How to Write an Invoice

Invoicing is a key part of running a successful business. Whether you're writing an invoice for a company with dozens of employees or simply for contract work you performed yourself, knowing how to write an invoice is an important skill to have that will make managing your work – and your money – a lot easier. In addition to being a useful tool for collecting payment for the work you've completed, invoicing allows you to keep a record of your past work and allows the individual you billed to maintain a record of their expenses.

What Information Should I Include in My Invoice?

Your invoice should be neat, clean and easy to read. It is essentially a list of the work you have performed, the rate you have charged for it and the total amount due. While the format and the appearance of the invoice are entirely up to you, there are several key pieces of information that invoices should contain regardless of the layout of the document or the business you are in. Your name, address, phone number and email address should be clearly visible at the top of the invoice. The next most important piece of information is the date. Be sure that you date the invoice on the date you are creating it, not the date that the work was completed. This makes clear that you have billed for your services on a fixed date. Since some companies or employers have a set time within which contractors need to invoice, be sure the date is correct. Below this information, list an invoice number. Many companies require this number for their own record keeping, and it will be useful to you as well, particularly if you invoice the same company multiple times.

How Should My Invoice Be Set Up?

Below your contact information, the invoice number and the date, set up four columns. In the first column, clearly list each of the projects that you are billing for if there is more than one. It may be helpful to describe the service, but do so succinctly for the sake of clarity. In the second column, beside each of the projects on the list, indicate your rate per project. In the third column, indicate the quantity of each of these projects that were purchased. In the fourth column, state the total amount due per project. Below the columns make a Total Amount Due box, where the total amount to be collected is entered. At the bottom of the invoice, indicate how you would like to be paid if that information has not already been established. For example, if you only accept paper checks, indicate that. If you accept a digital payment, include the pertinent information.

How Do I Create an Invoice in Word?

One of the best ways to create an invoice in Word is by building and inserting a table into the document. The heading at the top of the page should contain your company name, logo if applicable, contact information, a field for the date, and a field for the invoice number. Below that put the name and address of the business or individual you are invoicing.

The body of the document is the table. Go to the Tables and Borders Toolbar in Word and create a table with the correct number of columns and rows. You can add rows as necessary, but it's a good idea to begin with only three. The top row is for headings. For example, if you have four columns and two rows, the top row over the first column might read Services, the top row over the second column Cost, the top row over the third column Quantity, and the top row over the fourth column Total. Then, in the second row, list the services you provided, their cost, the quantity and the totals, respectively, adding rows where necessary. The very bottom row is for the invoice's grand total. This is just a basic example; depending on your business and services, your table may look different.

How to Write an Invoice Template

Once you've set the table up to your satisfaction, save a separate copy of the document as "Invoice Template," which you can use as a template for future invoices. Go to Save in Word's File menu. Click Save As and then select Document Template, which will save it as a .dot file. When you open up a new document, this template will be available to you.