Do you know what your invoice needs to include?
After dealing with invoices in all shapes and forms, I decided it was time to share some important tips to get your invoices right.
There are some things that you legally need to include on your invoices and some that are just must haves.
Definition (I know, you all know but I find it nice to focus in on the specifics)
An Invoice is – a list of goods sent or services provided, with a statement of the sum due for these; a bill. (Definition courtesy of Google).
Now we know how the government and its departments like to make things really simple, Right? Wrong. The IRD sets out different requirements dependent on the amount that is involved. If You Want to read more about these you can here.
So Lets Break it Down
The Things you need to include are:
- Your Business Name and Address ( I also include a contact phone and email address as you want people to be able to contact you easily if they have a query).
- It needs to say that it is a TAX INVOICE.
- It needs to have the name and address details of the buyer – try to be as specific as possible.
- It also needs to have the date the invoice was generated.
- A GST number if you are registered.
- Details of the goods or services supplied – again saying ‘for work done’ or 2 metres of fabric’ will get the invoice out but it is hard to remember back to what it was actually for, so be SPECIFIC (quantity, type etc.).
- If you are GST Registered you will either need to show the GST exclusive prices with a separate line showing the GST content. Or you must include a statement to say that all prices above are inclusive of GST.
So those are the basic legal requirements above, but have you noticed a few things missing from that list.
Here are the things you should include:
- Please include an invoice number or something of reference – if a buyer has a query this will help you quickly identify the correct invoice, it also helps you (and or the buyer), look back at the document later if necessary.
- Please include a due date that payment needs to be received by, whether it is immediately, 7 days or the 20th of the month. This acts as a trigger to pay.
- Please include any special terms on the invoice: such as that all goods remain the property of xxx until full payment has been received, interest of xx amount will be charged on all overdue accounts, any collections costs incurred due to non-payment will be added to the amount owing etc. these need to be stated in order to be able to enforce them.
- Payment details ( you would be amazed how many invoices I have received that don’t have payment details and are then missing contact details as well). If you want people to pay make it simple for them, include all payment options and bank account numbers etc.
Awesome now you should all be able to produce rockin’ invoices that your customers will be able to pay easily. Please remember that while software like Xero does create these great invoices for you, you can achieve this just as easily by creating a template in Excel. If you would like any help or would like us to create a template specifically for you please contact us.