Question: What have fast cars, beautiful women and invoices got in common?
Answer: If they’re not handled correctly you won’t get very far!
You’d be amazed how many companies do a great job winning contracts and delivering products but let themselves down when it comes to the invoicing.
So, here’s our top 3 invoice essentials that will ensure you get paid first.
1. The devils in the detail
- The obvious ones like business name, trading name, address, company registration number, registered office address and contact telephone numbers. Top Tip: Your company letterhead is a great starting place for your invoice template.
- If you’re VAT registered, you must show your VAT registration number and the VAT rate being charged. Show the date and have a unique invoice number. It should show the Net total, VAT total and Grand Total.
- Have a clear description of what the expenditure was for and include references useful to your customer such as order numbers or part numbers. Make it easy for them to identify what you are charging them for.
- Show your payment terms – 30 days, immediately upon presentation, 60 days
2. Make it easy peasey lemon squeezey
- Make it REALLY easy to pay you. It’s amazing how many companies don’t put their bank details on their invoice. Include as many ways to pay you as possible, BACS is one of the quickest and easiest but make sure you show your correct bank account. Top Tip: If you change your bank it’s always good to send an announcement around to those companies that pay you regularly, they may not notice a subtle change to a regular invoice and may try to pay into an old account.
- Some companies show details of what you should do if you have queries and perhaps impose a time limit to deal with queries when the product is supplied.
- Make sure everyone knows your terms and conditions of sale.
- Take the time and trouble to find out exactly where your invoice should be sent to ensure they are properly processed and go into your customers payables system. Don’t just assume it’s the place the goods or services were supplied. Large corporates are notoriously bad at paying if you don’t follow the system.