How to Make a Simple Invoice 📝

How to Make a Simple Invoice 📝

At Afloat we believe in simplifying complexity. We're a bunch of doers, creatives and big thinkers, and we hate wasting time on things we're not passionate about.

Time is precious and whilst the power of technology grows bigger and bigger, platforms that support freelancers with invoices and expense management systems appear to be more complex and intimidating for many trying to navigate the freelance jobs space.

Creating invoices can be overwhelming and nerve-racking for many freelancers (even for pro freelancers who have been working with clients for a long while). Finding an invoice template that feels right and looks professional and authentic isn't easy.

You might not know what essential details to add, what should go on top, if you should include your bank details, what taxes to include and where, and the list goes on. You might just want an invoice generator that does the work for you so you don't have to worry about it anymore. Well, the good news is, you're in the right place.

Creating a simple and easy invoice is very straightforward and shouldn't take you more than a few minutes, but only if you have the right guidance and tools. Let's take a closer look and take some pressure off your shoulders.

What you need to include on your invoices

1. Your details and your branding

We know it sounds like common sense, but hey, we have to say it. Make sure all your relevant details are clearly added to the invoice. This is:

  • Full name or your business name.
  • You tax number (if you have it).
  • Address and contact information.

Also, whether you are a pro freelancer or you're just starting out doing some projects on the side, we strongly recommend branding your invoices. This can be your company logo or, for those who don't have any, you may want to choose a colour, font or simply your name. It's a great way to appear more professional to your clients and stand out.

2. Your client's details

Make sure you've collected your client's details in advance so you avoid going back and forth looking for missing information. At the very least, you'll need the following:

  • The business or client's name
  • Their tax number (if you have it)
  • Address of the customer you're invoicing and contact details

3. A clear description of what you're charging for

This is very important in order to avoid queries from your clients and position yourself as a professional and transparent freelancer.

The description could be an item or the service you’re selling, the more detail the better. Add the total number of hours or the number of items you’ve agreed on with your client.

4. Invoice number

If you wonder about what the invoice number is all about and how you can generate it for your invoice, don’t panic as it’s very simple. An invoice number or invoice ID is a unique number generated by you that you’ll add to your client’s invoice.

Assigning unique invoice numbers is important and also beneficial for any freelancer for multiple reasons. They will help you keep track of payments, look professional, simplify your tax time, and be much more organised. Furthermore, invoice numbering is often required by law.

Remember that the dates and your invoice number can’t overlap, i.e. your invoice number has to follow a sequence and order.

If your first invoice is ‘ABC0001’, the sequence should follow with ABC0002, ABC0003, ABC0004, ABC0005, etc.

5. Dates

In order to help you keep track of your expenses and your incomes, it’s important that you add the invoice date and the due date. This will ensure your client is aware what the time frame is for them to process the payment.

6. The amount(s) you're charging

Whether you’re charging your customer a fixed price for a project or your project includes multiple services, each with different costs, make sure there is a clear breakdown of costs.

We recommend doing the same if you’re selling one or multiple items, the more specific you can be the better. If you’re selling multiple items at different costs, make sure it’s all well described in your invoice to avoid confusion and be fully transparent. Finally, don’t forget to add the total amount owed by your customer.

7. The TAX amount, if applicable.

Adding a TAX amount to your invoice depends on multiple factors such as the legal status of both parties involved and the nature of the invoice. Therefore, make sure you check your tax obligations before sending out your invoice.
You want your invoices to be accurate and correctly taxed in order to keep up with payment cycles and overall accounting management.
It’s important to separate the taxed amount from the billed amount, and be sure to include the correct applicable tax rate, whatever that might be.

8. Payment details

Add your full name and bank details to make it as easy as possible for your client to pay you. If you prefer being paid via PayPal or other paying method, this is the place for you to write down your preferences.

💡 Remember
Your goal is to create a simple invoice that makes the experience super stress-free for you and your clients. Ultimately, you don’t want to spend too much time taking care of accounting and admin since you want to put all your energy into what you’re truly passionate about.

How to create an invoice online in minutes and save time?

Now that you’ve discovered all you need to know about how to make an invoice, you probably don’t want to make it from scratch and you’d much rather have an invoice template to quickly fill up. Fair enough, we’ve been there too and let’s be honest, who’s got time for invoices anyway?

Using an invoice generator would help you save time and you could easily download and send it to your client right away.

Afloat lets you create invoices online and also track and overview your expenses and incomes. You’ll have access to your own invoice template and you’ll be able to customise it each time you need to create a new invoice.