3 easy ways to create an invoice
February 28, 2020
How to create an invoice your clients will want to pay
Freelancing brings numerous benefits, including independence, autonomy, flexibility, and the ability to work in sweatpants. But, a big drawback for many freelancing folk is invoicing.
Nobody sets up shop as a freelancer or starts a small business to spend their days creating invoices. Manually entering data, calculating taxes, and sending invoices is time consuming and expensive. The Account Payable Network found that the average cost to process a single invoice is $15 USD, while larger companies with more complex AP processes can spend as much as $40 USD to process a single invoice.
From creation to collection, invoicing can be a nightmare for freelancers. Often seen as a necessary evil, invoicing is unfortunately essential to calculating taxes, managing books, and of course, getting paid. Unfortunately, 27% of invoices aren’t paid on time, and 16% percent of invoices are never actually paid, according to Due.com.
Freelancers rely on getting paid on time to protect their cash flow. Luckily, invoice generators can automatically create an invoice for you, saving you time and money.
When it comes to invoice generators, there are plenty of options. From sole proprietorships to the next Silicon Valley unicorn, there’s an invoice generator for every size of business or sole proprietor.
Use a standard template
If your business is small and your invoices uncomplicated, both Microsoft Office and Google Docs have excellent invoice templates you can easily fill and send out.
According to Due.com, almost one in four invoices are sent without a due date, so be sure to include all of the necessary information.
Here are the essential pieces of information you must include in your invoice to be paid on time and in full:
- Your full legal name. This needs to be exactly the same as the name on your bank account and tax information, so include your full name as well as your middle name if applicable.
- The name of your business. Use bold text to help your business’s name stand out.
- Your contact information including website, social media, and email address. This should be under your business name and logo, and match the color and branding of your business.
- Your business’s logo or a personal headshot. Invoices with images are three times more likely to get paid.
- Your business address (this might be the same as your personal address, depending on the type of business).
- Your accepted forms of payment. Offering customers a few different choices for payment can increase the chances of being paid on time, however be wary of payment methods that can actually hurt small businesses.
- The due date for your invoice and any payment terms you may have, including early payment discounts and late payment penalties or charges.
- Itemized breakdown of the products or services you provided, any taxes you charged, and the total amount due.
Another nice thing to include is a personal note. It may seem obvious, but including a simple “thanks for choosing (your business here)!” can increase the percentage of invoices that are paid by more than 5%. Sesame Street was right: “please and thank you” really are magic words.
Once you’ve customized your invoice, save it as a custom template to create your own automatic invoice generator. This way, your next invoice will be even less painful to create.
Use the right invoice generator for your business
Now that we’ve covered the basics of invoicing, here are some different invoice generator tools to try out.
The simple invoice generator: Invoice Generator by Invoiced
If you prefer to create invoices on the web but still want the convenience of an invoice generator, try Invoice Generator by Invoiced. You don’t even need to sign up for an account with this free tool. Invoices can be sent and paid online or downloaded as a PDF.
Invoice Generator offers unlimited invoices and a variety of professional templates, including the option to include a custom business logo. It even prompts you to fill in all of the necessary fields, ensuring you don’t forget any vital information.
You can opt to pay for additional features like installment payments and a branded customer portal, but the free version is powerful enough for the average freelancer. While Invoice Generator isn’t what we’d call a payment ecosystem (you can’t track payments for example), it’s a convenient way to generate a professional looking invoice fast. or Overall, Invoice Generator is an intuitive and simple tool for freelancers looking to create invoices without committing to and paying for expensive software.
The classic invoice generator: PayPal
Founded over 20 years ago, PayPal is a veteran of the online payment and invoicing game. Originally an online payment network, PayPal has expanded their offerings to include a mobile app, invoice templates, and the ability to issue refunds. Available on the web, iOS, and Android, PayPal allows users to create and send invoices from around the world.
While PayPal is the classic invoice generator that many freelancers turn to when starting out, they charge high fees for their service, which can damage your cash flow and profitability. It’s free to create a PayPal account and send invoices, but payment processing fees of 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction add up quickly. When compared to more modern invoicing software and payment networks, PayPal often comes up short.
Wondering how Veem stacks up to PayPal? Check out how we compare. Learn more
The customizable invoice generator: Invoice Ninja
Not all businesses are created equal, so why should all invoices look the same? If you need to customize the heck out of your invoices, consider Invoice Ninja.
100% open source, Invoice Ninja offers free time tracking, invoicing, and payment software. If you are willing to host it yourself, you can download the open source version and write the code needed for custom invoice templates. Their mobile app (for both Apple and Android) offers you complete freedom to invoice from anywhere. After all, isn’t the point of being your own boss the ability to work from the beach?
Invoice Ninja’s free plan offers unlimited invoices and quotes to up to 100 clients. For a small monthly fee, Invoice Ninja Pro provides perks like branded company portals, multiple users and access permissions, and the ability to attach third party files to your invoices.
Invoice Ninja is a great product to bridge the gap between simpler invoice templates and more expensive invoice generators. Our friends over at Zapier even named it “the best free invoice software for extreme customization.” While it does require a bit of elbow grease to set up and customize, it’s a great option for the tech savvy small business owner or freelancer who doesn’t mind a complicated interface.
Invoicing and payments combined with Veem
Today’s business owners are busier than ever. Instead of jumping between services and platforms to pay, get paid, and create an invoice, why not combine them?
Veem is the easiest way to send and manage invoices online. Invoicing on our network connects you and your partners together, strengthening future business relationships.
Sending an invoice through Veem is simple for both you and your customers. Upload your own template or use Veem’s invoice generator to create professional invoices in minutes. Find your recipients quickly by using our simple business directory, and send invoices directly to your customers with a single click.
Paying invoices is just as easy as sending them when you set up your custom Pay Link. Free with every Veem account, your Pay Link is a personalized link you share with your customers. Once a client clicks on your branded Pay Link, they can pay you directly via Veem. If they don’t already have a Veem account, they just need to enter a few details and you’ll get paid directly and securely through Veem.
This is more convenient for your clients and encourages on-time payments. Pay Links also prevent you from having to constantly share your banking information with new vendors or customers, keeping your information safe. Fully customizable, Veem’s Pay Links allow you to maintain your brand presence while offering clients a convenient way to pay you.
Veem’s network allows each party to manage their own payment and banking details. This eliminates the need to share sensitive information with international partners, and ensures the accuracy and security of your information.
Invoicing with Veem brings transparency to your accounts receivables. An end-to-end payment tracker allows either party to see where their money is located at any time, and when it’s expected to arrive. Say goodbye to those awkward “where is my money” phone calls; with Veem, you can follow your money from start to finish.
Veem makes it easy to get organized. Stop wasting time jumping between platforms and programs when you integrate your payments with Veem. Popular accounting and productivity software integrate directly with your Veem account, making reconciliation painless. Plus, Veem’s Zap allows you to connect with over 1500 apps supported by Zapier to build no-code automations and optimize your workflow.
Tired of waiting 30 days or more for clients to pay you? When you send an invoice with Veem, you can get paid early. Veem’s Paid Now program allows you to get paid on the next business day. Veem Capital will pay your USD invoice in full for a flat 2% transaction fee. Offer net payment terms to your customers risk-free when you use Paid Now for your Veem invoices.
Need payments now? Find out how Veem can help with Paid Now. Learn More
Protect your cash flow and stop wasting valuable time chasing unpaid invoices. Just Veem it, and boom, it’s paid.