Invoices can seem like just another routine piece of paperwork, but they carry a lot of importance for clients—and not just in terms of the balance due at the bottom of the page.
Whether or not an invoice is straightforward and easy to understand can have a huge impact on a client’s sense of urgency about paying—and by extension, your collections process.
Information for reference
Invoices need to strike the right balance between having enough information for the client to see the full picture and not overwhelming them with too many details.
Information to put on the invoice:
- Last payment made
- This acknowledgment doesn’t leave them wondering if they are being charged for services they already paid for, especially if some items on this cycle’s bill are the same as the previous cycle.
- Itemized list of legal services and disbursements
- This may seem like an obvious component of any invoice, but don’t forget to strive for clear, descriptive phrasing so that the bill is easy to read and understand for those without a legal background.
- Total balance due
- Make sure this information is easily visible for someone scanning the page.
Depending on your practice area, there may be other things you wish to include, but most clients will want to see this information.
Customize your invoices! Create a template that includes your logo and financial information. Not only does it look more professional, but it anticipates client questions about how to pay— and helps remind them of the firm that took care of them.
Link to payments
Finally, if you’re sending an invoice electronically, include a link for an online payment option.
Whether the client receives the invoice by email or secure online portal, having a link to click enables immediate payment. If you accept credit cards, the process becomes even easier—and more familiar—for them. And the easier it is to pay the invoice, the more likely they are to pay promptly—reducing the time your firm spends on collections.
Ultimately, the goal is to create a clear, readable invoice by including key information, customizing for professional presentation, and linking to an online payment option that accepts credit cards.