One of the most important actions a business can take is to issue professional invoices to its customers. Concise, clear, and straightforward invoices are the cornerstone of ensuring your cash flow keeps moving and that you get paid on time.
It’s essential that customers know what is expected of them in terms of payment, and that you know what your business is owed, by whom, and when it’s due.
For smaller businesses, paying for a full accounting system can be pricey and affect your bottom line too much. This leaves these companies looking for alternative ways to invoice and track payments.
One of the best ways to do this is using Microsoft Excel. You can draw up incredibly professional invoices with their templates, as well as create spreadsheets to track all incoming and outgoing funds.
3 Benefits Of Using Excel For Invoicing
Microsoft Excel is one of the best options for creating invoices when you don’t have a dedicated accounting program. The advantages include:
1. You Likely Already Have The Software
The Microsoft Office software package is extremely useful for any business.
You get Word, PowerPoint, Teams, Skype, OneDrive, Outlook, and so much more in a business subscription to Office365. These are all the essential tools for running a business, so why wouldn’t you get it? Since you already have Excel as part of the package, you aren’t paying for something extra for your invoicing solution.
Additionally, Excel is a highly versatile program with a range of useful features that you can likely use for your business on top of invoicing.
2. Templates Make It Quick And Easy
With the wide range of templates available to use in Excel, you’re likely to find one that suits your needs almost exactly.
All you need to do is download the template and get to work with adapting it to your brand coloring and fonts. You only need to do this once and then save the template for repeated use. After the initial setup is complete, you can create professional invoices with ease. All you need to do is update the customer information and the sale line items accordingly.
3. Excel Does The Math For You
Large or complicated invoices can be a pain to work out, and you need to feel confident that the figures in the total boxes are correct.
Once you have the formulas in place in your invoice, Excel will do all the math for you.
Setting up the formulas is easy too when you use a template. Many of them will have those formulas already in place or have suggestions for what to use, where. You also won’t have to worry about working out tax, percentages, or any other areas of concern in the invoice.
Where To Find Invoice Templates For Excel?
The best part about using Excel is that there are so many invoice templates that are ready and waiting for you to use—and the library of free templates is extensive.
Here’s where to find them:
- In Excel – Excel itself has a large gallery of templates that are free to use.
Microsoft has been developing these templates for years, gathering input from users and looking at which options are getting used the most over time.
When you open Excel, there are several templates available next to the Blank Workbook option. Click on the More templates button and you can search through the templates to find invoice options.
You’ll need to download the template, but once you have done it once, you can use the invoice template again and again.
- Online – There are a huge number of free Excel invoice templates online. If you don’t find what you’re looking for in Excel, expand your search and see what you can find. There are plenty of companies dedicated to helping small businesses with their accounting processes that have designed a range of invoice templates that work in various programs.
All you have to do is click on the one you like to download and then open up the template using Excel on your computer. Most online templates are customizable for your convenience.
You’ll also find Excel templates online that you’ll have to pay for. But with the abundance of free versions available, this isn’t necessary unless you require something specific.
How To Customize Your Template?
Most Excel invoice templates provide plenty of opportunities for customization. This gives you the opportunity to make it your own.
You may want to tweak the colors or the fonts to reflect your branding. And you can include your company logo so that customers recognize your invoice immediately. It’s also likely that the template won’t cover all the line items you need to put in for your invoices. The good news is, all templates are customizable, so you can get them looking just the way you want.
- Check The Available Line Items – The first thing you should do is check what line items are available in the template and how easy it is to update them for your needs. If this isn’t possible, you need to move onto another template before you start playing around with the look of it.
- Input Your Details – Once you’re happy that the template serves your business needs, it’s time to personalize it. Add in all the relevant business details at the top and bottom of the invoice.
- Adapt The Colors And Fonts – Finally, you can add some flair to the invoice template with your logos and brand identity. It’s important to keep the template professional but ensure that it matches the colors, fonts, and style of your business.
- Save The Updated Template – Make sure that you save all of your changes as a template. If you don’t, you’ll have to go through the customization process each time you want to make a new invoice.
Excel At Managing Your Cash Flow
Excel invoice templates make it easy to professionally track and manage your cash flow. As a business, this is essential, as cash flow keeps you operational.
Remember; if you have your invoicing processes in place, you’ll always know what your financial situation looks like, and how healthy your business’ bank account is.