Creating An Invoice
Getting the design of your invoices right is extremely important. It can affect: customer satisfaction, the perception of your brand, and even how quickly you receive payment.
You want the design of your invoices to be clean and easy to read, whilst reflecting your brand. Going overboard with imagery, bright colours and branding might work if you operate a circus but for most businesses steering clear of extravagant designs and focusing on a clean and simple invoice will increase the perception of your organisation’s professionalism.
Every business is going to have a different interpretation of how the perfect invoice should look, but the following 5 tips are fairly universal and will apply to most industries.
1. Keep the colours simple and consistent with your brand
When it comes to invoices, simplicity is key. Your customer wants to know the important details; how much do they owe, when by, and how do they pay, that’s all.
By using too much colour, and especially colours that do not represent your brand you risk overwhelming them. Aim to use black for all text and use no more than two or three colours to soften its overall appearance.
2. Space everything out
Don’t clutter your invoice with unnecessary detail and ensure the different sections of the invoice are clearly separated. This will make the invoice easier to read and help your customers find the information they’re looking for quickly. A cluttered invoice that is difficult to read is only going to frustrate your customer when they may already be somewhat disgruntled (no one likes receiving bills). Additionally, if your invoice features multiple items you might consider spreading it over two pages.
3. Include branding but don’t over-do it
Even if you absolutely love everything about a company, no-one loves paying bills. Don’t get me wrong, your customers want to know who an invoice is from; they want to know that immediately, but beyond that an excessively branded invoice isn’t going to do your brand any good.
People generally experience negative emotions when opening an invoice, and you certainly don’t want your brand associated with these feelings. Ensure your logo is on the invoice and that the colour scheme matches your brand, but more than this is probably unnecessary.
4. Alignment is critical
When is comes to the clarity of an invoice, alignment is everything. It affects not only the invoices readability but also the order in which your customer will read each section. Ensure the sections you want the customer to read first are aligned from top left to bottom right, and that you use a consistent alignment throughout the entire invoice.
5. Consider the old fashioned way
If you send out your invoices the old fashioned way, via regular mail, consider where the window will be on the envelope. In the top left of the invoice above the name and address of the recipient has been aligned so as to fit in a windowed envelope. This is a far more professional (and efficient) way of addressing invoices than using stickers or printing the recipient’s name on the front of an envelope.
By following these 5 tips, you will have a clean and crisp invoice that your customers will love (well, the design anyway). For more information on how you can design your invoices with Reckon, check out our online invoicing software here.
* In addition to the above tips the ATO has several requirments for invoices in Australian. Remember to check with your professional adviser to make sure that your invoice content is ATO compliant.