Just for fun, search Google for “invoice layout.”

When I did, the Big G returned 11,700,000 results, and there’s a good reason for that. Invoice layouts are adaptable, easily accessible, and come with the right structure.

In other words, the days of creating your own invoice are over. You can now use any of those millions of templates to properly generate an invoice. However, just because you’ve downloaded an invoice layout doesn’t mean that you’re getting the most out of it.

That’s why you should follow these best practices to guarantee that you’ll get paid on time the next time you bill a client.

Pick the Right Layout

Not all invoice layouts are created equal. That’s because there are different types of invoices.

For example, there are attorney, finance, fixed-fee, product, and service invoices, amongst countless others. With that in mind, if you were a professional, like an attorney or accountant, then you wouldn’t want to use a product invoice.

But, that’s just the beginning.

After you’ve found the right type of invoice template, you then want to find a layout that matches your brand. Again, a professional like an attorney wouldn’t want to use an overly creative layout.

That bright and quirky origami-inspired package sure is cool, but it doesn’t fit your brand. Instead, you want to keep it simple by using a layout that’s professional and sophisticated.

Display or Hide Invoice Options

What if there’s an invoice layout that you really like but needs a little adjusting to suit your needs? Some online invoicing platforms, like Bonsai, allow you to tailor the template.

For example, if you sell products, then you can add a product code or shipping fields like shipping amount and date. Plus, you can also hide specific fields that may not be relevant to your business.

Add Your Logo

Did you know that you’re 3x more likely to get paid if you add a company logo to your invoice? This is because it distinguishes you from other brands, and it also shows that you’re a professional who should be paid on time.

Besides being able to add your logo to the layout, also make sure that you can add your brand’s colors and fonts. As a reminder, these should be the same across the board.

Add the Relevant Information

You’ll want to make sure to add all the relevant information. This may include:

  • The invoice number
  • The invoice date
  • Total amount due
  • Payment options
  • Payment terms
  • Your name and contact information
  • Your client’s name and address
  • Itemized description of work or goods sold
  • A due date (you’re 8x more likely to get paid on time with this)

This not only makes your invoice appear more professional, but it also helps answer questions or concerns that the client may have. If they still have a question, they know how to easily contact you.

Bold the most important components of the invoice, like who’s it from, the due date, and the final amount, to emphasize those important items. Also, use a color that contrasts with the background so that they stand out.

Attach a Photo of Your Work

This isn’t applicable to every business owner. But if there’s physical proof of your work, then attach an image of it with the invoice.

For example, if you’re a landscaper, then include a picture of your amazing work. If you just designed a website, attach some screen shoots. It’s another way to show off your professionalism while putting the client’s mind at ease.

Utilize the Message Section

Most invoice layouts come with a section where you can add a comment or message. Don’t leave this section blank. It’s a perfect way to thank your clients.

In fact, just adding “please pay your invoice within” or “thank you for your business” can increase the percentage of invoices that are paid by over five percent.

Additionally, this section can be used to market your business. For instance, you could include a five percent discount on future work or referrals, or you could also ask for a testimonial that you could then put on your website.

Don’t Forget the Small Details

Even though invoice layouts are already properly structured, you still want to double-check the margins, white space distribution, scaling, and font size. There are no exact dimensions, but typically your invoice should fit on a standard sheet of paper (8.5″ x 11″).

This makes the invoice easy to read while maintaining a clean and professional appearance.

The Best Software for Invoicing | Bonsai

Bonsai | Best invoice tool for small businesses

Bonsai is the go-to invoicing solution for over 500,000 small businesses and freelancers — and for good reason — it’s easy to use, plus there are ample free invoice templates and a boatload more to simplify your day-to-day operations.

For example, you can automate everything involved in the invoicing process — from the creation phase to sending the invoices, reminding clients, and accruing late fees, Bonsai does it all for you.

Besides all this, Bonsai also lets you choose a variety of global payment options to make it easy for your clients, plus some advanced features are on offer, such as partial payments and attachment locking.

Need we say more? We do. On top of all of this, you’ll be happy to know that Bonsai offers so much more. In fact, Bonsai is an all-in-one machine that includes CRM functionalities, project and task management, plus accounting and tax tools — all under one roof.