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      How do I create an Invoice?

      Invoices allow you to bill a Client for your products and/or services, and help you keep track of your income in FreshBooks. 

      Create an Invoice

      There are two ways to start a new Invoice:
      If you're on your Dashboard:

      1. Click on the Create New button
      2. Then select Invoice. This will take you to the New Invoice screen.

      Alternatively, you can click on the Invoices section, then the New Invoice button in the top right. You'll be taken to the New Invoice screen:

      New invoice page.

      Each section of the Invoice is broken down into detail below:


      Accept Online Payments

      You can read more about accepting online payments with FreshBooks Payment (WePay), Stripe, or PayPal here. Your settings for online payments will be remembered based on the last invoice created.

      Customize Invoice Style

      • Template- You can choose between Simple or Modern, for the option of having a logo in a corner, or a wide banner across the top of your Invoice.
      • Theme Colour - This will change the colour of your headings (e.g., Description, Rate, Invoice Number). It will also change the banner colour at the top of your Invoice on the Modern template.
      • Font - You can choose between Helvetica (Modern) and Garamond (Classic).
      • Make Recurring- You can read more about making your Invoice into a recurring invoice here.

      Fill out your Invoice

      • Company Name, Phone, Address - This is pre-populated by your Company Profile but you can also edit it here.
      • Logo - You can add a logo to make your Invoice look professional. Learn more here.
      • Billed To - Hover your mouse over this area and click to add a Client. You can add a new Client or choose an existing one. If you select an existing Client, any changes you make to the Client's information will update the Client's profile too.
      • Date of Issue - Automatically sets to today's date, or you can change it to a different date.
      • Due Date - Include the date your Invoice should be paid by. Late Reminders and Fees are based off the Due Date. Due Dates are remembered from the last Invoice you created, including custom Due Dates.
      • Invoice Number - This can be changed to include both numbers or letters if necessary. If your Country in your Company Profile is set to a specific Country, this will display as Tax Invoice Number instead.
      • Reference Field - You can enter up to 25 characters for any additional information you need to include, like purchase orders/PO numbers. Learn more here.
      • Add a Line - This is what you're Invoicing for; add Items or Time you're billing your Client for here, and specify the Rate and Qty (if your Client has unbilled time entries, you'll also see Import Unbilled Time and Projects, see here for more details)
      • Add Taxes - Once line items are added, you can check up to two existing sales taxes, or create new sales taxes with these steps
      • Notes - Add a summary or details to the Invoice. Notes are unique to each Invoice and will not be remembered for next time.
      • Terms - Include any Tax numbers here (like HST, GST, VAT, ABN), as well as standard payment terms (bank transfer details). Terms are remembered from the last invoice you created.
      • Attachments - Click on Add an attachment at the bottom of your Invoice, and upload any files (images, pdfs, csvs, spreadsheets, etc up to 30MB each) you'd like to share with your Client. These files will also be included if you download the Invoice as a PDF


      Use Terms if you want to enter details that are remembered for future Invoices. Notes are best for comments, shipping details, and any other temporary information.


      Once you've selected a Client on your Invoice, you'll see some additional settings appear:

      • Send Late Reminders - You're able to send up to three late payment reminders to your Clients, adding a personal message to each reminder if necessary.
      • Charge Late Fees - You can add late fees x-number of days after the Invoice Due Date. These can either be a percentage of the Invoice value, or a flat fee.
      • Currency & Language - Here you're able to change the currency or language of the Invoice, see our list of languages here.


      Once the Invoice looks the way you want it, you can either click on:

      • Save - if you're not quite finished working on it.
      • Send - An email preview comes up with the primary Client's email already populated, with the option to add/remove any emails, including secondary contacts. You can also personalize the email for your Client. Whoever sends the Invoice will receive any email replies from the Client.

      Once saved/sent, you'll be taken back to the Invoices section.


      How do I know when my Client has viewed the Invoice?

      At the top of all Invoices is a View History bar. Click on this to reveal the full timeline of all events that occurred with your Invoice. Whenever your Client clicks on the link to open the Invoice, the status of the Invoice updates from Sent to Viewed. This is also automatically logged in the Invoice History as "(Client Name) viewed this Invoice on (date)".
      Banner showing viewed status of invoice.


      How do I unsend an Invoice or revert it back to Draft status?

      If you've mistakenly sent an Invoice that you didn't want to send, you can use these steps:

      1. In the Invoices section, check off the box next to the Invoice you accidentally sent
      2. Click on the Bulk Actions button
      3. Select Duplicate
      4. Click on the Save button to save the copy as a draft
      5. Return to the Invoices section, and check off the box next to the old Invoice that was sent by mistake
      6. Click on the Bulk Actions button
      7. Then select Delete. If the Invoice was sent by email, you can let your Client know that the link to the Invoice will no longer work.


      How do I edit or change my Terms?

      This can be done by editing your most recent Invoice or creating a new Invoice. At the bottom in the Terms section, you can make any changes as needed and it will be remembered for the next future Invoice.


      How do I record bad debt or void an Invoice?

      Bad debt is when you have done work and created an Invoice for a Client, but that Invoice will never be paid. You can mark an Invoice as bad debt with these steps:

      1. Go to the Invoices section
      2. Next to the Invoice you want to mark as bad debt, click on the pencil icon on the right
      3. Add a line item (you can call it "Bad Debt" or something similar), with the total as a negative value
      4. Click Save to finish and the total should now be $0 and no longer outstanding.


      Why is the dropdown on the Invoice not showing all of my Clients or Items?

      To ensure working on your Invoice is the best experience possible, the dropdown for Clients or Items will only display up to a certain number of results. You can still use the keyboard to type and quickly find your Client or Item if it's not immediately visible in the dropdown.


      How do I change my Invoice Number? 

      When you make your first Invoice, the Number will default to 0000001. You can change this to any new number, as long as it is alphanumeric (letters and numbers only). Other things to keep in mind when you change your Invoice Number:

      • The Invoice Number you set will automatically increment +1 based on the last Invoice created (so your next Invoice will go up +1 in the Invoice Number automatically)
      • Invoice Numbers are unique; the same Invoice Number cannot be used twice
      • If the Invoice Number reaches its limit of its increment, an extra character is added at the end so it can continue (e.g., the last created Invoice is #9999, this will increment to #10000 on your next Invoice)
      • If you want to avoid extra characters being added, include leading zeroes to accommodate increments (e.g., #0009999 instead of just #9999)
      • You can also choose to sort your Invoices by Date instead of by Invoice Number to maintain chronological order

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