An invoice is an important document for an attorney. It is not just an instrument for billing and collecting money from clients. You invoice is a marketing tool as well. There are not that many occasions when you have the opportunity to get your client’s undivided attention. Review of your invoice is one of them. Make the most of it by crafting an invoice template which conveys the image you want your law firm to have.
You don’t want to create a new invoice from scratch every time you need to bill a client. Automated accounts receivable software with invoicing capability including an invoice template can help you.
Your invoice should project an image of trust and reliability. It should have a businesslike appearance. Use a basic font like Times New Roman. Colors should also be standard business combinations such as black font on a white background or black font on a cream background.
The invoice template should have a header with a logo. Choose your logo carefully. It is the image you want your clients to have of your firm. Your firm’s name, address, phone numbers and website URL should be listed below the logo in a larger font and in bold.
Invoice details should include invoice number, invoice date, payment due date and payment terms or options. You may want to offer a discount from the bill for faster payment. If you have an accounts receivable system with online payment capability, you should also place a link with a short URL on the invoice template. You may want the invoice details to be in bold to make them easier to pick out.
Automated accounts receivable software will also populate an invoice template with an invoice number from integrated software applications, and calculate a due date and cash discount amount if applicable. Hours billed and hourly rates can be extended and invoice amounts added to arrive at an invoice total.
DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES
The most important part of an invoice is the description of services you provided. Descriptions should be as clear and unambiguous as possible. Avoid using vague descriptions like – Meeting with client. Provide enough information so that your client will remember the fine service you provided. Use an informative description like – Meeting with client to discuss XYZ litigation strategy.
Clients like to know what they are paying for. Avoid lumping multiple services into one hourly total like- Meeting, conference call and memo regarding XYZ litigation: 8 hours. Break each service out separately with its related hours like – Meeting to discuss XYZ litigation: 6 hours; Conference call to discuss XYZ litigation: 1 hour, and so on.
Proofread your description of services. If you are annoyed when you review work product with typos, think how your client feels when he is reviewing your bill if it has typos. You don’t want your client to associate invoice typos with the quality of your services.
If you provide a clear description of services, do not lump services into one hourly total, and proofread your description of services; it will take a little more time at the front end. But, it will save you time later and avoid the hassle of collection calls.
The key to creating an invoice for billing your clients is to keep it clear and simple. This is much easier to do with an automated accounts receivable system with invoicing capability including an invoice template.
Automated accounts receivable software which includes these important features is available from Lockstep Collect, a leader in the field with a track record of assisting law firms with billing and invoicing. If your firm would like to learn more about how you can improve billing and invoicing, please contact Lockstep Collect at www.lockstep.io.