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1.2 Build an Invoice in Microsoft Word

Let’s grab a professional template from Envato Elements, and then customize it in Microsoft Word for a client. Learn the key details that every invoice should include so that payment is never delayed.

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1.2 Build an Invoice in Microsoft Word

[MUSIC] Before we get started in Microsoft Word, we're going to grab an invoice template from Envato Elements. As I mentioned in the opener, Elements is an all-you-can-download service that's perfect for creatives. One of the things that it includes is great looking invoice templates. You can browse that selection by going up to the Browse button and choosing Graphic Templates. Now let's go ahead and type in invoice in the search box. You can see there's a ton of invoice templates that we can choose from. Each one of these is a great choice as the document to issue your clients to let them know payment is expected. Keep in mind that you have access to all of these as part of a single subscription to Elements, along with everything else that's on the Envato Elements website. Any of these are a great choice and have everything on them that you need for creating invoices. Here's the template I've selected to use in this tutorial. It's got templates for both Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop that we can use and customize. I'm going to go ahead and download it. When we download files from Elements, you can see here that it asks us to log the license use for this invoice. This is a great and easy way to keep track of how you've licensed files. I'm going to just input the use for the invoice template and then I'll go ahead and download it. After you download it, you can go ahead and open up the template to start customizing it. Okay, so in this first video, we're going to use Microsoft Word to customize an invoice. Word is still the most popular way to work with documents and it's easy to customize the invoice right inside of it. Even though Word is a productivity app, we can still bring some style to an invoice thanks to this premade template. Let's go ahead and open up the Microsoft Word version of the invoice to get started. For the first step, let's start off by substituting our own color palette into this. I'm going to right-click and choose Format Shape on this box here at the top. Let's open up the Fill options and then choose a new color from the dropdown. Even though we're using an invoice template to start, that doesn't mean we can't customize it to fit our own business. Think of these invoice templates as just a starting point. Next up, let's go ahead and update that color for several other items here on the invoices you're seeing me do here. I'm just going to select them one by one and update them with the same fill color. Even though Word isn't exactly for graphic design, there's plenty of options to customize the look and feel of an invoice. I've now kind of re-themed the invoice so that it matches the color scheme of my business. You could just repeat that process for each and every box that's on it so that it's all matching. Okay, next up, we need to add in our own logo instead of the built-in one. I'm just going to click on the pre-built logo, and then I'll just press Delete on my keyboard. Now it's easy to drop in another logo. I'll go to the Insert tab on the ribbon, and then let's choose an image that's stored on my computer. What works well here is to use a transparent PNG logo. I'll just add that in, then reposition it and drag to resize it to fit on this box. Now we've got our own logo here. Next, let's go ahead an update our URL here on the right side. If it's larger than the box after we type it, you may need to do some slight tweaking with the size of the text or even adjust the size of the box by grabbing the edges and dragging it to size. This just depends on how large the URL is going to be, but it's up to you to customize it. Okay, now let's go ahead and adjust the name and the address on the invoice. I told you in the intro that one of the focuses of this course would be on getting the details right that help us make sure we get paid on time. This is certainly one of them. Simply put, I'm going to type over these placeholders and make sure I get the details right for my client. You want to include your contact's name that is expecting the invoice, as well as their contact details. This is one of the reasons that I like using a template like this one. It has placeholders that really serve as a reminder of everything that you need to include on an invoice. You won't forget to add specific details because the placeholders are already there. I've gone ahead and updated all of these details to make sure the client's details are perfect. Getting these right helps ensure payment. Now, next up, here's another crucial detail. Let's make sure that we get an invoice number on here. That's really helpful for your own internal record keeping. If you're regularly issuing invoices to a client, it's helpful to have a specific invoice number that you can reference if you speak to the client about it. Next up, let's go ahead and update the invoice date. I actually usually change this to say Due Date. This is a really critical field so that there is no confusion about when the invoice is actually due for payment by the client. Next, I change the issue date to the day that I send the invoice. And finally, I'll just remove the account number. You could use this as another field that identifies it to your accounting team if it's helpful, for example. Next up, we'll go ahead and scroll down to the main section of the invoice, which is the section where you log the items that you're billing the client for. Now, how you're going to approach this is a matter of how your own business works. You could just use one line for each part of the project you're billing for, for example. You can see that there's also boxes for unit price and quantity, which I think is really helpful if you're billing by the hour or selling individual products that have a unit price. In any case, what you need to do here is type over the placeholders with description of your own work, as I've been doing here. How you handle that is up to the structure of your business and your client. Whatever lines you don't use, simply delete them and don't include them on the final invoice. You don't have to use all of the placeholder elements that come with the invoice. My main advice for this section is to make sure that you're descriptive about what you're billing for. One way that invoices get held up is that they arrive at the client and the items are unfamiliar, or don't instantly register in the client's memory. Next, make sure to update the subtotals and all of the financial totals that may be relevant to your jurisdiction. That could include taxes or discounts if they are relevant. Make sure to grab a calculator and tally this up so that the amounts all match perfectly. Here's another opportunity to remind you that making sure you've managed the estimates and expectations of the client in the beginning of the project is helpful so that the invoice isn't held up as amounts are discussed. Last up, let's go ahead and customize the payment information, including the email address that you could accept payments through for PayPal, for example. You might send this document through a payment service, like PayPal, as an attachment, but issuing a separate copy via email or mail for record keeping is a good idea. Finally, I'll update it with my own name or business name and remove the signature here to round out the invoice. Now, at this point you're ready to deliver the invoice to a client. You still need to use a payment processor like QuickBooks or PayPal to process the payment, so you'll want to send this through that service. But instead of giving them a standard invoice, include this for a touch of professionalism and creativity. Last up, I recommend exporting this invoice template out as a PDF, it makes it easy to attach. To do that, come up to the File > Save As menu. I'm just going to pick the PDF format and then save it. Sending a PDF to a client ensures that it's not easily changed or edited after the fact, and it's a format that they'll expect. That's it for the Word version. If you'd also like to see how to you could customize this in Adobe Photoshop, check out the next part of this course. You'll learn how to create a similar look in an entirely different app

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