Following on from my Free Invoice Template post which has proven to be highly popular, I’ve been asked about credit notes by several visitors.
Credit notes are essentially the opposite of an invoice, and can either be claimed by clients in cash, or offset against future invoices or unpaid past invoices.
For example, if you’ve supplied your client with 100 widgets and five turn out to be faulty, you should issue a credit note for the five which are faulty. For freelancers who are providing services such as design or copy writing credit notes will be rarer, but it could be that the client isn’t happy with the work provided, or you are unable to complete all work on time so would like to issue a refund in the form of a credit note. Some contracts may have specified a penalty for late delivery which again could be provided by a credit note.
Credit notes should always be a last resort once all efforts have been made to rectify any issues your client may have had, but at the same time if a client really isn’t happy then trying to wriggle out of a refund will, in most cases, do more damage to your companies reputation and potential future work with that client than the value of the credit note!
Their layout and the information contained within them should be similar to that of an invoice although they won’t have a due date, and I’ve included a template in various formats below, which you can use or edit as you wish.