Invoices question

Ok so, maybe it's a silly question. But I like silly, so here it goes.
I'm a freelance designer, created my invoice in InDesign, how does everyone go on about it? Just use that master file for all invoices ever? Or do you do new files for every tax year? What's best practice?


  • Hi Luana, I use a simple design on Pages as it is super fast for me. I usaully have multiple templates depending on the type of clients. Differences are not huge, but even the small one helps speed up the process. I got a template including VAT 21% for clients based in my same country and individuals, another one without VAT for foreigners clients (businesses). This is working for me at the moment, but I would recommend to choose what works for you best accoridng to the number of invoices you send a month. If you send many, definitely consider somehitng automated and faster like an app or software
  • I use Google Docs!
    I can create quickly invoices online, from anywhere, and keeping them in a folder ready for my accountant.
    I can then export them to pdf to email them to clients.
    Super quick and easy.

    I now use Google Docs for my resume too, clean and simple design and most importantly easy to update or to customize for each client.
  • Hi Luana,

    Indesign not the most efficient way however I admit I do the same. Basically I have 2 working files one for quotes and one for invoice. I always just update the design file and save the pdf immediately, if I invoice for the same client again I look back the pdf. So I always have just one page working file.
  • I have a template in word and just use that. It's fairly simple and I just PDF it each time. Indesign feels like overkill to me.
  • Hi Luana.
    I started my career with indd templates as well, then moved onto a system 'designed' in pages to speed up workflow until I completely migrated to online apps and software.
    It's nice to have a good looking invoice, but in the end it doesn't really matter as the accounting teams only need the right information on it to process funds.
    Online apps/software give you limited design options, but they save you a lot of time in the long run: invoices are numbered from the start, you can set deadlines so you get reminders when to chase for payment or when to raise extra fees when someone hasn't paid on time. And if you integrate with tax software, that will be another few hours less to chase after admin bits each year. Hope you find the right way that works best for you. k
  • As much as I would LOVE to have a beautifully designed invoice, I've found it's best to trust the accounting software. It's so much more efficient and compliant. So, I use Sage and use their limited customisation options.
  • (Should also that yes, it produces a run-of-the-mill design template that won't look as good as InDesign masters BUT you can send yourself a PDF which you could drop into a Indesign Header/Footer). Most accounting departments only care for the figures not the design :D
  • Not strictly the answer your looking for, but I find free-to-use Wave Apps very easy to use and -more importantly- keeps everything organised and backed up whilst doing the heavy lifting with some of the math

    (You can also get paid through the app but this is where it goes into subscription territory)
  • Hi!
    I have a template done in APublisher (similar to Indesign) and export the template in PDF for each client. Said PDF stays on my desktop staring at me angrily until it is paid, and then goes onto a separate folder for each client, for each tax year. I never keep the master file of the invoice because I find it easier not having 100s of masterfiles. I stick to the same ID for everyone which is nameoftheclient-month-year-invoice number (the last one is because sometime I am issuing multiple invoices for the same client for a given month). Sometimes clients have specific order numbers and I have a special placeholder for that. That way they neatly display date-sorted in their folder. This is a system I adpted as I went along and now (after nearly 10 years!) it works well with me.

    Hope it helps!
  • I have InDesign invoice, what I do is each job ID example client_name_001. What I do is collect each invoice per client and put them in their own each folder by their tax year.

    From April to April I add all my income then minus my outgoings.
  • I also have an indesign template. Same as Benedict below - it took me some time to make it look nice - it was important for me, that it looks like an invoice made by a designer, as it comes from one. ;)

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