In this article, you’ll learn:
- How an invoice template works
- What an invoice template can do for your business
- Options for invoice templates
The process of invoicing has developed rapidly in recent years. While that might not sound like the most thrilling history to delve further into, it has had a big impact on how businesses operate.
What used to involve handwritten documents, meticulously drawn up, amounts calculated by hand, has evolved into a process that aims to keep up with the demands of modern life. As well as with the speed and computerisation of the sales process.
Even as recent as a decade or so, the main options were invoicing templates in Word or Excel. While these provided businesses with an easier, electronic resource for creating and managing invoices, they still involved manual filling in of the details (not to mention formatting).
Today there are thankfully other options. First, however, a closer look the traditional invoice template and how it works.
The invoice template
As a crucial part of the sales process, invoices developed from the need to provide written documentation of the products or services provided in a sale. By breaking down the items, quantities, amounts and prices, the buyer can clearly see what is being purchased.
While this might seem straightforward, it became clear that in creating this type of document, certain guidelines should be met in order to ensure that the important details are present. Invoice templates stepped in to fill that requirement.
An invoice template typically features a layout with various fields that can be replaced by the text for a specific sale each time. For example, it will be clearly labeled ‘Invoice’, and provide fields for an invoice number, product/service details, prices, and more.
Depending on the country and even industry, the elements required on an invoice may differ, resulting in variations in invoice templates. However, basic invoice templates do exist and can be customised accordingly.
Improve invoicing with invoice templates
Managing the sales process from start to finish is one of the more exciting aspects of running a business. Invoicing falls comfortably within this timeline, and can quickly become a source of frustration and annoyance, or can simply be another step closer to getting paid.
A bit of dedication and persistence in studying the information required to create a legal invoice could result in the ability to quickly write up an invoice. However, creating a professional-looking invoice that effectively promotes your business is a different matter altogether.
This might have once required a fair amount of computer skills, or at the very least an eye for design and time to devote to a stand-out logo. But a legal invoice and a professional invoice should not be mutually exclusive.
Invoice templates in Word allowed businesses to upload a previously created logo, situated on the invoice, while also providing the structure and required fields to make the document is legally compliant. Excel invoice templates can also help with calculations.
However, while downloading a Word or Excel invoice template might seem like an easy option, complications can arise in the event that you don’t keep up with the latest (or even current) legal requirements for invoices. It can also be a struggle to get the layout working just right.
Beyond Word & Excel invoice templates
It’s still possible to find pads providing a general invoice template layout, with the basic fields labeled. These still require filling in by hand, and a proper filing cabinet. Unsurprisingly, computerised options are much more popular. Beyond providing a more thorough layout, it also drastically improves storage and security.
Yet invoices created with Word or Excel invoice templates still require a carefully managed filing system on a computer. Moving invoices to the correct folder based on their status changes can get overwhelming, fast.
Online invoice templates provided by invoicing software make it even easier to create professional invoices that meet legal requirements each time. They’re customisable to fit the brand of any business and are stored and managed securely in the cloud. No need to worry about hardware crashes or virus attacks.
In addition, saving product and customer details make it possible to create invoices in less than 1 minute and help avoid errors. A definite improvement from the handwritten documents (and also from typed out invoices that seem to always require margin adjustments...looking at you, Word).
Creating and managing invoices is simpler and faster than ever before thanks to online invoice templates. By improving on the basic invoice format and providing improved options and cloud-based solutions, invoicing software has revolutionised the invoice template.