Stripe invoicing made easy

You have already made the most important decision when you chose Stripe for online payments on your WordPress site to support your online business. Now you and your clients can enjoy a significantly facilitated payment process. If you are experiencing difficulties with preparing and sending invoices with Stripe payment, read on as we have prepared this article for you.

How to prepare a Stripe invoice?

Once you are on your personalized Stripe dashboard, click Customers then Invoices, which will be the second sub-item. If you are just starting out with Stripe payments, worry not, we are going to walk you through the whole process as you have no invoices yet.

You can start creating an invoice if you click on +New in the upper right corner where you have to select one of your customers as your first step. As you have no customers yet, select +Add new customer by supplying a name, email address, and a description, then click Add customer. You can fill out the details for a fictional customer to see the whole workflow. As soon as you selected your desired customer, you may start creating the invoice.

Invoice creation

On the invoice creation page provides a user-friendly approach where you have full control over your invoice. Under “Items”, you can manually add all the essential details of your invoice items, and beyond, to create an invoice for your customers.

  • Description: The description should contain the product or service that you sold. You can add additional items by clicking Add item.

  • Qty: Specify the quantity of each item by typing the correct number.

  • Price: The unit price is the price of an individual item/service. For example, if you sold five products of the same kind, you only have to put the price of one product here. The system will automatically calculate the total amount.

  • Discount: If you would like to add a discount/coupon to the invoice, click Add coupon. You will see a pop-up window where you can search for a specific coupon or create a new one.

  • Tax: If the country or state where you conduct your business requires you to charge taxes, click Add default tax, and simply type the percentage which will be added to the final amount.

  • Memo: This could be any message to your customer. You may thank them for purchasing from you or add any personalized message related to the transaction.

  • Billing: Here, you have two options:
    • Automatically charge the default payment source on file
    • Email invoice to the customer to pay manually
  • Payment due: You can select how many days your customer has to finalize the payment after the invoice was sent. The default is 30 days but you can change it to whatever works the best for you.

  • Invoice payment page: By ticking this, your email will include a link to a Stripe payment page where your customers can easily pay, download, and see the progress of their invoice.

  • Payment methods: You may select credit and debit card, ACH credit, wire transfer, and European payment solutions as acceptable Stripe payment methods.

Your invoice draft is saved automatically, so you are ready to go! In the top right corner, you have three options to proceed with the invoice:

  • Preview: This feature enables you to see the invoice in its final form, which can be extremely useful to double check if everything is included in the invoice.

  • Send Invoice: Send the invoice right away to your customer!

  • Charge customer: You can automatically charge the customer with a payment method on file.

Customized Invoices

Stripe payment allows you to customize your invoices. You might have several reasons to use this function; here are six ways to customize your invoices.

  • Custom fields: When using the Invoice editor, custom fields are located on the Advanced options pane. Here you can include up to four key-value pairs such as PO numbers, tax compliance, contractor numbers, etc. Custom invoice fields can be set up in advance for both invoices and customers.

  • Memo field: As mentioned above, this field enables you to leave any personalized message to your customer. On the Billing Settings page, you can preset the content of the memo field.

  • Footer field: This field is similar to the Memo; however, it is located at the bottom of your invoice. This is generally used to indicate legally required information related to your business. On the Billing Settings page, you can preset the content of the footer field.

  • Localized language: In Stripe, you have the option to set a specific language on your customer’s profile. Invoices, PDFs, receipts, and emails will be sent out in the selected language to your customer.

  • Number and prefix of invoices: Stripe automatically creates a unique prefix and a sequence number for each of your customers. It can be especially useful for tracking invoices from the database.

  • Customized branding: Oh, the design! This is usually the last step when preparing an invoice, but its importance shouldn’t be underestimated. On the Branding Settings page, you can alter the look of your customer’s User Interface (UI) and emails by setting up icons, logos, and changing the background color.

Subscriptions

If you have a monthly recurring invoice, a subscription, you can automate the process to eliminate repetitive manual invoicing. Under Customer click Subscriptions then +New to select your customer from the drop-down menu. Once you have selected your customer, you can easily set up a recurring Stripe payment which will be sent out automatically every billing period.

Invoice lifecycle in Stripe

Now you can easily create invoices in Stripe. But what happens with the invoices once they are sent out?

Stripe has its own straightforward lifecycle for invoices, which involves several steps from invoice creation to receiving payment. On your dashboard, you can see five different statuses for your invoices.

  • Draft: As mentioned above, you have the option to save invoices for later use. If you are just preparing an invoice or would like to edit it later, click “x” in the top left corner, then it will show up as a Draft in the list of your invoices. You may later finalize or delete the invoice.

  • Open: This means that the invoice has been sent and is currently awaiting payment from your customer. At this stage, you cannot edit the invoice anymore, however, you have options to change its state to Paid, Void, or label it as Uncollectible.

  • Void: Use this when an invoice has been finalized but it has to be canceled. This may happen when a customer cancels the order or a mistake occurred in the invoice. For future reference, the full record of the invoice’s lifecycle will be stored including the time of its creation, finalization, and voiding.

  • Uncollectible: If for any reason your customer is unable or refuses to pay, mark the given invoice Uncollectible. It’s essential to keep track of such invoices as these bad debts can be written off by your accountant.

  • Paid: If your customer has paid for your invoice, it will automatically appear as Paid on your dashboard. You may also manually mark invoices if the payment came through some other way.

As you can see, creating invoices for your Stripe payments is quite easy and straightforward, enabling you to meet the unique needs of your customers. If you would like to know more our WordPress Stripe payment plugin, please visit us here.

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