How to Create an Invoice in Excel

how to create an invoice in excel

If you’re a small business owner, figuring out how to create an invoice is one of many accounting tasks that likely aren’t your topmost priority. However, invoicing is a critical aspect of your business operations. A HubSpot survey reveals that 46% of small businesses struggle with getting paid on time.[1] Creating clear and accurate invoices helps you get paid—in full and on time.

However, many business decisions are greeted with endless options to consider. Invoicing is no exception. Among the invoice software available, how do you choose the right one for your business?

Enter Microsoft Excel. If you’re seeking a basic, no-fuss, and—best of all—free invoicing option, consider using Microsoft Excel. That’s right. Microsoft Excel isn’t solely for creating complicated spreadsheets and graphs. You can also use it to generate invoices for your business.

If you’re unfamiliar with the program, don’t worry. This guide will show you exactly how to create an invoice in Excel.

Let’s get started.

How to Create an Invoice in Excel in 6 Steps

Follow these steps to start creating professional invoices using Excel.

Step 1: Choose an Invoice Template

The first step to make an invoice using Excel is to choose an invoice template. Creating your own invoice template from scratch can be inefficient. The time spent adjusting fonts, sizes, and cell blocks can be better spent on other parts of your business. Instead, we recommend that you download an invoice template using the following steps. 

How to Choose an Invoice Template on Windows

  1. Open the Excel application on your computer.
  2. In the search bar, type “invoice” to see your options.
  3. Click the icon for the invoice template that best suits your business needs.
  4. A screen will pop-up with more template details. Click “Create.”
  5. Excel will generate a blank invoice with your chosen template.

How to Choose an Invoice Template on Mac

  1. Open the Excel application on your computer.
  2. Click “File.”
  3. Click “New from Template.”
  4. In the search bar, type “invoice.”
  5. Click the icon for the invoice template that best suits your business needs.
  6. A screen will pop-up with more details. Click “Create.”
  7. At the preview display, click “Open.”

How to Choose an Invoice Template for In-Browser Excel

If you don’t have a paid Microsoft Office subscription, worry not. You can create a OneDrive account to access the free in-browser web version. After you create an account, you’ll have access to all of Microsoft Office’s different apps, including Excel and Word.

Choose an Invoice Template

Head to the Microsoft website to download an invoice template. Choose the template that best suits your business needs.

how to create an invoice in excel

Please note that Microsoft offers templates that are specific to either Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word. For this guide, we are only covering how to customize your invoice in Microsoft Excel.

Download Your Invoice Template

After you’ve chosen an invoice template option, click on the icon so that you can start using it. On the invoice template’s details page, you’re given two options for accessing your invoice template.

  • Download: Choose this option if you have a Microsoft Office subscription and want to customize your invoice on the Excel software installed on your computer or laptop.
  • Edit in browser: If you’re using Excel’s free in-browser version, click this button. When a prompt asks you to confirm if you want to save this template to your OneDrive, click “Continue.”

Step 2: Assign Your Invoice

Assigning your invoice specifies who created the invoice and who is receiving it. At the top of most invoice templates, there will be sections for:

  • Your company information
  • The recipient’s company information
  • Invoice number and due date

how to create an invoice in excel

Complete Your Company’s Information

In this section, you should include:

  • Your company name
  • Your company logo
  • Your business address

Information that usually isn’t required but you might want to also include are:

  • Your company phone number
  • Your company website
  • Your business email address

Insert Your Company Logo

Any business document you generate is a representation of your company. That includes your invoices. Adding your company logo to your invoice ensures a seamless brand experience, even when you’re collecting payment.

Here’s how to add your logo to your Excel invoice.

  1. At the header bar, click “Insert.”
  2. Click the icon labeled “Pictures.”
  3. Find the folder where your logo is stored.
  4. Click the icon of the logo you want to use.
  5. Click “Insert.”
  6. Click and drag the corner of the image to resize it.
  7. Click on the stock logo that was included with the invoice template and delete it.
  8. Click and drag your company logo to the location of the stock logo you just deleted.

Complete the Recipient’s Information

After you add your company’s information, it’s time to document your client’s information. In this section, you’ll want to include (at minimum):

  • Name of contact
  • Company name
  • Business address

Specify the Invoice Information, Due Date, and Payment Terms

Invoice Number

Invoice numbers help you track the different invoices that you send out. Also, you can format your invoice numbers to distinguish your different customers or clients. For example, one client can have the prefix “A” and another client can have the prefix “B.” If you see an invoice number labeled “A-0001,” you immediately know that this invoice is for Client A.

Invoice Date

This date should be the date that you send out the invoice, not the date you created it.

Invoice Due Date

If you created a contract with this client or customer, refer back to it and enter what you agreed on. For some companies, payment is due upon receipt of the invoice. For other companies, payment would be due within one week, one month, or more of receiving the invoice.

Payment Terms

If additional payment terms apply, like a late payment penalty or an early payment discount, add that information to this section. 

Step 3: Itemize the Products or Services Rendered

Description

Briefly describe the product or services that you provided. If you offered consulting services on how to start a business, you can enter  “business startup consulting.” If you sold merchandise, you can enter “Red Sweater, Size: Medium.”

Add a separate line for each product or service. Using the merchandise example, you would use the next line if they ordered shoes and the next line if they ordered hats.

Quantity or Hours

Depending on the invoice you selected, this header may default to “Quantity” or “Hours.” If you sold products, this header should be labeled “Quantity.” If you’re offering a service, where you charge by the hour, change the header to “hours.”

Here, you will break down the quantity of products a customer ordered or how many hours you worked with a client.

Taxes

If you need to charge an additional tax, like a sales tax, make sure that you choose a template that has this feature available. In this cell, enter the percentage or decimal value of your tax. 

Shipping

If your business is selling physical products and you charge for shipping, enter that amount in this cell block.

Additional Notes

Some Excel invoice templates have a section to add a note for the recipient. This section usually isn’t required but it’s a great place to thank your customer or client for their patronage.

Step 4: Review Your Invoice

Take a moment to review your invoice for accuracy. As we mentioned, your invoices are an extension of your brand and you want to make sure they are professional. Careless mistakes can deter clients from working with you in the future if they can’t trust that they’ll be billed accurately.

After you confirm that it is clear of any invoicing mistakes, it’s time to save it and send it out.

Step 5: Save Your Invoice

Now that you’ve successfully created an invoice in Excel, you can save it to your computer. Many businesses convert their invoices into PDF format to send it electronically to their customers.

Here is how you can convert your Excel document into a PDF document:

  1. Click “File.”
  2. Click “Print.”
  3. Click “Print” from the print menu.
  4. For “Print Settings,” select “Active Sheet.”
  5. For page orientation, portrait is the most common format for invoice templates.
  6. For scaling, select “Fit Sheet on One Page” from the drop-down menu (unless the invoice is more involved and needs multiple pages).
  7. Click “Print.”
  8. For the destination, select “Save as PDF” from the drop-down menu.
  9. Click “Save.”
  10. In the “Save As” field, label your invoice file.
  11. Click “Save” again.

Step 6: Send Your Invoice

The final step is to send your invoice to your client. Now that you saved your invoice as a PDF, you can send it as an electronic attachment. Depending on how you communicate with your client or customer, you can attach your invoice in an email or a direct message on a social media platform.

Alternatively, you can mail out your invoice. In this scenario, you’ll need to print your invoice. To do this, you’ll simply select the printer you want to print your invoice from instead of choosing to save it as a PDF. You may want to consider printing an extra copy for your own records.

The Bottom Line

Since Microsoft Excel is free (through the web-version), we recommend using it if you’re running on a lean budget. When your business grows and scales, you can then consider investing in a paid invoice software. Until then, an invoice generated with Excel works fine and it’s easy to do. 

Invoicing can be a tricky process, especially if you’re just starting out. But if you figure out how to invoice at the very beginning, it will save you several headaches down the line. We hope that this guide on how to create an invoice in Excel offered one solution to your invoicing needs.

Article Sources:

  1. HubSpot.com. “The Current State of SMB Invoicing

Dan Marticio

Dan Marticio is a freelance business writer specializing in personal finance and entrepreneurship. He has written about topics ranging from investing and net worth to startup guides and productivity hacks. He helps small businesses scale and profit through compelling content.

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