Nowadays at Atlas Translations, we have a bespoke invoicing system for all suppliers to submit invoices with. This reduces potential issues and ensures you receive payment more swiftly. However there was a time when the supplier invoices we received came in all different shapes and sizes, and many companies still require you to submit an invoice by email. Here are some tips for creating your own invoices.
The number one invoicing tip is to have a system and keep this up to date. Use whatever system that works for you, but be organised. Keep a record of the jobs you have done with each company and any POs you’ve been sent, and make sure these are invoiced every month. We often receive invoices for work done two or three years ago. Of course, we keep good records and are able to quickly to locate any older jobs that suppliers still need to be paid for (and I’m sure most agencies are), but if you’re leaving it this late to invoice you client you’re giving them an excuse to avoid payment, so don’t let this happen!
Creating your Invoice
When creating your invoice, make sure everything is laid out clearly in a way that makes sense. Include dates, purchase order numbers, and reference details to the job. Also, if you have a company name, include your personal name too. Your client may know you by one and be less familiar with the other. Be sure to state your preferred method of payment and include details of your bank, PayPal or other account. Include any payment terms that you have set, but check the POs you’ve been sent to see if they comply with these. Lastly, put your contact information (email, telephone number(s) and address) in a place of prominence so if there are any queries, the client can get in touch with you quickly.
Once the invoice is sent, have a credit control system in place and dedicate some time in your working week. Set your own policy for working with late paying clients. Protect yourself against those who are less reliable with payments. But again, it is important to be organised and let nothing slip through the net!