Coaches often start off their invoicing using Excel, before moving on to a paid software package. One of the ways to save time if you’re issuing invoices in Excel, is to keep all the information in a separate comprehensive list, so you don’t have to open individual invoices to find what you’re looking for.
Below are my tips on what to include in this list…
If you have version 2007 or later of Excel, be sure to make use of their table feature. The reasons I use tables ALL the time are:
- It automatically adds in a filter so you can choose specific data from the drop downs in each column (e.g. if you want to see invoices in a certain time frame, or a specific client etc.)
- It keeps everything formatted how you want it, and is easy to increase/decrease in size by dragging the very bottom right corner of the table
- It’s easy to add in a Total Row to automatically keep totals of individual columns
- You can create pivot tables to summarise the data with a few clicks of the mouse
- The design of the table can be quickly & easily changed to keep in with your branding/company colours etc.
These are headings which I would use in my invoice list…
They are self-explanatory, but I would always try to include a formula to make it as automated as possible. For example, if the vat amount is always going to be 23%, then have a formula in that column to calculate 23% of the Net Amount column. Another example could be if your payment terms are always 10 days, then have a formula in the Due Date column to calculate 10 days from the Invoice Date column.
I tend to use conditional formatting within a lot of my lists. One way I make use of it in an invoice list is to apply a condition in the Due Date column that will turn the cell a certain colour if the due date is past today’s date; another way is to highlight invoices which are above or below a certain amount.
I ALWAYS use filters on every list I make, regardless of whether it’s in a table or not! If you use the table feature in Excel then the filter is automatically applied. Filters are a great way of, well, filtering the data so you only see the information you want to see. For example, you could filter it by name, amounts, dates etc. More in-depth filtering could be that you only show invoices raised in the last month, or invoice amounts that are less than €500, for example. That’s the beauty of autofilter – you decide how much or how little information is shown.
This last tip is a bit obvious but is one that I see constantly! If you have a column headed Invoice Paid or something to that effect – what do you put? Yes? NO! Don’t just type in yes, type in the actual date that payment was made. There’s no point just saying Yes if you then have to check through your statements to find out when it was paid. Remember, this list is to make it as easy as possible for you to obtain ALL information when needed. If a client calls you asking for information regarding their invoices, all you have to do is filter the spreadsheet by their name & everything will be there… amounts, dates and any notes made.
I hope this helps save you a bit of time when it comes to your invoicing lists.
I love working with spreadsheets (I even have a mug saying so 🙂 ), so if you want any help with any of your lists in your coaching business please feel free to contact me.