What information, as a virtual assistant, should I include on my customer invoice?

Getting paid on time is important to you. I know, because it’s important to me too. In fact, if you don’t get paid on time, it means you have to chase your clients, which takes up more time, but most important of all it impacts your cash flow.

If you can’t predict your income, then this has a big impact on you, your business and your family life.

I know how exactly how you feel and you’re not alone. There’s so many people who won’t get paid on time again this month.

Over the course of the last 3 years I have worked with several VA’s just like you. I’ve seen people nail their invoices, but I’m afraid to say that most get it wrong.

So let’s look at how you can make sure you get the right information onto your invoices, so you can get paid on time, and not waste your time doing things you don’t have to.

My advice is if you want customers to pay you on time, next time you raise an invoice, make sure you include the right information and don’t wait until the end of the month to raise it.

What must you include on your invoices?

The top 5 things other virtual assistants and businesses get wrong are:

  1. The address of the company you are invoicing

  2. A unique identifying number

  3. The date you provided the service

  4. The date of the invoice

  5. A clear description

If you’re a limited company, sole trader or freelancer there are certain details which, by UK law, you must include on your invoice UK.GOV have a checklist of the detail you must include.

This is helpful but only covers the “must haves”. If you really want to make sure you get paid on time, I know there are 14 more pieces of information you could put on your invoice.

How to make sure your invoice gets paid on time

Process makes getting paid easy

Getting the right process in place makes getting paid easy

Great. You’ve raised an invoice, it has all the right information and it’s ready to go but wait. There’s some other details you can include, which although not legally required, are key to getting your invoice paid quicker if you include them.

It really is easy and if you want to know how, I’ve done a checklist of things every invoice needs to help you get paid on time.

The top 5 things to check on your next invoice

  • Have you confirmed your customer’s identity?
  • What terms have you agreed?
  • Are you sending your invoice to the right address?
  • Does it have an invoice number?
  • Who is the customer contact?

Don’t panic, I’m not going to leave you to figure out what the 14 things are!

I’ve put them all together in a handy check list you can download here.

Rachael Chiverton’s Getting Paid Case Book

I’ve been working with Avina, a Virtual Assistant who asked me to look at her invoicing template because some of her clients are late payers. She wondered if she was doing anything wrong.

As you’d expect from a VA, she had everything right but I noticed two things: payment terms and invoice timing

Avina hadn’t included payment terms, due date or a copy of the client’s timesheet. I always say give more detail than the customer needs about the work you’ve done.

If you do this, the fewer questions arise and the more likely you are to get paid on time.

Avina always raises invoices at end of the month. but the longer you delay in sending out the invoice, the longer a customer feels they can take to pay.

Further reading

How do I stop invoicing queries: Clarity on invoice details

When to raise your invoice – 1 common mistake small business make and how to avoid it.

How do you log your time?

Next week, I’ll be reviewing the top apps for recording time.

What do you do to get paid on time?

Now it’s your chance, comment below with anything else you do to get paid on time.

About Rachael The Contracts Lady & Cashflow Queen

Rachael is founder of Rachael Chiverton Ltd and her clients know her as the “Contracts Lady” and “Cash Flow Queen”. Rachael has a wealth of experience in credit control and invoice management and improving cashflow.

Rachael works with a variety of businesses showing them how to achieve consistent cash flow by focusing on each aspect of the customer journey, from first contact to getting paid.

Rachael specialises in writing bespoke contracts and business terms and is author of eBook Invoicing Best Practice.

Need help? Contact Rachael

https://rachaelchiverton.co.uk/contact/

 

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