How to Create an Invoice for Free
You don't have to buy complicated software in order to create an invoice. It is fairly easy to create invoices for free using programs that you probably already have on your computer---Microsoft Excel and Word. You don't even have to start from scratch---there are convenient and easy to use templates available for you to download from the Microsoft website.
Things You'll Need
- Microsoft Word or Excel
Go to the Microsoft Office template website (see "Resources" for a direct link). Scroll down a bit and click on "Invoices." Choose the invoice that best fits your needs. You have to choose between one that is made for Microsoft Word or Excel (and in some cases, Access). Click the picture of the invoice to preview it.
Press "Download" to deposit the template to your computer. When prompted, choose the option to "Save" the file and put it in a folder you can easily access. Then, extract the file from the folder and save it in another location. Finally, double-click the extracted file to open it in the program you chose (Excel, Word, or Access). The template will show on screen.
Start entering in information about your customer, including company name, address, phone number, email, representative name, and customer ID. If there is a different shipping and billing address, be sure to designate both on the invoice.
Enter in the details of the purchase order you received into the designated spaces on your template. That includes the product name(s), extended price (the price after your discount), and the quantity ordered. Total everything up and list the final amount being charged to the customer at the bottom of the invoice. Save the invoice to a folder where you keep records of your accounts receivable.
Write in the terms of the invoice at the bottom of the invoice. Tell your customer when payment is due, who to write the check out to, and where to send the payment. If you want the customer to call in a payment, provide the exact phone number and extension.
Print the form to be sent to the customer via "snail mail" or create a PDF of the file. Adobe has an online tool that allows you to convert up to three Word or Excel files to a PDF format for free---see "Resources" for the link. You can then email the PDF to your customer.
Tips & Warnings
- If you are using Microsoft Word, you can make the invoicing process a little easier by creating a form letter. See "Resources" for details about how to link a data file containing customer information to your invoice in Word.