Online invoicing and accounting software like Nutcache have literally changed the way people do business.

Freelancers can now easily send an invoice to their client and receive payment for their services right away. Gone are the days when one had to wait for check payments in the mail or sit at a client’s office for hours just to secure payment.

Whether this is your first time issuing invoices or not, you want to make sure that you make the payment process smooth and transparent for both you and your clients. One way to do this is to create an invoicing and payment system that clearly defines the deliverables and what steps to take to pay for those deliverables.

Create clearer and better invoices

Your invoice is the first step in this process. It should clearly explain what is being charged, how much is due, when payment is due, and how the client can pay the invoice. This prevents common disputes that could slow down the payment process and create delays in your business.

To give you a head start, here are five important parts every invoice should have if you want your clients to pay you right away:

#1: Clear descriptions of all of the services provided

State the kinds of services provided, the number of hours billed to deliver the service, the price for the service, and covered expenses related to the project. Provide brief and clear descriptions for each item so your client knows exactly what s/he is paying for.

#2: Payment methods and instructions

In some cases, you need to provide payment instructions so your client can deliver the payment straight to your account. This is especially important if you’re offering clients to pay through bank transfer or checks alongside online payment methods.

If your online invoicing software allows payments through credit cards, PayPal or Stripe, clients can easily do this through the invoice itself.

#3: Date of invoice and due date

Nothing causes stress more to a freelancer than an unpaid invoice. Make sure to indicate when an invoice was issued and sent, and when the payment is due. Some freelancers are comfortable offering 15-30 days for their clients to pay their invoices.

#4: Your name, address, and contact details

You may be required to submit information for tax purposes and in case of questions or concerns. Indicate your name, address, contact info, and your tax identification number in your invoice before sending it to the client.

#5: Your client’s name, address, and contact details

Make sure to indicate your client’s name or business name (if operating as a company), address, and contact details. If the client is a company with multiple departments, state the name of the person in charge of compensating you for your services (this is usually the finance or accounting department).

Does your invoice need a bit of tweaking?

Take this time to check your invoices and work on what needs to be improved. You’ll thank yourself for saving precious time from possible financial setbacks due to an otherwise incomplete invoice.

Stef Gonzaga is a writer and creative who creates passion-driven work for people to use, enjoy, and share with the world. To learn more about how to launch and build your freelancing business for success, check out the Launch Your Freelancing Biz program for a lifetime access to all of her freelancing tools, guides, and resources.