I am a professional computer analyst for a large accountancy firm. In my spare time, I write about video games and various other topics.
If you run a business, you understand the importance of Invoicing. Without an invoice, you’re not going to get paid. Small firms often do not have dedicated software that allows you to do all your accounting including the creation of Invoices, so often they turn to manual invoicing.
The problem with manual invoicing is that it’s very easy to make very simple mathematical mistakes that not only could result in you being underpaid, but also could result in you losing some reputation and goodwill.
Creating an invoice in Excel therefore not only ensures that the invoice is accurate, but it also ensures that your company looks professional. While it may not get you paid any quicker, at least you know that when you are paid, you will be paid the right amount.
There are a couple of ways to create invoices on Microsoft Excel; the easiest way is to use a pre-defined invoice template and simply amend it to your needs. You’ll need the relevant information about the transaction such as the purchaser, the date, the sales information, and any tax information required, but once you’ve setup one invoice, you can edit it and re-use it going forward.
This article will show you how to customize a template on Microsoft Excel to create a standard invoice for your company.
Finding an Invoice Template on Microsoft Excel
MIcrosoft Excel has hundreds of templates that you can customize to suit your needs. To use them is simple.
- Open Microsoft Excel (the following instructions are created using Microsoft Excel 2010, but can also be used in Microsoft Excel 2007).
- Select File New - this opens a new blank worksheet normally, but in this case I am going to select a template to use.
- Choose the category of templates - in this case I chose Invoices and then chose Sales Invoices.
- Double click on the template you wish to use - I double clicked on the template called Template.
Customizing the Microsoft Excel Template
I've chosen an invoice template that will calculate an amount per item base on the quantity and the cost per item. Additionally, the template will calculate an overall total and add tax.
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Rather than having to enter all my own details every time I want to send out an invoice, I am going to customize the template and save it as a personal template invoice that I can use at any time. The technique is very simple and doesn't require any advanced techniques. The hard work has already been done for you. The instructions below assume you have loaded the same template as I have, however, the method will generally be the same for all templates.
- Replace 'Your Company, Inc.' with your company name.
- Replace the Address and telephone number with your information.
- Change the Sales Tax Rate to the appropriate rate
- Add some generic descriptions for standard products you normally sell and enter the correct Unit Price - this will save time when you start invoicing customers; you can always remove any items you don't require at any time)
- Amend the 'Direct all inquires' and "Make all Checks Payable' sections as appropriate
- If required, change the Thank You message.
You can now save this as a personal template invoice. At this stage, the Invoice Details, freight information, etc., are irrelevant.
Sending Out Your First Invoice
Now that you've created your personal template invoice you're ready to create your first invoice. Again, this is very simple and requires you to edit a few cells on the worksheet template you previously created. To create the invoice, change the template as follows:
- Edit the 'Sold to' section and insert your customers information.
- If different, add a Shipped To address.
- Amend the Sales Tax Rate as appropriate.
- Change the quantity, description and Unit Price as appropriate.
- Amend the Invoice Number, Invoice Date, Our/Your Order Number, Terms, Sales Rep, Shipped Via, F.O.B., Prepaid, or Collect sections as appropriate.
You now have created your invoice and can save it with a suitable name.
Making Invoices using Microsoft Excel is very easy and can save you a lot of work and perhaps more importantly ensure that the invoice is calculated correctly and looks professional. Some of the more advanced invoice templates on Excel allow you to add your company logo and perform more complex calculations.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on July 08, 2012:
I used to use access all the time for invoicing but I find excel much easier to get around in.