Invoices

Well, it’s time to bill, and the Invoices function of Invoice Ninja lets you get the job done fast and with perfect accuracy.

With a bustling freelance business, you’re going to be sending out a lot of invoices. Creating an invoice is simple with the New Invoice page. Once you’ve entered the client, job and rates information, you’ll see a preview of your invoice, and you’ll have a range of actions at your fingertips – from saving a draft, to sending the invoice to the client via email, to printing a PDF hard copy.

List Invoices

With numerous invoices to keep track of, the Invoices list page is your go-to guide for the entire history and status of all your invoices – including those that have been paid, those sent but unpaid, and those still in the drafting and editing stage.

Overview

The life of an invoice in the Invoice Ninja system is made up of a number of stages:

  • Draft: When you’ve created an invoice, but have not yet sent it. You may still need to edit.
  • Sent: You’ve sent the invoice, but the client has not yet paid.
  • Viewed: The client has opened the invoice email and viewed the invoice.
  • Partial: The invoice has been partially paid.
  • Paid: Congratulations! The client has paid the full invoice amount.

In order to understand exactly how the Invoices list page works, we’ll take you through it step by step.

To view your Invoices list page, click the Invoices tab on the main taskbar. This will open the Invoices list page.

The Invoices list page displays a table of all your invoices, at every stage, from the moment you create a new invoice, to the moment you archive or delete an invoice.

Let’s explore the invoices list according to the tabs on the main header bar of the table from left to right:

  • Invoice #: The number of the invoice
  • Client: The client name
  • Invoice Date: The date the invoice was issued
  • Invoice Total: The total amount of the invoice
  • Balance Due: The amount owed by the client (after credits and other adjustments are calculated)
  • Due Date: The date the payment is due
  • Status: The current status of the invoice (Gray = Draft, Blue = Sent, XX = Viewed, XX = Partial, Green = Paid)
  • Action: The Action button provides a range of possible actions, depending upon the status of the invoice.

To view the actions, hover your mouse over the Action area of the relevant invoice entry and a gray Select button will appear. Click on the arrow at the right side of the button to open a drop-down list. For invoices with “Draft” status, the drop-down list presents the following action items:

  • Edit Invoice: Edit the invoice information on the Edit Invoice page.
  • Clone Invoice: Duplicate the invoice. Then you can make minor adjustments. This is a fast way to create a new invoice that is identical or similar to this invoice.
  • View History: You’ll be redirected to the Invoices / History page, where you can view a history of all the actions taken from the time the invoice was created. The Invoices / History page displays a copy of the latest version of the invoice and a drop-down list of all actions and the corresponding version of the invoice. Select the version you wish to view. Click on the blue Edit Invoice button at the top right of the page to edit the invoice.
  • Mark Sent: When you have sent the invoice to your customer, mark as Sent. This will update the invoice status in the Invoices list, so you can keep track.
  • Enter Payment: Enter the payment relevant to this invoice. You’ll be redirected to the Payments / Create page.
  • Archive Invoice: Click here to archive the invoice. It will be archived and removed from the Invoices list page.
  • Delete Invoice: Click here to delete the invoice. It will be deleted and removed from the Invoices list page.

Tip

For invoices with “Viewed”, “Sent”, “Partial” or “Paid” status, only the relevant and applicable options from the above list will show in the Action drop-down list.

Tip

To sort the invoices list according to any of the columns, click on the orange column tab of your choice. A small arrow will appear. If the arrow is pointing up, data is sorted from lowest to highest value. If the arrow is pointing down, data is sorted from highest to lowest value. Click to change the arrow direction.

Create Invoice

Here, we’re going to focus on how to create a new invoice.

Let’s Begin

To create a new invoice, go to the Invoices tab on the main taskbar, open the drop-down menu, and click on New Invoice. This will open the Invoices / Create page.

When you open the Invoices / Create page, the Invoice Ninja system will automatically create a new, empty invoice for you to complete. Note that each new invoice you create will be automatically numbered in chronological order. This will ensure your records are kept logical and organized. (You have the option to change the invoice number manually. We’ll discuss that a little later.)

The top section of the invoice contains a range of important information specific to the client and the work you are invoicing. Let’s explore them one by one:

  • Client: Click on the arrow at the right end of the Client field. Select the relevant client from the client list. TIP: You can create a new client while creating a new invoice. Simply click on the Create new client link, situated below the Client field on the Invoices / Create page. A pop-up window will open, enabling you to complete the new client’s details. Then continue creating the invoice for this new client.
  • Invoice Date: The date of creation of the invoice. Click the calendar icon to select the relevant date.
  • Due Date: The date the invoice payment is due. Click the calendar icon to select the relevant date.
  • Partial: In the event that you need to bill the client for a partial amount of the total amount due, enter the amount in the Partial field. This will be automatically applied to the invoice.
  • Invoice #: The invoice number is assigned automatically when you create a new invoice, in order of chronology. TIP: You can manually override the default invoice number by entering a different number in the Invoice # field.
  • PO #: The purchase order number. Enter the purchase order number for easy reference.
  • Discount: If you wish to apply a discount to the invoice, you can choose one of two methods: a monetary amount, or a percentage of the total amount due. To choose a method, click on the arrow at the right side of the box next to the Discount field. Select Percent or Amount from the drop-down list. Then enter the relevant figure. For example, to apply a 20% discount, enter the number 20, and select “Percent” from the drop-down list. To apply a $50 discount, enter the number 50, and select “Amount” from the drop-down list.
  • Taxes: Manage the various tax rates that apply by clicking on the Manage rates link. The Tax Rates pop-up window will open. To apply a tax rate, enter the name of the tax in the Name field, and the percentage amount in the Rate field. For example, to apply a VAT of 17%, enter VAT in the Name field, and 17 in the Rate field. TIP: If you need to apply multiple taxes, add another Name and Rate to the new row. A new row will open automatically as soon as you begin typing in the current row.

The Tax Rates pop-up box offers various settings for presentation of taxes on the invoice. Check the boxes of the settings you wish to apply.

  • Enable specifying an invoice tax: Check this box to apply the tax rate for the entire invoice. It will appear on the invoice above the Balance Due field.
  • Enable specifying line item taxes: Check this box to apply various tax rates to specific items of the same invoice. This setting enables you to apply different taxes to the different line items.
  • Display line item taxes inline: Check this box to include a Tax column on the invoice, so your customer can view the tax amounts that apply to each line item.

After selecting the desired tax settings, you’ll need to choose a tax rate for the invoice, or for each line item. To select a tax rate, click on the arrow at the right side of each Tax field that appears on the invoice. A drop-down list will open, featuring all the tax rates you created. Choose the relevant tax rate from the list. It will automatically apply and the figures in the invoice will adjust accordingly.

Tip

The currency of the invoice will be according to the default currency specified for this client when you created the client.

Now that we’ve completed the general invoice information, it’s time to finish creating your invoice by specifying the job/s you’re billing for, the amounts due for each job/line item, taxes, discounts and final balance due. Let’s explore the various columns of the invoice, from left to right along the orange header bar:

  • Item: This is the name of the item you are billing for. You can either enter the details manually, or by selecting one of the set items created by you at the Product Settings stage. To select a set item, click on the arrow at the right side of the item bar and choose the relevant item from the drop-down list. To enter the item manually, click inside the field and enter the item. Here are some examples of an item: 1 hour programming services OR 5 pages translation OR 1 hour consulting.
  • Description: Add more information about the item. This will help the customer better understand the job completed, and is also useful for your own reference.
  • Unit Cost: The amount you charge per unit of items. For example, let’s say your item is “1 hour consulting”, and you charge $80 for an hour of consulting – that is, for 1 item unit. Then you’ll enter 80 in the Unit Cost field. Note: If you have selected a set item, the unit cost that you pre-defined at the Product Settings stage will apply by default. You can manually override the default unit cost by clicking in the Unit Cost field and changing the value.
  • Quantity: The number of units being charged. Continuing the above example, let’s say you need to charge for 3 hours of consulting, enter the number 3 in the Quantity field.
  • Tax: This field will only appear if you selected “Enable specifying line item taxes.” To apply tax to the line item, click on the arrow at the right side of the Tax field and select the relevant tax from the drop-down list.
  • Line Total: This is the amount due for the particular line item. Once you have entered the Unit Cost and Quantity, this figure will be calculated automatically. If you change either value at any time during creation of the invoice, the Line Total will adjust accordingly.

Tip

You can enter as many line items as you need in the invoice. As soon as you enter any data in a line item, a fresh, blank line item will open in the row below.

Beneath and to the right of the line item section, you’ll find the Balance Due section. It’s made up of a number of figures, all leading to the golden number – the final, total Balance Due.

  • Subtotal: This is the amount due before other figures are taken into calculation, such as Tax, Partial payments, Credits, etc.
  • Tax: The tax rate for the invoice. Here you can select the appropriate tax rate for the entire invoice by clicking the arrow at the right side of the Tax field and selecting the relevant tax from the drop-down list. Note: If you selected “Enable specifying line item taxes” in the Manage rates pop-up box, then the tax applied to each line item will appear here, listed individually.
  • Paid to Date: The amount paid to date, including partial payments and credits.
  • Balance Due: The final balance owed to you by your customer, after taxes, partial payments and credits have been deducted from the charged amount.

Directly to the left of the Balance Due section, you’ll see a text box with three tabs to choose from:

  • Note to Client: Want to write a personal or explanatory note to the client? Enter it here.
  • Invoice Terms: Want to set terms to the invoice? Enter them here. The terms will appear on the invoice. If you want to make these the default terms for all invoices, check the Save as default terms box. Then these terms will automatically appear on each invoice you create. Need to change the default terms? Click Reset Terms, and the text box will clear. You can enter new terms or leave blank.
  • Invoice Footer: Want to enter information to appear as a footer on the invoice? Enter it here. The text will appear at the bottom of the invoice. If you want to make this the default footer for all invoices, check the Save as default footer box. Then this footer will automatically appear on each invoice you create. Need to change the default footer? Click Reset footer, and the text box will clear. You can enter a new footer or leave blank.

Tip

The Invoices page is rich in clickable links, providing you with a shortcut to relevant pages you may wish to view. For example, all invoice numbers are clickable, taking you directly to the specific invoice page, and all client names are clickable, taking you directly to the specific client summary page.

Invoice Preview

Did you know that all this time you’ve been creating the new invoice, a preview of the invoice appears below, and it changes in real time according to the data you’ve entered?

Scroll down below the invoice data fields to check out the invoice preview.

But before we get there you’ll see a row of colorful buttons, giving you a range of options:

  • Blue button – Download PDF: Download the invoice as a PDF file. You can then print or save to your PC or mobile device.
  • Green button – Save Invoice: Save the last version of the invoice. The data is saved in your Invoice Ninja account. You can return to the invoice at any time to continue working on it.
  • Orange button – Email Invoice: Email the invoice directly via the Invoice Ninja system to the email address specified for the client.
  • Gray button – More Actions

Click on More Actions to open the following action list:

  • Clone: Invoice Duplicate the current invoice. Then you can make minor adjustments. This is a fast way to create a new invoice that is identical or similar to a previous invoice.
  • View History: You’ll be redirected to the Invoices / History page, where you can view a history of all the actions taken from the time the invoice was created. The Invoices / History page displays a copy of the latest version of the invoice and a drop-down list of all actions and the corresponding version of the invoice. Select the version you wish to view. Click on the blue Edit Invoice button at the top right of the page to go back to the invoice page.
  • Mark Sent: When you have sent the invoice to your customer, mark as Sent. This will update the invoice status in the Invoices list, so you can keep track.
  • Enter Payment: Enter the payment relevant to this invoice. You’ll be redirected to the Payments / Create page.
  • Archive Invoice: Want to archive the invoice? Click here. The invoice will be archived and removed from the Invoices list page.
  • Delete Invoice: Want to delete the invoice? Click here. The invoice will be deleted and removed from the Invoices list page.

Tip

At the left of these colorful buttons, you’ll see a field with an arrow that opens a drop-down menu. This field provides you with template options for the invoice design. Click on the arrow to select the desired template. When selected, the invoice preview will change to reflect the new template.

Important

Remember to click the green Save Invoice button every time you finish working on an invoice. If you don’t click Save, you will lose the changes made. (But don’t worry – if you forget to click Save, a dialog box with a reminder to save will open when you try to leave the page.)