Should I include bank details on my invoice?

Contractor's Question: I've read the guidance, but am still not sure whether I should include my bank details on my invoices; is it standard practice to do so? Or is stating 'cheque payable to' and then inputting my name/company name on the invoice more common? If I won't upset my new client, who I'm supplying direct, I'd also like to enter a payment 'due date' on my invoice, as they are slowing up a bit. Maybe there's a template I should be using that entirely caters for a freelancer's invoice requirements.

Expert's Answer: Using a template for invoicing is not really relevant as each freelancer will be supplying different services, so you would still have to enter your particular details, which I presume your current invoice already has displayed, and in a similar format.

Your invoice should be very detailed as to the services and dates provided and should also contain a client order/reference number, if applicable. And as cheques are being phased out, I recommend that you provide your bank details to all your clients, both on the invoice document and your accompanying supplier letterhead.

Ensure you always invoice weekly or monthly, depending on the client's requirements and what's been agreed between you and the client. The terms for payment should always be established before work commences, including the relevant timetable - i.e. 7-14/21-30-day payment terms. If you want to be thorough, consider that there is no reason not to state these terms of payment on the invoice. Aim though to the bottom of the document, perhaps inputting the terms below the work you carried out.

Similarly, there is equally no reason why anyone should take offence at the insertion of supplier payment terms in the middle of an invoice chain; no doubt when doing business with other companies, your client puts their own terms on their invoices.

The expert was Ann Home, a director of Safe Collections.

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