The invoice for your sales transaction is probably the most important piece of documentation you will create and share with your customer. It is imperative that extra care has to be taken in creating its format and filling the information within it. The idea of an invoice is mutually beneficial to you and your customer in so many ways – from financial and tax to legal. It not only works as the proof of sale, but also as a legal resort in case of a discrepancy. Thus, a well made invoice is a must for any seller to protect themselves and their customers. Of course, the importance of this document should not hinder you from making a statement to your customers. For example, Flipkart, as a part of their Go-Green initiative, refrains from posting hard copies of invoices with their products. Instead, a soft copy is mailed to you within 24 hours of delivery completion. Here are a few other ways to zing up your invoices using the power of good design. This post though, is less to do with impressing your customers and more to do with the nitty gritties of what an invoice must include (Though we are sure a clean invoice with all the details mentioned below won’t fail to impress.) So, here are 9 things that your invoice absolutely must have.

The Most Important Things

1. Your Business Name and Address

Written in complete detail, so that the customer can access you.

2. The Name and Address of the Customer

Again, rely on details provided by the customer. To avoid copy-pasting errors, use an inventory management system.

3. A Unique Invoice Reference Number

Very Important for reference of transaction and tax purposes.

4. The List of Products/Services and Their Corresponding Costs

No discrepancy here, clearly list out the products and their individual costs on separate lines.

5. Total Amount of the Invoice

Make sure to use bold fonts for the final amount.

6. The Terms of Payment

Cash/Card/Cheque, etc. Please mention if the customer has already paid.

7. Date of Ordering and Date of Invoicing

A date of invoice will be the date on which the invoice is created, or in accounting parlance, ‘raised’.

8. Taxes, if any

Mention the percentages clearly. For VAT, mention your VAT Registration Number.

9. Customer Purchase Order Number

Crucial for tracking back orders, especially for large organizations.

Very Important Things That are Not Compulsory

1. Your Phone/Fax Number

2. Your Email Address

3. Payment Details, Including Bank Details

4. Total Number of Items

5. Your Company Logo

Optional Things to Put in Your Invoice

1. A Thank You Note

2. A Referral Request

3. An Offer on the Next Purchase

4. A Picture of a Hi-Fiving Cat (Because Who Can Get Enough of Those?)

A great way to get help with your invoice creation is to go for a comprehensive inventory management system like Browntape, which helps create customized invoices automatically for you. To know more about the process of making invoices and the details that go along with it, get in touch with Browntape. We are market leaders in the Indian online sales market and multi channel inventory management service providers. It will be our pleasure to help.


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