So you have thought of an awesome business name, legally registered it on eCitizen and gone ahead to set up your business bank account. It’s time to do some work and get paid!
So how do you start billing customers?
The answer lies on knowing how to prepare a business invoice in Kenya.
Learning how to create an invoice is a step you must master as a business owner. Incomplete invoices that are missing important information make you look unprofessional. They can also confuse customers about how to pay or what they’re paying for.
A professional-looking invoice gives your clients a positive perception of your business. You build trust with customers and encourage them to pay in full on time.
Done right, your invoice can act as both a sales contract and receipt. Once you’re confident preparing one, it can be a great tool for streamlining your processes.
If you’re already familiar with the invoice creation process,that’s great. But if you know nothing about creating an invoice or want a refresher, please continue reading. We will cover these topics:
- Benefits of issuing an invoice in Kenya
- Free Kenyan template
- Using an invoicing software
What Is An Invoice, And When Is It Required?
An invoice is a formal document you send to your client after they’ve purchased goods or services from you. It states the amount to be paid and the due date.
If goods or services were purchased on credit, the invoice usually specifies the terms of the deal and provides information on the available payment methods.
The purpose of an invoice is to provide a business and its client with a record of the sale.
- It demonstrates a client’s obligation to pay you for your services.
- It offers verification, in writing, of the payment agreement between your business and its client.
An invoice must clearly state that it is an invoice on its face. It usually contains a unique identifier known as the invoice number used for internal and external references.
It also contains the contact information of the seller or service provider in case there’s an error relating to the invoice.
The invoice may outline the payment terms, any discounts, early payment details, or charges for late payments.
It also contains the unit cost of an item, total units purchased, freight, handling, shipping, any tax charges and the total amount owed.
Even if your business is just starting out, it’s important to begin the habit of creating sales invoices for each job.
An invoice is important for a business owner to keep a detailed record of their sales for accounting purposes and to keep a record of their sales and income.
It also helps the buyer in the case of any disputes.
The Benefits of Issuing an Invoice in Kenya
Invoices serve as agreements that can be legally enforced between a business and its clients because they provide documentation of services rendered and payment owed.
Therefore, businesses create invoices to ensure that their clients pay them.
Invoices help businesses track their sales and manage their finances. They provide a business with valuable data on how your sales change over time and can help make accurate business forecasts.
Although the basic purpose of an invoice is to offer a record of sale, your business can also benefit in the following ways:
Creating an invoice in Kenya can help you make a record of all your sales, helping you in your bookkeeping journey. Invoices give you the documentation of your business’s financial transactions, and keep that history. They track all the revenue coming into your business through sales and can help you gauge your profits and cash flow.
- Tax Records
Filling out your tax is mandatory, and you should file it correctly. Your sales invoices provide the documentation that helps to confirm the information you list on your tax filings each year. The daily records through invoices summarise your business transactions.
- Legal Protection
Although you are not legally obliged to offer invoices, they can help protect your small business from false lawsuits. They provide details of the services you provide to your clients and the timeline of when you complete the work.
They also provide a record of the amount a client agreed to pay you for your services, and signed invoices can serve as legally binding agreements. If a customer fails to pay you despite many attempts to remind them, your initial invoice will act as legal proof that an agreed service was carried out.
An invoice can be a great marketing tool. What you record on your invoices can help you develop strategies for marketing your business.
By analysing your invoices, you can identify peak times when your services are most in demand, the most popular and least popular services you offer and other trends in your business.
These trends can give you insights into developing smart marketing strategies to grow your business.
- Tracking Inventory
Sales invoices can help you track how much inventory you have and predict how much you’ll need in the future based on past sales.
You can develop a manual tracking system of your own or use already existing software to do this.
Invoices are a reflection of your business professionalism. They help you build trust between you and your customers when they know that you have professional systems and processes in place.
Other benefits include:
- It serves as a reminder for customers to make prompt payments.
- Keep track of your company’s sales
- It’s a record-keeping tool for past and current transactions
- To project future sales
Free Kenyan Invoice Template
Templates allow you to create easily repeatable invoice layouts and information. They help save your business time because they are easy to create and take a few seconds. A template will only need a few clicks for the invoice to be generated.
An invoice helps you to create repeatable invoice layouts and information, creating a consistent experience for the customer. They receive similar invoices each time they make a purchase. It also makes it easy for your team to check for information since they know where to look for which details.
A template ensures that important details are always there. Your staff will only have to remember some details, which they can easily forget and create consistency. A template will ensure that all invoices contain the most up-to-date information.
Here’s a simple Kenyan Invoice Template to help you bill your customers. Make a copy, and create an invoice on any device with Google Docs. Now let’s go over how to use this template and keep your invoicing process smooth.
(Pdf / Excel / Word)
How to Prepare & Send an Invoice in Kenya
Research has shown that about 61% of late payments are due to administrative issues such as incorrect invoices. Your business should therefore be able to prepare and send the correct invoice in order to maintain a successful entity.
After Downloading the free Kenyan Invoice Template, follow the directions below to create free invoices for your small business in a matter of minutes.
Step 1. Personalize & Make Your Invoice Professional
The first step in preparing and sending your invoice is to choose a professional design and then personalise it to suit your brand identity. Ensure that your professional-looking invoice also represents your business personality.
Customising your invoice through branding will help keep your document looking professional and boost your brand awareness. Use your brand’s colours, fonts, logo and other branding components to reflect the values that your business wants to portray. It will help you remain consistent and be easily recognisable across the board.
Your invoice is an extension of your business and should therefore do its best to reflect your business’s brand. To maintain consistency, your invoice design should match the elements of your website’s social channels and other content channels.
Step 2. Fill Out Your Business Name and Contact Information
Make sure your invoice includes your full business name; if you are a freelancer, include your name. Add your contact information, including your address, email address, and phone number. Include these details for your and your client’s accounting and legal documentation.
Step 3. Fill In the Customer Details
Enter your client’s name and contact information here. Include as much contact information as you have, and don’t be afraid to ask your client if you need more details. If you’re billing a specific person at a company, you can list the business and the person’s name. Adding customer and business details makes identifying and filing the invoice easier.
Step 4. Add the Dates and Indicate the Invoice Number
Indicate the Invoice number, then add the Invoice date before you send the invoice. (Keep this in mind, especially when you create invoices in advance.) This is useful for filing and reference at later dates.
Don’t forget to Fill in when your client’s payment due date. This provides the customer with an overview they can take in at a glance to see what they owe and when they need to pay.
Step 5. Explain What the Invoice Is For
In this section, you describe and quantify the products and services you’re billing for. If you deal in services, there’s some leeway in how you create line items. You could make one for each project, project component, or add-on service.
Each line item on the template includes these sections:
- Item description: A quick description of the product or service you’re billing for.
- Quantity: The number of that item you provided.
- Price per unit: The price per individual item. (For example, if you’re billing for two blog posts, list the price for one blog post here. You’ll do the math in the next category.)
- Total amount per line: Multiply the price per unit by quantity to get your line total.
Step 6. Total Up the Money Owed
Along with the description of goods or services provided, you’ll need to include the amounts owed for each item. To the right of each item, you’ll include the subtotal – the amount of each item.
As you move further down the invoice line by line, you’ll gradually total up these amounts for a grand total amount due. This final amount should be listed near the invoice’s bottom as a total cost.
Double and triple-check your amounts and ensure that you’ve added all necessary taxes and the total amount owed is correct.
Step 7. Explain Acceptable Payment Terms and Conditions
Ideally, payment terms should be discussed with the customer before the rendering of goods or services and mutually agreed upon, but even still, you’ll want to list these terms clearly on the invoice.
How do you want to be paid for your services? Will you accept cash, Mpesa or Bank transfer?
Whichever you choose, supply the correct payment details on the invoice. Besides payment methods, list whether or not you have a timeframe that you expect payment so that your customer is clearly aware of the due date.
If you accept payment in portions or some sort of payment plan, specify this clearly. The more straightforward you can make your payment terms, the better. Your customers are more likely to be clear and issue payments on time and in the format you want.
Step 8. Send Your Invoice
One of the most common ways to request payment is to send an invoice by email.
Simply attach your invoice in a PDF format that can’t be edited so that no one can fraudulently manipulate your invoices.
Write a brief, clear subject line, so your email can be noticed.
Do I Need To Use Invoicing Software?
Although it is not mandatory to use invoicing software, it helps prevent possible mistakes and ensures that you create professional invoices. You can invoice it in different currencies, translate it to another language, or cancel your invoice with a linked credit note. And you will be doing all these with a few clicks.
With business taking place online these days, it only makes sense to send invoices online and get paid quickly. Getting free billing software helps reduce manual entries, enhances accounting accuracy, and saves your business a great deal of time and money.
An invoicing software saves your business time by eliminating the long hours that could have been used to enter information in invoices. It helps you to manage your business operations easily. It makes it easy to keep track of reminders and automatically generate invoices each time they are sent. It ensures the correct numbering of invoices and customer details.
When using invoicing software, you don’t need to worry about storage space. They offer unlimited cloud storage to ensure that you never lose any invoices. This means you don’t have to worry about email or pc crash issues.
An invoicing software provides enhanced security of the transaction data and customer’s identity. You can access it from anywhere in the world at any given time since it is cloud-based. It also makes it easier to manage multiple customer-vendor records.
- Zoho Invoice is a free billing and invoicing software for small businesses with powerful features that will help you to send invoices and estimates and track time, expenses and mileage using a single platform. It makes invoicing and managing finances effortless. It also allows you to send customised statements to your clients and receive payment in multiple currencies with our accounting software.
- Zoho invoice helps you create and send polished professional invoices with the click of a button. It will help you customise your invoice to reflect your brand by allowing you to add a brand logo, colours, and fonts.
- Zoho gives your customers payment options where they can choose to use cash, cheque or the web, according to their needs. It removes the pain of doing follow-ups by letting you set up automatic follow-up reminders.
If you are selling beyond borders, Zoho Invoice is your perfect partner. It helps you grow beyond borders with multi-currency pricing. You can charge customers in their currency, and Zoho will record it for you in your currency. You can create recurring invoices for your regular customers and set up credit cards to allow them to pay securely.
With Zoho, you can eliminate the risk of processing incorrect transactions by validating and approving them before invoicing your customers. It also allows you to append your digital signature to prevent invoice forgery or tempering.
Need Help Keeping Track Of Your Payments?
The best way to keep track of your business’s financial condition is to employ invoice software that is time-saving & convenient. An invoice software stores your products, prices, customers, and taxes, so each time you create an invoice, you can do it in a few clicks. It offers you powerful tools which can help you in growing your business.
If you are looking to send invoice in Kenya to your customers, we are here to help. We will offer help in training and setup of an invoice management system for your business. Therefore, feel free to get in touch with CreativeKigen for a comprehensive set up of Zoho Invoice in Kenya.