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How to Write up an Invoice for Freelance Work

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Last editedJune 20223 min read

In order to get paid for your freelance work, you’ll need to learn how to write up an invoice for freelance work. An invoice is an essential tool that requests payment for your services and breaks down the work you’ve completed into an itemised format. It’s also a way to inform your client about how you’d like to be paid.

Invoicing is a task that can be a little difficult to get right, especially if you’re new to freelancing. So, read on, because in this post we’ll find out how to go about writing an invoice - and what to include - so that you’ll get paid accurately and quickly.

How to make a freelance invoice

There are several ways to create work invoices, but here are some of the most common:

  • Create your own custom invoice template using Google Docs, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft Word.

  • Download a free online invoice template and tailor it to your needs.

  • Use a bookkeeping software like Xero, Quickbooks or Freshbooks to automate the process.

When you’re sending your invoice to a client, make sure you send it as an attachment to an email, rather than including it in the body of the mail. Then, your customers can download it as a PDF or upload it to their accounting system.

What should an invoice include?

Your invoice needs to include all the relevant information required to get you paid promptly and accurately. Here are some things to make sure to include:

  • Your name and logo: Include your company name and logo at the top of the invoice, so your client knows exactly who they’re paying.

  • Contact details: Include your phone number, email, and address, so that your customer can get in touch with you quickly if they have any issues.

  • Your customer’s details: Make sure your invoice gets to the right person by including all their relevant details. This is especially important if you’re working for a large company. Otherwise, you risk your invoices ending up lost in the system.

  • Date and invoice number: Having an invoice number is essential so that both you and your customer can stay organised. Use a unique number for each invoice. Consider organising invoices by year, for example 202205 will be the fifth invoice for the year 2022. Or use project names or client numbers. Whatever system you decide to use, stick to it rigorously.

  • Description of services: You’ll need to include a description of the work you have completed, and the amount due to you for each service. Go into detail and tell your customer exactly what you have delivered, along with your freelance rates. Once you’ve listed your work, add everything up and include a total amount due. Your invoice should include the total amount before taxes, and any VAT or discounts, too.

  • Deadline and payment methods: Include a payment deadline and make your payment preferences clear – including as many methods as possible, from bank transfer to PayPal. Make your payment methods easy. A payment processing software like GoCardless can help make collecting payments from customers easy via direct debit. This is especially convenient if you’re providing your work in stages, since payment can be automatically debited from the customer’s account on pre-determined due dates. Customers only have to enter their details once and there’s no set up fee.  You are alerted when payment is on its way, as well as when there’s a problem with a payment, keeping you on top of your finances. GoCardless can integrate with 300+ partners, including invoicing software like Xero and Chargebee, which enables you to incorporate payment visibility into your existing workflow.

Finally, when you’re considering “what should an invoice include?”, adding a personal note to say “thank you” can go towards helping you build stronger, more trustworthy relationships with your customers.

The importance of invoicing for freelance work

It’s important to invoice for freelance work whenever you complete a job for a client, otherwise, the client is unlikely to make payment. You can’t simply expect to get paid - invoicing is an important step in the process, so consider it part of your job. Be sure to send out the invoice as soon as the work is complete, since it will take a little time for your client’s accounting team to process it. The longer you take to send the invoice, the longer you’ll have to wait to receive payment.

Learning how to invoice someone as a freelancer is an essential skill and receiving incorrect or late payments can have a significant effect on your freelance business’s cash flow. Once you know how to make a freelance invoice you will be able to mitigate both these situations.

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GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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