What you need to track in your online invoice tracker.

Oct 18 2019 | PayPal editorial staff

For many small businesses, sending an invoice reminder to collect the occasional late payment is par for the course. You may think your trusty invoice book is enough to keep you organized, but you should consider taking your invoice tracker online.
Whether you choose to rely on a simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or prefer the advantages of an automated invoice tracker, there’s a digital solution for nearly every type of business.

How to create an invoice tracker.

An easy way to create your own invoicing tracking template is by using an Excel spreadsheet. With an Excel spreadsheet, you can organize your billing in multiple ways. While a ledger is usually kept chronologically according to date, an online tracker can filter your invoices based on name, receivable, date, receipt number, and more. When creating your invoice tracking template, it’s a good idea to start by including the following:

  1. Invoice number. There are a variety of ways to assign invoice numbers, so choose the one that works best for your business. No matter how the number is formatted on the actual bill, consider using a standard number of digits. So, instead of entering numbers ‘99’ or ‘100,’ use ‘00099’ and ‘00100.’
  2. Customer. If you organize your customers by name, enter that information here. Some vendors assign repeat clients a unique number. If this is true for your business, make sure you include that number with the client name.
  3. Invoice date. While your bills may include dates for services, you generally won’t use a service date on your tracker template. For your Invoice Date, use the date that you issued the invoice.
  4. Due date. This is the date the total amount is due. Pro tip: In order to avoid confusion and potential late payments, it’s a good idea to list your payment terms directly on the invoice.
  5. Amount. The amount is the grand total due, including any taxes or fees for things like delivery.
  6. Amount paid. Even if your business doesn’t accept partial payments, it’s a good idea to keep track of the amount your client paid. You’ll be able to easily see when the transaction is complete and if you do end up processing a partial payment, you won’t need to make any changes to your template.
  7. Outstanding amount. This number may be different than the total, particularly if you accept partial payments or if your business collects late fees.
  8. Status. This column is particularly helpful when you want to see a list of outstanding accounts. Typically, the status of a bill will either be Current or Past Due.
Pro tip: If you want to automate your invoice tracker, PayPal Invoicing does the heavy lifting for you. The PayPal invoice tracker updates automatically to include each new bill and track its payment status. You’ll see the status of each invoice and have the ability to record payments, send reminders, and more, using a convenient drop-down menu.
 
 

Customize your invoice tracker. 

Once you’ve got the basics covered, you can think about customizing your invoice tracker to meet your specific needs. Does it make sense for your billing to include additional information about the customer? Do you have employees who made the sale or provided the service? When it comes to tailoring your tracker template, you might consider including the following things:
  1. Customer contact information. You probably won’t use this for tracking purposes, but having the customer’s phone number or email address on-hand will save you the hassle of digging up their information if you need to follow up or send a reminder.
  2. Point of contact. If your business deals with companies rather than individuals, you’ll likely have a point of contact within that company and may want to add that person’s name to your template.
  3.  Employee. For businesses that pay employees a commission, this column is probably a must-have. Even if your employees don’t earn a commission, it could be helpful to have an employee’s name attached to a sale, should you need any additional information.
  4. Reminder. On the rare occasion that you do need to send a reminder, this column is where you would record the date that you sent the reminder.
  5. Late fees. Depending on the payment terms for your business, late payments may incur an additional fee. Track those fees in this column.
  6. Past Due Age. No matter what your payment terms are, it’s a good idea to track how late an overdue payment is. If you work with a collection agency, this column is an absolute must-have, but even if you don’t, it’s an easy way to identify the clients who are habitually late payers. If a client is consistently behind, it might be time to consider breaking ties.

Send an invoice reminder. 

Online invoice tracking can be a big time-saver over a traditional ledger, but you’ll probably still have to do any following up manually. When you sign up for PayPal Invoicing, you’ll have the ability to send your reminders in just a few clicks; you can even schedule bills to be sent on a specific date.
 
With PayPal Invoicing, you'll have a dashboard where you can view the complete history of an invoice, accept payments from 200+ markets around the globe, and more. Even better, PayPal Invoicing can help you get paid faster by giving your customers an easy way to pay – even if they don’t have a PayPal account. For example, 79% of businesses using
PayPal Invoicing reported that they received payment on an invoice within a week from the time the invoice is sent out.1
 
No matter what kind of invoice tracker you use, organization is key. You’d hate to leave money on the table because of a messy ledger. PayPal Invoicing can help you stay organized, save time, and get paid.
 
The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.
 
1Source: comScore, based on a survey of 1,226 US and Canadian small- and medium–sized business owne­­rs asked how long on average it takes to receive a payment on an invoice from the time the invoice is sent out, using their primary invoicing tool, December 2017. 320 of surveyed businesses are currently using PayPal. 
 

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Frequently asked questions.

PayPal invoices are easy to create. Just enter your customer’s email address. Then add an item with its quantity and amount. Add as many items as you like. You can include personalized notes, terms and conditions, discounts, or any attachments your customer might need.
When you’re finished, click Preview to see how your invoice will look for your customer.
 

How do I send invoices?

You can send PayPal invoices to any email address in the world. When your invoice is ready, just click or tap the Send button and PayPal’s platform will send an email notification with a secure link to the invoice directly to your customer. If they have a PayPal account, your customer will also receive notifications about the invoice when they log into their account.
 

How do I share invoice links?

You can also share links to invoices directly with your customers. On the desktop experience, click Share link to invoice under the Send action. You’ll get a link that lets your customer view and pay the invoice. You can copy the link and your invoice becomes payable. Then share it by email, text, or messaging app. Because invoices contain your customers’ personal information, don’t share the invoice link on a public site.
To share the link again, copy it from your list of invoices by clicking the three-dot icon for the invoice. Or get the link by opening up the invoice details.
 

How do I send invoices to multiple customers?

Send the same invoice to up to 100 customers by clicking Multiple customers and entering each email address in the Bill to field. We’ll send a separate, payable invoice to each customer.
 

How do I import a batch of invoices?

Create and send a batch of multiple invoices by importing a CSV file. Use our spreadsheet template to fill out the invoice details for each customer. For each invoice, include a customer email address, item name, and item amount. After you import the spreadsheet file, you can view a summary of the imported invoices before sending them. Once you send the file, we’ll email each customer a secure link to pay their invoice. For customer security, PayPal limits the number of invoices you can send in a single day.
Learn more about batch invoices.

Can I manage PayPal Invoicing from my mobile?

You can create, send, and manage invoices on both desktop computers and mobile phones. You can also send and manage invoices on the go with the PayPal Business mobile app. Get the mobile app from the Apple Store or Google Play. Learn more.
 

What are quick invoices?

Quick invoices let you send easy, professional payment requests on your mobile phone. They streamline invoice creation so you can quickly share a link to an invoice with your customer. Your customer will still get a professional invoice including your default business information.

On a mobile phone web browser:

1. Log into PayPal and go to your invoices.
2. Tap on the button icon in the lower right.
3. Choose Send a quick invoice, enter an amount, and payment description.
4. Tap Create and Share Link.
5. When your invoice link is ready, tap Share Link, and then share it by email, text, or messaging app.
 
On the PayPal Business mobile app:

1. Tap on the lightning bolt-shaped Quick Actions icon in the lower right.
2. Choose Send a Quick Invoice and follow prompts.
3. Tap Create and Share Link, then share it by email, text, or messaging app.
4. Tap Done.
 

How do invoices for shippable items work?

If you’re shipping an item or need your customer to give a shipping address, check the Ship Order box when you’re creating your invoice. You can then add any shipping costs. When your customer pays, you’ll be able to add tracking information when you ship their order.
 

How do I schedule recurring invoices?

You can set invoices to repeat weekly, monthly, yearly, or at a custom interval. When you start a recurring series of invoices, the customer will immediately receive the first invoice. (You also can schedule the recurring series to start at a future date.) The following invoices in the series will issue around 7:00 AM in your time zone according to frequency that you set.
 

Can I cancel a recurring invoice series?

 You can cancel a single invoice within a recurring series or the entire series of invoices. To cancel an invoice, tap the three-dot icon for the invoice within your list of invoices. You can also cancel the invoice from its details page. When you cancel an invoice within a recurring series, we’ll ask if you want to cancel the single invoice or the entire series.
 

How do I send invoices across national borders?

There’s no extra step to send invoices across national borders. You can send PayPal invoices to any email address in the world.
If your customer has a PayPal account, we’ll display the invoice and email notification in their preferred language. If your customer doesn’t have a PayPal account, we’ll send the invoice and notification email in the language of your account. You can also specify a different language by editing your customer’s contact info when you create the invoice.
Fees vary by country or region. See seller fees.

You can view your invoices by going to the Invoicing section in your PayPal account. On this page, you have many options on how to find the specific invoice(s) you are looking for, how to sort them, and more.
After you send your PayPal invoices, your customers will be sent an email that links to your invoice. Your customer can then review the invoice and choose to pay you online with their debit or credit card, or using their PayPal Wallet.

You'll get an email confirming that we've sent your invoices, and when you've been paid.
 
To keep your list of invoices easy to use, you can archive any invoice that you’ve created, sent, or shared. You can also archive any paid or canceled invoices. You can delete draft invoices you no longer need on the invoice’s details page or in your list of invoices.
 

Can I cancel an invoice?

When you cancel a sent or shared invoice, your customer won’t be able to pay it.
To cancel an invoice on the desktop experience, find the invoice in your list of invoices and click the three-dot icon on the right side of the screen. You have the option of sending your customer a notification email about the invoice cancelation. On mobile, find the invoice from your list. Tap the More icon on invoice details and cancel it.
 

Can I record payments made outside PayPal?

If your customer pays by cash, check, or another offline method, you can record the payment from the invoice details page. You can also record an offline partial payment if your customer made a deposit or paid an installment. Recorded payments appear in the activity of the invoice’s details page along with any notes you’ve entered about the payments.
 

Can I add notes/memos for my records?

To add a note to your invoice for your own records, click or tap the More Options link while you’re creating an invoice. Add a memo that your customer won’t see. If you’ve already sent the invoice, you can add a memo on the invoice’s details page.
 

Can I give my customers a receipt?

When your customer pays a PayPal invoice, they automatically receive a payment receipt. If your customer wants another copy of the invoice, you can share a link to the paid invoice or create a PDF to send or print.
 

How do I download invoices for my business records?

To download single or multiple PDFs for your invoices, hover over one or more invoices in your list and check each box. Then choose Download from the actions displayed.
 

How do I integrate PayPal Invoicing into my website?

With a single integration, you can connect PayPal Invoicing directly into your order management system or website. You’ll need API credentials to connect your PayPal account to your platform so you can integrate PayPal Invoicing with your site.
Integrate PayPal Invoicing.

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