When should I send my invoice?
Over the years I’ve been assisting business owners with their bookkeeping and accounts, one of the most common questions I’ve been asked is “when should I send my invoice?”.
The people asking me usually to mean - should I send my invoice as soon as I’m contracted to do the work, once I’ve finished, or at some other point. The reality is, the answer often depends on what has been agreed between you and the client, but I’ve put together a best practice checklist of what you should do before you invoice, and what you should include on the invoice to ensure it gets paid quickly.
Firstly, if you invited to supply a quotation or estimate, you should always do the following:
Invitation to quote following discussions
1. Check their Company status – Sole Trader, Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership or Limited Company
2. Confirm their company name – e.g.: Blogs Limited or Blogs Limited Trading as Red kite Bathrooms
3. Ask for their Registered office address and company registered number if a Limited company or Limited Liability company. Company registered office number and if England or Wales
4. Do they have a separate trading and or invoice address?
5. What is the contact name, email and phone number of the person(s) wanting the quotation?
6. Understand your client’s invoice to payment process – who is responsible for authorising and making payment
7. Agree pricing and terms and conditions of trading. Short payment terms get you paid quicker
Any quotation itself should include the following:
1. Ensure addressed to the correct company name and address and have an expiring date if appropriate
2. Credit check the company you are proposing to do business with
3. Follow up with the person receiving the quotation to ensure you have managed and understood their expectations of the pre quotation discussions
4. Use quotation and invoicing sooner rather than later
1. When the job is completed
2. Ensure you have the correct company name and address
3. If you are a Limited company or Limited Liability company show your registered number and address on your invoice
4. Show your VAT registration number if registered on your invoice
5. List a due date
6. Include payment types accepted and your bank details
7. Consider late payment fees to encourage your clients to pay on time
8. Send invoices electronically
9. Follow up with the person receiving the invoice to ensure they are happy with the invoice and the goods or service you have supplied. This gives you a chance to clarify when the invoice will be paid