What is an invoice and how does invoicing work?
An invoice is a dated document recording a transaction between a seller and a buyer. Types of invoices may include a paper receipt, a bill of sale, debit note, sales invoice, or online electronic record.
In the event where goods or services are purchased on credit, the invoice should specify the terms of the deal and provide information on the available method of payment.
You are required by law to give your customer an invoice (or bill) if both you and the customer are VAT registered (i.e. for a business to business transaction) and you sell a customer a product or a service.
Invoicing is essential for small businesses. They are the business documents that enable companies to be paid for their services. A popular way to get started with invoices are to use invoice templates.
What is an invoice used for?
Invoices serve an important purpose for both the business sending it and the client receiving it. For small businesses, an invoice helps expedite the payment process by giving clients a notification of the payment that is due. For clients, invoices provide an organized record of an expense with itemized details, and can help with record keeping. Invoices are essentially used as a source document for business accounting and are extremely helpful for recording all the sales transactions a business makes with its clients.
Summary of what invoices are used for:
- To request payments within a set timeframe from your customers/clients
- To effectively track inventory
- To record business revenue for tax returns and to stay on top of your sales
- To help forecast future sales by using the data
How do you invoice clients?
Create a professional invoice using an online invoice template, setting reasonable payment terms to reflect your current cash flow position and when you require to be paid. One of the simplest ways to invoice your client is to attach the invoice to an email, especially if this has been the general method of communication between parties.
It can help to agree payment terms with the client before the work is carried out so this is confirmed in advance. If you don’t receive payment from a client by the invoice due date, you’ll have to reach out directly to the client about the overdue payment and politely remind them to make sure the payment is processed. If you continue to experience problems with getting your invoices paid on time, then our invoice finance service might be the best solution for your business.
What to include on an invoice:
Make sure your invoice includes all the details your clients will need to pay you, including your business name, the invoice due date and the total amount due. You should send your client an invoice as soon as you’ve completed work on a project, this way the details of the work will be front of mind and this is a good way to make sure you receive payment as quickly as possible.
An invoice must state it is an invoice on the face of the bill. It typically has a unique identifier called the invoice number that is useful for internal and external reference. An invoice should also include contact information for the seller in case there is an problem relating to the payment.
Payment terms should be confirmed on the invoice, as well as the information relating to any discounts, early payment details or finance charges assessed for late payments. It should also show the unit cost of an item, total units purchased, handling, shipping, and associated tax charges, as well as clearly stating the total amount due.
Summary of what to include on an invoice:
- Your client's contact information
- Your business contact information
- An invoice number or unique reference
- Payment terms
- List of services
- The total amount due
Have you thought about Invoice Finance as a cash flow solution for your business?
Invoice finance allows you to release cash quickly from your unpaid invoices.
As your lender, we can release up to 90% of your invoices within 24 hours. On payment of the invoice from your customers, we will then release the final amount minus any fees and charges. There are different types of invoice financing options available to businesses depending on the situation and the level of control they require in collecting unpaid invoices.
We are an invoice financing company who offer a solution whereby payments are collected on your behalf managed by our team of expert credit controllers so you can focus on running your business. Our Confidential Invoice Discounting solution is offered to businesses who want to maintain their own credit control processes, therefore this remains strictly confidential so your customers are unaware of our involvement.
The benefits of invoice finance companies such as Novuna Business cash flow
Want to understand more Cash Flow Finance terms?
Our Cash Flow Resource Hub has been set up to help SME's with cash flow finance advice, tips and resources to help with their cash flow position.
We explore ways you can begin improving your cash flow situation and start getting your business on track to positive cash flow.
Competent staff, slick technology. Would recommend
Halo is one of the smartest bits of tech I have seen & every team is only as good a it's people and I would like to take this time to actually specifically point out Alex Hall & Claire Davies. Alex is an account manager that has continually improved during our time working together and is a real credit to Novuna. Claire has been exceptional from start to finish; meticulous in her work and very patient with us at every temp - an absolute star. It is a shame that the email address went to a generic platform and not each individual. I totally understand why this works better for companies but it did mean that the personal element was lost meaning that starts like Claire will be harder to identify from a customer point of view.
High recommedation for Novuna Business Cashflow.
My company was in need of invoice factoring to assist with the cashflow due to the nature of debtor days with our clients. After looking at a number of options, the right decision was made to work in partnership with Novuna Business Cashflow. Right from setup through sales to customer service, the communication and support has been outstanding. Providing me with all the information I needed regarding new clients coming onto our books. The system they use is so user friendly and the drawdown payments are very efficient in the fast moving world of temporary payroll. This has allowed my company to look at positive growth knowing we are safe financial hands. I would highly recommend Novuna Business Cashflow 10/10.
Set up went well and communication was good.
Syed and Vipul were extremely helpful top class service
Very helpful from the start
Great people made this process very straightforward.
Jemma from Novuna (formally Hitachi) was brilliant. Worked with us throughout the process and succeeded when some others had failed. Carried out the necessary checks with a smile and cheery demeanour, making what would have been a laborious process quite manageable.
Teething problems -Maybe ?
It's still early days so I may alter this review at a later date. However with retentions and concentration limits and other items, were finding were not getting 85% up front, were probably getting nearer 70% Also when a customer pays the remaining allegedly 15% due to us seems not to be credited to become available. For instance a customer paid Â£6918 and a customer paid Â£1300 hence we should see an extra Â£1330 available (15% of both these payments). However availability seemed to go down and not up by Â£1330 !!! Hard to work out where this 15% has actually gone ? I'll re-submit this review when things become clearer.
I found Hitachi true to their world in every aspect of the service they promised. I can't recommend enough.
Excellent Customer care and service.
Excellent customer service from start of initial conversations, right through to finally becoming a customer. The whole team involved are a credit to Hitachi, they were accommodating and informative the whole way along the process. I would highly recommend Hitachi to future clients and business associates. Thanks Alan.
I really enjoyed working with the Hitachi team, professional, helpful and really good people to deal with. They have made what could have been a very difficult experience a pleasure. Very happy to recommend them.
Hitachi made the process of moving factoring facilities painless, bearing in mind we previously had our facility with the same provider since 1997. I cant fault Hitachi's staff and processes and we are delighted with the move.
Staff excellent all together professional
Great service so far
From start to finish the process for transferring our invoice finance to Hitachi has been been brilliant, a smooth transition, great communication our link Person Jonathan Oakes has helped the process go through seamlessly, A great experience so far and a brilliant start to what we hope will be a long term partnership.