Any invoice template has one clear purpose: help you save time. Twice. But if you play it smart – and why would you not? – you can gain much more time. The secret lies in choosing the best type of template for your billing documents.
So what invoice template is best for your business? Which format is the preferred way for your customers and yourself? How can you customise your template so it reflects your brand? And how can all of this help you to get paid in time?
A lot of questions. Let’s dive straight into the wonderful world of invoice templates.
What is an invoice template (for)?
Just as any other template, an invoice blueprint reduces your workload. After all, you do not need to create the same document from scratch every time you need it. It is all in the template.
Of course, you want your money now. And therefore you need to send out your bills first. And so you need the template NOW.
But, hear us out.
Choosing a template for your invoices too fast will cost you time and money later on.
Save time twice by using any invoice template
All invoice templates make you win twice:
- First win: You do not have to figure out yourself which information has to be included on your invoice. It is all there in front of you, on the template.
- Second win: Choose a template and set the layout for your invoices once. And then forget about it. From that moment on, you can make a copy of the main document. Adapt it to a new order, or customer. And send your invoice out.
Why would you spend days on composing something that already exists?
The smarter alternative is to use a template that you can personalise and use immediately. You have better things to do to get your business started and keep it running, don’t you?
The question you have to ask yourself is:
Do I want to win 3 hours (with a template)? Or 100 hours (by choosing a template wisely)?
Conclusion: any invoice template helps you save a couple of hours today. Some of them help you save hours every week.
5 silly prejudices about invoice templates
The reason why most templates only result in a couple of hours pure timesaving profit, can be found in 5 mistakes many people make.
Don’t feel bad if you believe in these wrong assumptions too. Most of our customers did . In fact, we even made the mistakes ourselves.
Mistake 1: I need an invoice template for Word, or Excel
Really? Do you?
And if so, why? Is it just because you are familiar with Office Software? Or because you have been creating invoices with Word for the last decade?
Although you create your invoices directly in our tool, you can export it as a PDF document. Or if you want to, you can send it as a web page to your customer too.
It is scary to remember all the effort you had to do to become familiar with a certain software package. And then project this on a new set of tools. Why on earth would you choose new software instead of going the lazy way and use what you already know?
It seems the most logical to pick an invoice template that is compatible with Word and Excel. Or Google Docs and Sheets.
But believe us, this will backfire on you. The reason for this is that none of these tools is the best program to create invoices.
Mistake 2: a template will make my business look cheap
This idea stems from the overload of templates you can easily find online for any kind of digital document. The Internet is stuffed with templates for:
- Legal documents
- And even… logos
To be honest, many of these templates look ugly. Outdated. Unprofessional. Your fear of looking cheap can become a reality.
But templates are meant to be adapted. None of them fits your needs. If you are even too busy to change them, chances are that you will:
- use a clipart logo that is included on most Word/Excel invoice templates
- use fonts that are either too generic (or have a childish look)
- forget to use your proper business contact details
- accidentally forget to adapt dummy data, like the due date, VAT number, or your customer’s details
- unintentionally scramble the layout
Looking unprofessional on your invoices is a mistake you want to prevent under any circumstances.
But does the opposite (a professional invoice) give you better chances to get paid in due time? To find out, let’s move on to the next misunderstanding.
Mistake 3: my business is unique and no invoice template gives me enough creative freedom
Unless you are a unicorn, chances are that your business is not as unique as you might think yourself.
For sure there are seven other construction builders in your direct neighbourhood. Do you want to make a bet that you are not the only freelance photographer who makes wedding pictures?
But yes. Your business is different from your competitors. And yes, you are right to show this proudly on your invoices.
Our point is: do not worry too much about your competitors. The invoices of Google or Apple are far less creative and unique than those of many freelancers or small businesses.
If you choose your invoice template wisely, you will have all the creative freedom you need to express your style and brand.
What if you are a lawyer, or a construction worker, or a translator? How can you show your profession or industry on your invoice?
Thanks for asking. This brings us to the next prejudice.
Mistake 4: I need an invoice template for my job or industry
On many websites, you can filter invoice templates for specific jobs or industries.
Now, let us share a secret with you:
There is no such thing as an invoice template for construction builders.
There are no invoice templates that are fit for all web designers.
There are no…
Most invoice templates give you the false impression that they are all what you need to give a professional impression.
If you take a closer look at them – as we did – the only difference between these invoices are the dummy logo and colour schemes.
Mistake 5: I need to choose from thousands of invoice templates
Seriously, what is wrong with you? Do you look at thousands of shoes too before you buy a pair?
Unless you are a graphic designer who is looking for inspiration, why would you want to spend hours on looking for the “perfect” invoice layout? The idea of a template is to save time. Too many choices lead to the exact opposite.
Even if you find it, you will start doubting it later on. Did I really pick the best possible blueprint for our invoices?
Of course you did. Your customers will never know what options you had in mind for the layout of your invoices.
They will simply do not care if your logo is on the left or the right. But this is only on one condition: the document has to look professional.
You ask for money. The least you can do is to dress up your invoice in a nice way.
To help you save time, we have built 6 invoice templates. Not enough choice you say? Well, read on…
6 invoice templates for any industry
As we mentioned, invoice templates for specific industries are one big lie.
How do we know? Our happy customers differ in size. They are freelancers and SMEs.
And they represent a myriad of industries:
- Creatives: web designers, photographers, movie creators, copywriters, graphic designers…
- Communication: PR, marketing, translators…
- Consultancy: ICT, financial…
- Construction: gardeneers, roof builders, architects, interior designers…
- Retail: PC vendors, fashion…
- Other services: light technicians, stand builder, electricians, plumbers…
Despite the differences in size and industry, all these businesses have two things in common:
They all decided at one point to make their lives easier.
They all started with choosing 1 of our 6 invoice templates.
Which steps did they take? And which options can you choose from too?
Step 1: choose the layout of your invoice
The difference between our 6 invoice templates is subtle. You can mainly choose between 3 parameters:
The position of your:
- Business details
- Customer’s details
This results in 6 different invoice layouts. Below, you can see how this looks like.
This gives you a rough idea of the overall structure. It is not how your invoice will look like in the end.
Easier than picking from thousands of templates, isn’t it? And at the same time, you can skip this process completely:
- Look for and hire a graphic designer and spend money for the design of your invoices
- Wait for the first design, and then wait until your list of changes are applied
- Print out the invoice. Switch your printer to black and white to check if the invoice on paper still looks good without colours
- Go to the store or a webshop and order some more paper and ink
- Set up a meeting with your branding team
- Collect their input and then hopefully agree on the final layout of your ideal invoice
- Put your graphic designer again under pressure
- Proudly present your hard work to the board of directors and wait for… their decline
- Repeat the process from step 1 onwards
Step 2: easily customise your invoice template
When you have chosen the general layout, you can customise your invoice in a next step.
This includes, but is not limited to:
- Pick a modern font
- Choose your branding colours
- Add or remove fields
- Include attachments, or your general conditions
The result of these two steps is not just a template that you can easily reuse. The real power of this template lies in the integration of other built-in tools, integrations and flexibility.
Let’s have a closer look at what we mean with the latter.
One invoice template, infinite flexibility
In CoManage, you only need to create one invoice template. Once. That’s it.
- If you decide to put your logo on the opposite side of your invoice, you only have to change this once.
- When your sales team, or your own accountancy department, creates your invoices, you have to create only one template. For your whole team.
- The fact that you have only one document, helps you keep your branding consistent too. There is absolutely no risk that your employees will struggle with a Word document and accidentally mess up your invoices.
One invoice template for multiple languages
Do you need to create your invoice in another language? There is no need to create a new template either.
Businesses from around the world are relying on our invoicing software to reduce their administrative workload.
At this moment, our happy users are based in:
- The Netherlands
- The US
Are you residing in another country? Or working with customers in several languages? Our invoicing program is ready for 130 languages.
From Abkhazian to Zulu. And all languages in between.
You can easily add translations of common words and phrases (VAT, invoice, total, subtotal…) .
Make your invoices work for you, not the other way around
So far, we have zoomed in on the details of invoice templates.
But what is far more time saving than starting with a template, is the way you actually fill them in with real data.
And send them.
And follow them up.
Our invoicing software is a suite that combines the power of
- quotations (yes, one template saving you tons of time too as you can see in this quotation sample)
- Stock management
- Project management
When you create an invoice with CoManage, many fields are filled in automatically:
- Invoice date
- Invoice number
- Due payment date
- General conditions you have entered once
Other data are just a click away, such as
- The VAT number and other details of your customer
- Prices of services or products you have entered once
Conclusion: which invoice template is the best for your business?
The simple answer: any template.
The real question you have to ask is a bit different. Which invoicing software will help you save tons of time afterwards. Every time you create another invoice?