet legal requirements, they also automatically perform the various calculations associated with the sale. To illustrate their usefulness, below we will briefly explain why invoices are so very important for you and your customers, and we’ll also highlight the various items and topics you should look for when selecting a sample invoice from an online source.
The Importance of the Invoice
When a customer makes a purchase, whether for a specific product or a service rendered, a representative from the business is required by law to issue the customer an invoice or receipt. This sample invoice should show an itemized description of the purchase, including the unit price, the number of items in the transaction, a sub-total and the cumulative sales tax. It lets the customer see exactly how much they are paying and for what, and serves as their only protection should they need to refund or return a faulty or damaged item.
While the invoice is certainly a significant document for the customer, it is equally important for the business owner. By keeping a computerized record of each purchase, businesses can help curb or eliminate fraud perpetrated by customers looking to “pull a fast one.” The invoice is also a great recordkeeping tool, helping owners manage their income, expenses and taxes, making it easy to run reports, track inventory and forecast sales according to certain times of the day, week, month or year. Regardless of the type of business you plan to operate, from a simple yard and garden service to a medical clinic, the invoice is an invaluable component that must be utilized.
Sample Invoice: What Should Be Included on a Sample Invoice?
Although the Internet has been in existence for three decades or so as an informational source, it wasn’t until recently that business owners from around the world began using this medium as a way to share and exchange helpful ideas and documents with other like-minded owners. One such document, the sample invoice, has now helped thousands of new business owners create computerized invoice templates of their own—personalized documents with which to quickly issue receipts to customers and store the information electronically for use in the future. However, before you select a sample invoice or simple invoice template to use for your own business, it’s crucial that you understand the various topics or fields these samples should contain. Much of this information will depend on the type of business you own (service or product-related, global or local, etc.), but in general, every quality sample invoice must contain at least the following pieces of information:
• Invoice number. Even a simple invoice should contain an invoice number. This number, which will usually appear in the top left-hand corner of the document, typically in a color such as red that makes it distinguishable, is a vital piece of information, allowing you to track and file your sales numerically.
• Company Information. When searching for the perfect sample invoice, make certain there is ample space for you to list all of your company details, including the business name (or logo), address, telephone number, and website information.
• Customer Field. In the customer field of your template is where you will print the name and address of the individual purchasing the goods or services.
• Description of the Product or Service. This space, typically the largest field on the sample invoice, allows you to give a full description of the products or service being purchased, including product type, product numbers (if applicable), unit price, and the number of each product being sold.
• Sub-Total, Tax (and other charges) and Grand Total. The sub-total is the cumulative total of all the products or services. This figure will be added to the sales tax, along with any other charges such as shipping and/or handling, and the resultant sum of those calculations—calculations the template will perform for you—represents the grand total.
Naturally, this is only the bare minimum in terms of information—the types of information that MUST appear on even a simple invoice form. Other attributes of the sample invoice, such as an area in which to list material costs for a certain service-related business, will depend entirely on the type and scope of the business you are operating.