If you've downloaded an invoice template for MS Word or Excel, you'd know that with excellent copy & pasting skills and a good deal of patience, you can create your business invoice with your own logo and design, include all the information you want on it and save and overwrite it for your next invoice.
And if you already have these programs installed for other purposes or are running on trial versions of them, you can even create your Word or Excel invoices for free.
What's not to like?
Well, you should ask yourself the following questions before you make up your mind as to whether to use an invoice template and overwrite it with each new invoice - or to go for invoice software like Debitoor which does the work for you.
Don't let the 5 following issues get in the way of your invoicing:
1. Are you keeping track of your invoice numbers?
If you're using an MS Word or Excel template, you have to be very careful when you insert your invoice number to pick a sequential one. If you use the same invoice number twice, the invoice becomes invalid. And if you skip a number, you're compromising your invoice history.
Even if getting paid is your most critical concern here and now, you don't want to get in trouble later on when you show your data to your account or tax man.
In invoice software like Debitoor, it's simply impossible to reuse an invoice number, and the system will make sure that your numbers are sequential - even if you've deleted an invoice or made a credit note out of it.
And if you've just started your business and feel that you're coming off as less professional sending out your invoice #1, you can choose to start your invoice number series at say #227.
So with invoice software, keeping track of invoice numbers is no longer your concern.
2. Is your Word or Excel invoice coming off as professional?
First impressions matter! To make your Word or Excel invoice appear professional, you have to be certain about the information you put on it and where.
With invoice software such as Debitoor, you don't have to worry about how to make that important first impression, as it takes care of everything, such as VAT, due date and return address and makes sure that your invoice is professional and legally valid.
And you can still tailor it to your liking, so your invoice will still have your personal touch to it.
3. Are you on top of the most recent legal requirements for invoicing and accounting, such as changes in VAT?
Professional invoice software like Debitoor is localised to your country and updated to support any changes in invoicing and accounting rules and regulations. So no need to worry about facing your legal authorities or your local tax man.
And software updates, fixes or addons are not your concerns either: With online software, you can just log on and rest assured that you're running on an up-to-date version.
4. Do you keep an overview of credit notes sent, quotes accepted or invoices overdue?
As your business grows, it's likely that you'll see the need to work with more invoice documents, such as credit notes, quotations and reminders.
Turning a quote to an invoice or an invoice to a credit note is more than just changing the headline of the document.
Invoice software follows your business flow, pulls the data from the system and lets you go from one document type to the other at the single click of a button - whilst making sure that headlines, amounts and column headers are accurate.
And using invoice software, you don't have to keep an overview of your cash flow in a separate Excel sheet - it's all there when you log in.
5. Even if you're an Excel pro - do you really find it easy to use?
Say you overwrite a template, reusing a lot of your information, is it really saving you time?
With Debitoor as your invoice software, you can create and send your invoice in less than one minute - and the system remembers all the necessary data for your next invoice. No manual overwriting.
And if you still prefer to work with your data in Excel sheets, you can always export them to Excel to work on them there.
Do you have any experience using invoice templates from Word or Excel compared to using invoice software? Share your comments below.