How to create an invoice
This article explains how to create an invoice in FreeAgent to send to a customer.
If you need to make changes to an invoice that you've previously created, find out how to edit an invoice.
Before you start
Please ensure that the customer you are creating the invoice for has been added as a contact, either by uploading their information into FreeAgent, importing them from Basecamp or manually adding them as a new contact, before following the steps below.
1. Navigate to ‘Invoicing’
First, navigate to the ‘Work’ tab at the top of the screen and select ‘Invoicing’ from the drop-down menu.
Alternatively, you can create an invoice by selecting ‘Quick Links’ on the ‘Overview’ page and selecting ‘New Invoice’ from the drop-down menu.
If you’re creating your first invoice in FreeAgent, select ‘Create your first invoice’.
If you’ve already created your first invoice in FreeAgent, select 'Add New Invoice' in the top-right to create a new one.
2. Complete the invoice details
Next, you’ll need to complete the contact and project details, invoice details, online payment options (if applicable) and more options fields.
Contact and project details
Select which customer the invoice is for from the ‘Contact’ drop-down menu. Please note that if the contact is hidden they won’t appear in the list. You can also add a new contact by selecting 'Or add a new contact' next to the ‘Contact’ field. However, this only allows you to enter the name of the new contact, not their email address. You will need to edit the contact to add additional details if you create a contact this way.
If you’re creating this invoice as part of an existing project, select the relevant project from the ‘Project’ drop-down menu. If it's for a new project, you'll need to create the project first.
If you select a project to attach the invoice to, you will be given the option to add any unbilled items from the project to the invoice. You can choose to add unbilled timeslips, expenses and estimates.
You’ll need to complete the main details for the invoice in this section.
FreeAgent automatically gives the invoice a reference number but you can override the ‘Invoice Reference’ field if you need to. The default invoice sequencing in FreeAgent is global. For more information on how invoice numbering works in FreeAgent, please see this article.
Invoice date, payment terms and currency
Enter the invoice date, payment terms and select the currency for the invoice. If you’ve set specific payment terms for your contact, these will be applied to the invoice.
Add any additional text that you wish to include on the invoice. If you want to include this text on all of your invoices, select 'Set default additional text', add the text to the pop-up window and select ‘Save’.
You can enable automatic emailing options for the invoice by ticking the relevant checkboxes. Please note that to enable these features, you will need to set up the relevant email templates in the ‘Settings’ area of FreeAgent. You can set up templates to automatically email your invoices, email payment reminders and email a thank you note once the invoice has been marked as paid.
Online payment options
You can allow your customer to pay the invoice via GoCardless, PayPal, Stripe or Tyl by NatWest by ticking the appropriate checkbox. Please note that you need to enable these features in FreeAgent before you can use them.
Select the chevron arrow next to 'More Options' to expand this section and then enter the relevant details if required.
To apply a discount to the entire invoice, enter the discount percentage in the ‘Invoice Discount’ field.
Client contact name
To send the invoice to someone other than the person listed as the contact for that customer (e.g. if the listed contact is the purchase ledger clerk and you want to send the invoice to the finance manager), enter the name of the person you wish to address the invoice to in the ‘Client Contact Name’ field.
Custom payment terms
You can set different payment terms using the ‘Custom Payment Terms’ field. Please note that this will override the payment terms in the ‘Invoice Details’ section, but will not affect automatic reminder emails.
You can add a purchase order reference using the ‘PO Reference’ field.
The details of your primary bank account in FreeAgent will be displayed on your invoices by default. To display different bank account details on the invoice, select the relevant bank account from the ‘Bank Account’ drop-down menu. Please note that the ‘Show these details on Invoices’ checkbox in the ‘Optional Details’ section for the bank account will need to be ticked for it to appear in the list.
Are you using Letterheaded Paper?
Tick this checkbox if you intend to print the invoice on letterheaded paper and wish to omit your logo and company address details from the invoice, otherwise leave it unticked and both your logo and company address will be included.
Display project name
If the invoice relates to a project in FreeAgent and you wish to include the project name on the invoice, check the 'Display Project Name' box.
Always show BIC and IBAN number
Tick this checkbox if you entered either a BIC or IBAN number when you set up the bank account that relates to the invoice, and you want to include either (or both) of these numbers on the invoice.
Select the appropriate VAT option by ticking the relevant checkbox. Please note that you will need to enable non-standard UK VAT rates in your ‘VAT Registration’ settings if you need these.
Once you’ve entered the relevant details, select ‘Create New Invoice’ at the bottom of the screen.
3. Add items to the invoice
Next, you’ll need to add line items to the invoice.
To do this, select ‘Add Invoice Item’.
This will bring up the 'Add Invoice Item’ screen.
Once you have entered all the necessary details for the invoice line item, select 'Create and Finish’ to complete the process and add it to the invoice. If you need to add additional invoice items, select 'Create and Add Another'. For more information on adding a line item to an invoice, please see this article.
4. Mark the invoice as sent
If you selected the option to email the invoice automatically in the ‘Invoice Emails’ section, select ‘Send Now’ to activate the invoice in your account and email it to your customer.
If you didn’t select the option to email the invoice automatically, select ‘Mark as Sent’ to activate the invoice in your account. You can then send the invoice to your customer manually.
A record of the invoice having been created will appear in your Audit Trail report.