Elements of a Good Invoice Template for Freelance Services

Invoicing

An invoice template for freelance services seems simple enough, right? List services or products, tally the line items, calculate taxes and calculate a total. Done! Not quite. Simple or not, if you are new to freelancing, you may be tempted to make-do with an invoice you’ve created using a word processor, or downloaded for free from the Interwebs. While that “making-do” will work when you first start out, an invoice (like any document or written communication you send to prospective clients) makes an impression. If your invoices look unprofessional, well … you probably get the picture. As the saying goes “You only get one chance to make a first impression”. Don’t let the impression you make create a negative bias, rightly or wrongly, about you or your business.

Invoice Elements

The following should be present on invoice templates.

  1. Your company information, including:
    Company logo
    Address
    Phone number
    Website address
    Relevant tax IDs
  2. Customer information and invoice details, including:
    Customer name
    Invoice #
    Purchase order #
    Invoice date
    Payment terms
    Due date
  3. Product or service line item details, including:
    Item
    Description
    Quantity
    Unit price
    Discount
    Amount
    Tax
    Sub Total
    Total
    Balance due
  4. Other elements such as disclaimers or notes (the fine print).

Invoices and Bookkeeping

Not only should professional invoice templates be well designed and organized, they should also do the math for you and be connected (somehow) to your bookkeeping system, effecting relevant Chart of Accounts categories (accounts receivable, revenue, and a bank account) when the invoice is created and then paid. When using Flare Cloud Accounting for invoicing, double-entry bookkeeping occurs in the background automatically as you create invoices and record invoice payments. You don’t need to understand the inner workings of the bookkeeping system because Flare takes care of it for you. The invoices look great, too, and can be sent by email from within Flare, PDFd or printed.

Designed Well for Print and PDF

A good invoice template for freelance services will also be easy to duplicate, PDF and print. If you are using an invoice created with a word processor or Excel, ensure they are designed within the printable area and always test what it looks like when PDFd and printed.

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Estimate to Invoice

You can’t really discuss invoices without touching upon estimates. Because estimates have all of the same information as invoices, you’ll want to ensure that your estimate template looks and functions in a similar fashion as your invoice template with a couple of additional elements. Estimates will also include an expiry date (which will protect you and help increase estimate-to-invoice-conversion rates) and some sort of disclaimer. While you can use the same template or spreadsheet you used for invoices, consider the time you would save if you were using an all-in-one small business bookkeeping system (such as Flare) that allowed you to create estimates and convert them to invoices when they are approved by a customer.

Resources for Free Invoice Templates for Freelancers

Sign Up for a Free Flare Trial. Try Flare’s Invoice Templates

Try Flare for free for 30 days. You’ll see how easy it is to create and send estimates and invoices. Best of all, Flare tracks estimates and invoices, including customer-value tracking. For the cost of some invoicing apps, you get full-on cloud accounting software that can help you know finances and grow profit with no experience required.

 

 

 

 

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