Why accountants should send professional invoices
Numbers are your forte, so you use your considerable skills to balance books for companies, and manage financial matters for individuals.
You need an invoice that is flexible enough to capture all the services and expertise you provide – while ensuring your charges are completely transparent in accordance with any applicable federal and state laws, as well as your professional organization.
A well-designed, easy-to-understand invoice also reflects on your reputation and expertise, and creates confidence and trust in your skills as an accountant.
Once you've downloaded your free invoice template, you'll need to customize it to fit your specific business. Here are the 10 key things to include on your invoice:
- Title and Description: Name the project and briefly describe what type of work your client is being invoiced for.
- Company Details: Add your company name, address, phone number, and logo to the top-right corner.
- Customer Details: Under "Bill To", add your customer's name, address, and contact information.
- Invoice Number: Include a unique invoice number to help you track down this invoice in the future. You can format this based on sequence and customer. For example, if you're sending your very first customer their first invoice, the invoice number could be 001-001.
- Dates: Include the date when your invoice has been issued and the date when payment is due.
- Line Item: Add individual line items for each unique good or service you provided. For each line item, include a brief description, quantity, individual unit price, and total price.
- Subtotal: Add up the subtotal of your goods or services, before tax has been applied.
- Tax: Indicate the tax rate applied to the subtotal. This is legally required to provide on invoices, and your rate may differ depending on where you run your business.
- Total: Outline the total amount due from the customer, after tax.
- Notes: Include any additional info your customer should know, including terms of service and payment terms (for example, payments are due 30 days after the invoice has been issued).
- Look through our wide selection of specially designed accounting invoice templates in different styles and colors, and pick the one you like in the format you use – Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets
- Download the invoice template. It’s easy to do – and best of all, it’s free!
- Insert your accounting business name and contact information. If you provide specialized services, like tax accounting – mention it here
- Insert your accounting business logo – along with your website, and your professional designations
- Add in your client’s name and contact information
- Generate a unique invoice number and add it to the template
- Include the date of the invoice, along with the payment due date
- List the accounting services you provided, with descriptions and a fixed-rate or hourly fee
- The invoice can be easily customized to include all the details for each client
- If you are including a discount for your services, add a line explaining the discount so your client knows they are paying a reduced fee for your expert accounting service
- Calculate your total fees, including applicable tax, and enter the total
- Include your payment terms, including the methods of payment you accept
- Add a personal line at the end to thank your client for their continued business and for entrusting their financial affairs with you
- Save the invoice – and send it off to your client!
When is the right time to send an invoice as an accountant?
The right time to send an invoice depends on the accounting services you provide. If you are competing a tax return or some other once-a-year service, most accountants invoice directly after completion.
If you provide year-round services, such as managing the company payroll, or the monthly balancing of the books, you will want to invoice monthly, or at another appropriate time period, to keep your revenue flowing in.
Whatever payment cadence you choose, make sure it’s clearly noted on each invoice, and clarify what portion of the final ‘cost’ has been paid to date.
Invoicing tips for accountants
Include professional recommendations
Include a few lines to describe any future accounting or financial services you think would be beneficial to your client. It shows them you are thinking about their best interests and are providing them with your expert knowledge. You can also include links to articles and blogs on financial topics that might interest them.
Keep a record of your work with numbered invoices
Accountants love numbers, so make sure you number all your invoices to help you keep track of how much money is coming in to your accounting business. You can also assign a client code if you are providing regular accounting services.
Accept a variety of payment methods
Most financial transactions are electronic, so why not embrace the latest payment technologies to make it easy and convenient for your clients to pay you? If you don’t already, add e-Transfers, debit cards, and online payment to the methods you accept for payment.
Always include a ‘payment due’ date
This really does encourage on-time payment. It’s a clear indication of when you expect payment without sounding too aggressive.