5 Critical Elements That Make A Good Invoice

Critical Elements That Make A Good Invoice

During a discovery session, one of our customer’s billing team members recently explained how they manually copy the invoice number from an excel spreadsheet every month into a billing system. They primarily have to do this due to the inability of their billing system’s current version to not automatically generate unique and sequential invoice numbers for generating an invoice document. Therefore, often the team encounters mistakes due to invoice numbers being repeated during subsequent month’s manual invoicing process. This sparks the conversation about the critical elements that make a good invoice and why we need an outstanding invoice? According to recent statistics, “84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue.” A good invoice is the first step to creating that awesome customer experience that drives revenue. 

However, when you send a quote for a job or service, it is not an invoice you sent their way, but a proforma invoice. A proforma invoice differs from a traditional invoice because it is sent to a customer before the job is done. Businesses usually create and send a proforma invoice to ensure the seller and the customer agree on the service requirement/product and the cost. Whether you are sending a commercial invoice or proforma invoice, invoicing needs to be simple, intuitive, and easy to follow.

Even as consumers, how often do we receive an invoice and struggle to find the exact date on which the payment is due? A term like ‘due on receipt,’ for example, creates ambiguity on whether a payment is due upon receipt of the goods/service or the receipt of the invoice. While this is not the first time we have heard of similar business processes for invoice creation and management, we believe there should be some best practices around the Invoice management processes.

What is an Invoice?

An invoice is a significant component of the Quote-to-Cash process as it is the trigger to receiving payments on time, the lifeblood of any company. In layman’s language, it is also called a payment statement or a bill. Invoices tend to become more of a marketing material than a means for getting the required details to the Accounts Payable team of the customers in a clear and precise manner. Knowing what Accounts Payable in an invoice means will help the customer to pay on time for their subscription or services they have opted for. In addition to the Product description, Unit of Measure, Quantity, and Price, below are a few other critical elements and considerations to design an invoice template.

critical elements that make a good invoice
Invoice Date and Invoice Number
The invoice date combined with the Payment Terms often determines when the payment to the invoice is due. It is a good practice to calculate and print the Due Date, so there is no ambiguity on when the payment is due. A unique Invoice number not only ensures that income is documented correctly for tax and accounting purposes; they also make it easier to track payments and establish traceability with the proper sales order for any customer disputes.
Billing Company’s Name and Remittance Address

Presenting the Company’s name, remittance address, and bank account information encourages customers to pay proactively and reach out for any payment/invoice clarifications. It is common to set up a deposit-only account and reference that bank account number on the invoice. This prevents fraudulent withdrawals while providing clear instructions for the Accounts Payable team for payment.


Often in the B2B world, the Invoices are sent to the purchasing team upon the fulfillment of the order, which in most cases will be different from the customer’s Accounts Payable (AP) department.

One of the leading causes of payment delays is the AP not receiving the payment statement on time. The best practice is sending the invoice to Accounts Payable, which records it in their system and then routes it to the purchaser/requestor for approval. Providing contact information (email and / phone) ensures the customer can reach out if they need clarification about the generated payment statement. The customer account number should be displayed on the payment statement for easy reference.


Sales and Use Tax, VAT / GST, are usually calculated based on the customer’s shipping location. Since the Ship-To information may differ from the Bill-To information, capturing the Ship-to information on an invoice is essential.

Purchase Order (PO) Number
Another good practice is to include the Purchase Order (PO) number on a sales invoice where the customer issues a PO. For purchase made via a Purchase Order, the Accounts Payable department usually perform a three-way match among the invoice, receiving data, and the purchase order upon receiving the invoice. If all the three align, payments are generally released on time. However, there is a high chance of payment getting delayed if the PO number is missing / does not match. 

Laying out an invoice is both an art and a science. There is a lot of information that needs to be properly balanced and presented inside the invoice pages. Following the above-mentioned critical elements that make a good invoice, you can definitely create a better customer experience for your customers. Want to streamline your billing processes? Wish to come out of the manual billing errors? Salesforce Revenue Cloud can be a great tool to boost your customer experience as well as employee experience and sales experience? Too good to believe, we can help demonstrate and orchestrate it for you. 

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Brion Schweers, Board Observer

Brion Schweers is a Senior Vice President of Product Management at Salesforce, currently managing the Revenue Cloud Solution Excellence team. During the past 30 years, Brion has assisted enterprises around the world in transforming their business by focusing on their Product-to-Cash processes. Prior to joining Salesforce Brion was VP & GM, CPQ at Apttus, VP, Sales & Success at A5 Consulting, served on the OAUG ConfigSIG Board and spent 15 years at Oracle in various roles related to their CX and CPQ products. Brion is also the executive Sponsor of Vetforce – Carolinas and is actively involved in the Salesforce Military program where he mentors Veterans and their spouses with actionable, personalized career advice.

Joseph Truhe, Board Member

Joseph Truhe has over 20 years of investing experience. Prior to joining Jefferson Capital in 2013 Joseph was a Portfolio Manager with Whitney Bank in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he oversaw the company’s Trust accounts and served as the Energy sector analyst for the Hancock Horizon Funds. Prior to Whitney, Joseph worked as an analyst and member of the investment committee at HFR Asset Management, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund platform in Chicago, Illinois. There, Joseph reviewed and maintained investment discretion over the firm’s Event Driven and Asia-focused hedge fund allocations. He was also responsible for the expansion of the firm’s Asia-focused fund offerings.  Joseph holds a BA in Economics from Yale University.

Steve Swartzman, Board Member

Steve Swartzman is a Principal and co-founder of CPC. Previously, as a co-founder of C3 Capital, he helped originate and manage over 35 investments, including national brands such as American Apparel, Traeger Grills, and Grunt Style. Steve’s chief focus remains consumer brands and e-commerce enablement businesses, and he currently serves on the boards of Grunt Style, Accel Clinical Research, Spoke Custom Products, Warne Scope Mounts, and New World Natural Brands.

Prior to C3, Steve structured and managed subordinated debt investments at KC Venture Group, and he spent 7 years as a Vice President with Citibank in New York, managing client relationships for emerging markets clients and structuring over $1 billion in complex trade financings. He is a past President of the Midwest chapter of the Small Business Investment Alliance, and he serves on the board of the International Center for Music at Park University in Kansas City.

Steve received a MBA from Columbia Business School and an AB in History and Literature from Harvard College.

He resides in Kansas City, where he was raised, with his wife Evelina and two sons, Harrison and Zandy. When he’s not working, his favorite activities are fishing, golfing, and eating.

Charles Scripps, Board Member

Chad has over ten years of experience investing in dynamic, growing businesses in diverse industries and geographies. His private equity experience includes HIG Capital, which has over $12B in capital under management, and AEA Investors, which manages over $3B of invested and committed capital. While at HIG and AEA, Chad led diligence, structuring, and financial analysis of potential and existing investments, and completed transactions in the industrial products and consumer services industries. Chad also has experience investing in the public equity markets, most notably as a Managing Director at Fox Point Capital, a $1B fund seeded by Julian Robertson of Tiger Management. He invested across a number of industries, including industrials, financials, technology, and consumer products, and led Fox Point’s international research. Prior to focusing his career on investing, Chad was a management consultant at McKinsey and Company, solving strategic problems for the world’s leading companies. Chad earned an MBA with Honors in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS with Distinction in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Lester F. Alexander II, Board Member

Les Alexander is a partner with Jefferson Capital Partners where he provides mezzanine and equity capital for growth and buyout transactions. Mr. Alexander is a member of the firm’s investment committee and serves on the board of directors of several portfolio companies where he is actively involved in strategic planning and corporate governance. Prior to joining Jefferson Capital, he worked at Advantage Capital Partners where he completed several portfolio company investments and served on the investment committee. Before becoming a private equity investor, Mr. Alexander served as president of Ferrara Fire Apparatus, Inc., a leading fire truck and emergency vehicle manufacturer. At Ferrara, he was responsible for managing a workforce of 450 employees producing over 300 vehicles annually for its domestic and international customers. As an investment banker for 15 years with such firms as Howard Weil, Southcoast Capital, and J.C. Bradford & Co., Mr. Alexander completed over 50 public offerings of debt and equity securities, private placements, and merger and acquisition transactions totaling more than $7 billion for public and private companies in a variety of industries. Mr. Alexander is an adjunct professor at Tulane University and Loyola University where he teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in investment banking, private equity & venture capital, advanced financial management, investments, and entrepreneurship. He is also the board president for Benjamin Franklin High School, a public charter school in New Orleans. Mr. Alexander is the former Chairman Finance of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) and served on the global Board of Directors. He is a founder of the Louisiana chapter of ACG and was a recipient of the ACG global Meritorious Service Award and the Louisiana chapter’s Outstanding Service Award. Mr. Alexander received his bachelor of science in Commerce from the University of Virginia in 1989 and his MBA from the University of North Carolina in 1993.

Patrick F. Healy, Board Member

Based in Kansas City, Mr. Healy is a co-founder of C3 Capital. He has been an active private equity investor since 1985 and was a co-founder of C3 Holdings in 1994. Prior to this time, he sponsored and structured equity investments in real estate. He gained extensive workout and restructuring experience as chair of the creditor’s committee of a $1 billion bankruptcy and from being called upon to rescue a publicly-traded company from a major fraud. Mr. Healy was a senior tax partner at Mayer Hoffman McCann, a regional CPA firm, for eleven years. He received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Kansas.

Chris Waters, VP of Strategic Sales

As Vice President of Strategic Sales, Chris guides and influences all strategic sales activities at A5 , starting in presales activities, successful sales methodology, sales process, and continued revenue generation and expansion opportunities. Furthermore, he will provide oversight in strategic sales function for the company and develop strategic sales plans that will promote growth in sales and customer satisfaction. Chris has proven his commitment to sales leadership and organizational success through field leadership as National Sales Manager at Deluxe Corporation, Field Sales Manager within the Social / Analytics Cloud at Oracle, US Regional Manager for CPQ Major Accounts at Oracle and now as Vice President on Sr. Leadership Team at A5.

Keith Fox, GM Salesforce Canada

Keith Fox is a software and consulting veteran for the past 34 years. Keith started his career at EDS which was followed by 4-year stint offshore in Bermuda. Keith then returned to Canada where he held a number of progressive sales and technical positions with software companies such as Sybase, BEA, and Oracle. After his stint with Oracle, Keith founded Cloudware Connections, a premier Salesforce consulting partner. 11 years down the line, Cloudware was acquired by A5, and Keith joined as GM for Canada.

Tarun Sharma, Vice President Delivery

Tarun Sharma is Vice President Delivery at A5 and is responsible for customer success, project operations, recruitment, resource utilization, and sales operations functions for Oracle practice. As a business and technology leader Tarun helps businesses develop solution strategies to streamline the sales process and improve customer relations to drive revenues, profits, and build brand loyalty. Tarun has led customers through digital transformation journeys. He has commanded strategic and tactical initiatives to shorten sales cycles, increase deal values and productivity, improve brand awareness and help organizations become easier to do business with. He has helped customers modernize their sales enablement tools and present a single source of information to support an omni-channel sales approach. This includes global roll-out for multiple business units included multi-currency and multi-language. Tarun graduated from Texas A&M University with a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering.

Adam Rosenfield, VP of Salesforce Practice

As Vice President of A5’s consulting practice – Adam is responsible for both strategic alliances with partners and expanded sales growth through the entire portfolio of A5 services. With over 20 years of Sr. level management consulting expertise – Adam has worn multiple hats in his career including practice development, sales, and client advisory. He has sold & delivered countless enterprise transformational initiatives creating a measurable competitive advantage for his customers. In addition to various technical software certifications, Adam holds an undergraduate and master’s degree in Accounting & Information Technology from the University of Texas at Austin and resides in El Paso Texas with his wife and 3 children.

PJ Alfrejd, CFO

As the CFO, PJ is responsible for all things financial at A5. With over 20 years of experience in financial leadership positions, PJ has worn all the hats required of a growing tech business. His extensive knowledge of the consulting industry, experience with M&A, and strength in operational finance is another catalyst to take A5 to the next level in its growth trajectory. PJ is a CPA with a BS in Accounting from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and has held various finance leadership positions at Exodus/Savvis (acquired by Centurylink), Neohapsis (acquired by Cisco), and mFoundry (acquired by FIS).

Vinay Kruttiventi, President & CEO / Chairman of the Board

As the CEO of A5, Vinay plays an active role in all aspects of day-to-day business operations. He is also actively involved in establishing a strategy and vision for the company. As a true customer advocate with Salesforce and Oracle product development, Vinay is actively engaged in various industry user/special interest groups. Since founding the company in 2004, Vinay has grown the business into a leading Salesforce, and Oracle partner focused on multi-cloud transformations.

Vinay has successfully implemented and architected CPQ solutions and multi-cloud complex transformation projects for various Fortune 500 companies since 1996. He has a strong authority over industry, process, and technology in Configure-Price-Quote and ERP applications. Vinay graduated from Osmania University with a Bachelor of Engineering degree and JNTU (Jawaharlal Nehru Technical University) with a Master in Technology degree.