While the cleaning industry can be competitive, there are a number of ways to help your business stand out from the crowd. One that we have heard is particularly important is how professionally you handle invoicing and payment from customers.
Creating invoices that not only comply with all of the latest regulations, but also promote the brand of your business will come across as highly professional. An invoice template is a particularly useful way to ensure that each of your invoices includes all of the necessary information (but doesn’t skimp on design!).
What kind of invoice templates should you use?
Using invoicing templates in Excel or Word can seem like a simple solution. However, there are a number of concerning disadvantages to these invoice templates. You can read more about why Excel invoice templates might not be the best choice for your business in our recent article.
But we’ll sum up here: Word or Excel invoice templates are not created depending on local requirements. They are not updated regularly to ensure that you are including all of the necessary legal requirements. Neither do they allow for easy organisation (you’ll have to double check the new invoice number you’ve entered each time!), nor automatic calculation (hooray for calculators!...erm, yea...).
Thankfully there are now templates for creating and sending invoices online. These can be found in invoicing software like Debitoor. These invoice templates are updated with any changes to the current legal requirements for invoices. They also store your customer and service details, allowing you to create invoices incredibly quickly.
Invoice templates in invoice software also take care of the tedious calculations. Like VAT and any discounts you’d like to apply. More on that below.
VAT or no VAT?
That is certainly a good question. Whether you’re VAT registered depends on a number of factors, as well as a personal preference.
If your cleaning business is just getting off the ground, your annual taxable turnover is likely under the VAT threshold of £83,000. If this is the case, you are not required to be VAT registered, which means that you will not need to add VAT to your invoices (it also means that you cannot claim VAT that your business incurs, for example, from purchasing supplies).
However, if your business is a bit more established or is growing quickly, it might make sense to register for VAT, in which case you would need to include the standard 20% VAT rate in the UK when invoicing customers.
If you’re on the Flat Rate VAT Scheme, you’ll need to double check your VAT rate after the changes being made in April 2017. Read more about the changes in the recent blog post by UK accountant Steve Bicknell: ‘The rising flat-rate’.
Designing your invoice
Whether you prefer to keep it simple with just your logo and straightforward text, or you want to add custom images and colours, invoicing software gives you the tools to do so quickly and easily.
With Debitoor, you can choose from different layouts, upload your logo, as well as custom images to be included in your invoice. Select from 13 different fonts to add an even more personal touch. No more strange spacing or frustration over image size or layout like you’d get frustrated with in Excel!