How do I stop invoicing queries: Clarity on invoice details

Invoicing details are key and crucial for getting you paid on time. The clearer you can make your invoice, the easier it will be for you to get paid and prevent invoicing queries, so today we’re going to look at what you should have on your invoice.

 

Background:What your invoice should have on it

 

You should have your

  • invoice number,
  • your invoice date.
  • You should have your terms,
  • your due date,
  • and a payment date.
  • You should have your registered address and
  • your trading details,
  • you should have your customer details.
  • Where you’re VAT registered, you should have your VAT registration number,
  • you should have the product and services you supplied.
  • You should have your net charge,
  • your VAT charge,
  • your total charge,
  • any discounts should be listed on there, any variation in VAT rate should be listed on there.
  • If you’re VAT registered, your invoice number should be unique and sequential.

If you want more clarity on what is needed, please download my free ebook.  Also this previous blog post, 6 Tips to help you raise your invoices correctly.

Clear descriptions stop invoicing queries

Clear descriptions stop invoicing queries

Better descriptions can stop invoicing queries

Any descriptions must mean something to the customer, and this is one that I’m really passionate about because so many people in business can get this wrong:

 

Just because you know an X53LK is a pen, doesn’t mean your customer does. Please don’t say “supply 100 X3L5Ks”.

 

“Supply 100 pens, branded with your logo that are orange and silver with black ink.”

 

 

The more specific you can be on the invoice, the easier it is for the customer to relate to your invoice.

 

References

Also, if they give you a reference, put that reference on.

 

If they don’t give you a reference, put the name of the person you were dealing with so if it’s someone else paying the invoice, they know who to go to, to ask for clarification on any issues, or put the date of your email conversation.  Use this space to give them a starting point to refer back to.

 

If you’re not sure about what to do, put the method how you got the order, the date of the email, the date you had the meeting, something to remind the customer when this invoice relates to.

 

Consequences of late payment

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Also tell them what will happen if they don’t pay on time, will you suspend their service? Will you reclaim the goods?

 

If you’re in business to business then always make sure you quote on there the Late Payment of Commercial Debt (Interest) Act 1998, as amended.

 

Just because you put it on there it doesn’t mean you’re going to charge them, doesn’t mean you’re going to use it, but it just shows them that you’re aware of it and that by being aware of it, you understand the implications of what power it gives you.

 

What is the Late Payment of Commercial Debt Interest Act?

It allows you to charge and admin fee, that’s to help cover your time in chasing that debt, it also let’s you charge 8% interest above Bank of England base rate annually, but calculated daily.

For more information on the Late Payment of Commercial Debt (Interst) Act 1998 as amended, please see the government webpage here.

It really is very, very useful. Make sure your invoices explain to your customer absolutely everything you already know, and that your contact knows.

 

Remember, it’s not always your contact that pays the invoice.

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