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When should I issue an invoice?

Congratulations! You’ve received an order. You have your products packed and ready to go or you’ve completed your service, your customer is satisfied, so you’re all done, right? Not quite yet.

The most important part of your sales process is still missing. You want to be paid for your work. And in order to get paid, you’ll need to supply an invoice. Because without invoicing, there will be no money coming your way.

An invoice is a legally binding document that requires a customer to pay for products or services that you have delivered. In some cases, such as if the products do not match the description or the work was unsatisfactory, payment can be disputed. But an invoice is needed in every instance.

Issuing an invoice is easy and fast with Debitoor invoice templates, so there's no need to wait

But at what point during the sale the right time to issue an invoice? We have a few tips on how to get the timing right:

1. Don’t hesitate

Quite simply: send the invoice immediately after the service has been completed or the order fulfilled. Often, only once your customer has received your invoice will they remember to pay you. It’s important for them to have a clear documentation of what they are purchasing.

Although it might seem logical, allowing too much time to pass after fulfilling the order or service - out of seeming politeness or not wanting to seem too eager to get your money, is not a good practise.

With invoicing software like Debitoor, there is no reason to delay or to plan ahead. It takes just 1 minute to create and send professional-looking invoices. Product/service and customer data is saved to your account, allowing you to autofill your invoice templates in moments and preventing errors.

2. Always specify the due date

At Debitoor, users sometimes ask if it is possible to remove the requirement for a payment due date on their invoices. But this is not a good idea.

No matter your past experience with the customer or the closeness of your business relationship, providing a due date is an important part of ensuring that you receive money for your work.

The standard payment period is 30 days. However, you can make individual arrangements with your customers and can also designate shorter payment periods such as 14 days, or discounts for early payment (typically within 10 days of issuing the invoice).

3. Write partial invoices

For large projects that can continue over long periods of time, you can speak with your customer to come up with a payment plan that will work, such as installments so that there is not one large bill at the very end.

In this way, you can create partial invoices, or rather invoice for specific parts of an order or what has been fulfilled within agreed-upon time periods. This ensures that you need not wait til the end to receive payment, and ensure that you can continue covering your costs throughout the project.