Welcome to our guide.
Spark Invoice Maker is the best tool to create and send invoices. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about invoicing and how you can create one using Spark Invoice.
Table of Contents
What Is An Invoice?
An invoice is a document that states the products or services rendered to a customer or client. The invoice provides details of the goods or services provided, along with their price, discount, and tax.
Freelancers and small businesses use invoices to get paid. Sometimes, an invoice is unnecessary when the customer or client pays the full amount upon receiving the goods or services.
Invoicing is critical for accounting and taxing purposes and is ideal for any type of business.
Why Do You Need An Invoice?
Sending your client an invoice is the formal way of requesting payment. It’s essential for keeping track of the payments, especially when you accommodate several customers or clients. With invoices, you can monitor overdue payments, making it easier for you to charge your clients a late fee and avoid disputes.
Since the rise of technology, businesses have upped their game and switched to digital solutions. And for many years, thousands of companies have relied heavily on electronic invoicing, saving them money that was spent on paper and accounting workforce.
Here’s a list of the benefits of invoicing digitally.
- Faster processing of payment
- A clear and accurate breakdown of goods or services rendered by the supplier or freelancer.
- Better cash-flow management
- Reduced risk of late payment
For suppliers, freelancers, or business owners:
- Faster payment
- Monitor inventory using invoices
- Makes bookkeeping easier and more accurate
- Serves as the transaction proof
- Late payments are easier to track
Spark Invoice Maker is designed to make invoicing easy-peasy for busy freelancers and small business owners. It is light on the phone but heavy on essential features that help workers spend less time invoicing and more time on other critical tasks.
How to create an Invoice using Spark Invoice Maker
Creating an invoice with Spark Invoice Maker is far from being difficult. Download the app from Google PlayStore or the App Store. When you first open the app, it will prompt you to give your business information, such as:
- Business name
- Phone number
- Business logo
- Tax type (item price inclusive or exclusive)
- Date format
- Estimate title
Take note, you can change them later from the Settings.
Once complete, select the plus + icon in the Invoices bar. Fill out the fields, and then you may choose to send the invoice directly to your client (via email or other supported messaging platforms) or download it to send later. The key is to prepare all the necessary information ahead of time to make the process much faster.
You will need the following:
By default, the invoice number starts with number 001, with the prefix Invoice. You can change the prefix from Settings. Without invoice numbers, it can be challenging to manage your invoices, especially when handling several clients. We’re talking about confusion that may cause disputes or even late payment.
The invoice date is critically important when filing an invoice. It states when the invoice was created and helps you monitor whether the client has paid on time or not. From there, you can send friendly reminders, notice, or charge late fees.
Your contact information in your invoice lets your customers or clients quickly contact you if they have questions regarding the invoice. Sparks Invoice Maker will display your contact information in the first heading so your clients can easily see it. It includes your phone number, email address, and mailing address.
You will also need to provide your client’s contact information. So, before making invoices, it’s best to ask your client’s contact information, more so if they are repeat customers.
Products or services information
The product list is one of the most critical parts of an invoice. This is where you need to breakdown the products or services you rendered. Input the product name (it’s best to write down the specific product name, brand, or model), along with the price. By default, all prices are tax-inclusive. If this isn’t the case, go to Settings > Tax Rate > then choose the options on How tax applies in your business.
If you are a service-based business you may write the project name or the milestones you have completed in the project. You may charge your client based on the entire project or per milestone achieved.
On the other hand, if you are a freelancer who charges hourly, you may input the project name and charge your client per hour (we find it best to write the number of hours you’ve spent in the Unit column and your hourly rate in the Unit Price column.
Discounts can make your clients happy. It can even drive them to become your loyal customers. If you wish to give your clients a discount, you may indicate the amount in the Discount column. By default, the discount rate is fixed. You may change it into a percentage from the Settings.
The additional notes field is handy when you want to add an important message within the invoice. You may write the progress you’ve made, a simple thank you message, payment terms, or other essential information that your client needs to know.
We understand that time is money for busy professionals like you. Wasting precious time can mean losing money. That’s why we built Spark Invoice Maker to help you generate and send invoices within minutes, saving you time and money.
Once you have completed filling out the invoice form, you have two options when sending it to your client:
Send your invoice directly from Spark Invoice
Spark Invoice automatically generates a PDF invoice after you complete the form. A Send button will appear at the bottom of the generated invoice. By hitting Send, you have the option to send it through email or other messaging apps. Spark Invoice supports many of the popular messaging platforms, which means you can send it to your client regardless of what app they are using.
Save it in the clouds
Alternatively, you may save the PDF version of your invoice to your preferred cloud storage provider. By hitting send, Spark Invoice will automatically display the cloud storage providers you have on your phone. If you choose this option, you may put it in a designated folder. From there, you may share the link of the invoice to your client or save it on your device for later.
You’ve done the hard work, now let us get you paid. We believe that getting paid shouldn’t be as back-breaking as the actual work you’ve been doing. There are a myriad of ways to get paid—wire transfer, check, or through online wallet tools such as PayPal.
Before making an invoice, decide which payment method you will accept. Or better yet, talk about this with your client to avoid disputes later on. It’s always best to have several payment options, so you can receive your money without delays. Ask your client about the most convenient payment method for them and what is not.
Don’t forget about the fees. Bank transfers and wallet channels usually pose service fees. If so, we suggest increasing your rate to cover the fees. Alternatively, you may want to speak with your client and discuss who should pay for fees.
But how do you deal with late payments?
We understand how frustrating it is to chase payments, but you don’t necessarily have to go berserk when a client fails to pay on time. Send a friendly reminder regarding the invoice—this is when the invoice number comes in handy.
Write an email reminding them about the invoice. More often than not, your client’s inbox may have been swamped with emails, so we suggest sending an email using the same thread to keep your messages in one place. You might want to attach the invoice once again to make it easier for them to check it and send payment.
If late fees apply, make sure to mention it in your email clearly.
Here’s a sample follow-up email:
How do I generate and send invoices without spending much?
Creating an invoice with Spark Invoice Maker isn’t so difficult, is it? It’s simple and convenient, perfect for busy bees like you. By using Spark Invoice, you’re saving a lot of time from making invoices. Simply fill out the necessary fields and let Spark do the design and math for you.
Number your invoices.
We can’t emphasize enough how big the role is of invoice numbers. They are critical for monitoring and avoiding confusion. Each invoice must be unique, and it’s the invoice number that makes them so. When making a follow-up, use the invoice number as the reference, so it’s easier for your client to check it (and prevent them from looking into old invoices).
Spark Invoice Maker helps you to organize your invoices. Our app automatically detects duplicate invoice numbers, which means you don’t have to worry about generating invoices with the same invoice number.
To make your invoice number unique, you can change the invoice number prefix. By default, it is set to Invoice. You can use your brand or your client’s as the prefix to make them easily identifiable.
Provide all the important information your client needs.
Before sending your invoice, make sure it states your contact information so your client can quickly contact you if they have any concerns about the invoice. Aside from that, ensure you have all the products or services rendered in detail. You may add additional notes or descriptions to make them even clearer for the client.
If you are a service provider, you can describe the project you have done or the progress you have made. You may add images to your invoice to show your client the goods or services.
Send your invoices on time.
Don’t wait for a month before sending your client an invoice for the products or services you rendered. On the other hand, it may not be wise to send your invoice just seconds after completing a task or sending a product to avoid giving the client the impression of being hasty when it comes to payment.
You may stick to a routine. For example, you may send your invoice every two weeks or once or twice a month. Let your client know about this arrangement so that they can line their cash flow accordingly.
Use payment terms to get paid on time
We know how stressful it is to chase payments. That’s why we highly recommend freelancers and small business owners to create payment terms to get paid in a timely manner.
Some businesses require a 50% upfront payment, and others offer a generous discount to customers who pay within a specific period (i.e., within five days of the invoice date). Adding late fees for those unable to pay after 30 days within the invoice day is another option.
Before making such terms, research on different payment options that are effective in your business, and give them a spin to see which one works best.
Further, we suggest putting the terms in writing or contract to avoid conflicts later on.
Send your invoices to the right person
There’s nothing more frustrating than waiting for months for the payment only to find out you’ve sent it to the wrong person. Before hitting the send button, make sure you’ve got your client’s contact information right.