Running your own auto repair business successfully means, among other things, having an invoicing system that's fast and easy for you to use on a daily basis. Because each automotive repair job that you do is different, you need an invoice form that is completely customizable, as well.
An effective, professional auto repair invoice form includes designated areas to note services performed, parts used, and labor spent on each job. While this may seem like a lot to keep straight for each customer (especially if you're just starting out or are still creating your own invoices), the truth is that with the right business software and templates, invoicing may just prove to be the easiest part of your business day.
Let's take a look at everything you need to complete an automotive repair invoice for your business and how Skynova's invoice template makes getting paid easier than ever.
Each customer who brings their vehicle to you and your garage creates a unique amount and type of work for you to do. Unlike a product-oriented business, such as a boutique, your business services will vary based on your customers' needs. The work you do isn't as simple as ringing up a set number of products your customer wants to purchase, and your invoices need to reflect that.
Mechanics, garages, and other auto repair or detailing services should begin by generating an estimate for each customer. Each auto repair estimate — which you can also create and customize with Skynova — will include an estimate of the service, parts, and roughly the amount of labor required. Labor is the hourly rate you charge to perform a given service; each estimate will include the approximate number of hours needed for each car repair. Estimates aren't set in stone, of course, and it's good to get in the habit of regularly communicating with your customers as a job progresses to keep them apprised of the repair and any additional costs incurred.
Once you complete the repairs or other services on your customers' vehicles, you'll need to create an invoice. Prior to invoicing, you'll need to determine which payment methods you accept and whether customers with large bills will be allowed to make multiple smaller payments. While many mechanics and automotive business owners expect each repair bill to be paid in full at checkout, some businesses accept different payment methods (e.g., installment payment options). No matter what payment methods or options you accept, your invoice should include a final accounting of all services performed, parts used, and labor spent on each repair job.
Auto repair invoices need to contain a lot of information. A customer's invoice acts as a repair receipt or service invoice and needs to include every service or vehicle repair performed. This can include towing, an oil change, a tune-up, or multiple repairs or services per customer, as well as all parts or materials used for each stage of the services you provided.
When you're trying to build your own invoice from scratch, it's all too easy to come up with something that's too confusing to really be effective. The goal is to communicate clearly with your customers so they have something informative and easy to read when they leave your business. This also makes it easier for you to get paid on time and in full.
Most business owners don't realize that invoices and repair receipts, as well as quotes, estimates, and other such paperwork, are just as important to establishing and building your brand as your business card. Adding a logo takes your invoice from serviceable to professional and encourages brand recognition. Your logo can include your business name, phone number, and website, making it as easy as possible for customers to know how to contact you.
Customize all of your invoices with your logo by selecting "Show Customization Options" at the top of our invoice template. Click "Logo" and upload your image. It's as easy as that.
A very important additional element to your invoice is the unique invoice number. Adding this number to your invoice is important for both your records and those of your customers. Maintaining neatly ordered, clearly numbered invoices makes it easy for either of you to reference the particulars of a job later on. Should you need to include a purchase order (P.O.) number on your invoice, that option is one of the easy-to-use customizations found at the top of our invoice template.
Sales tax, as well as any discounts credited to your customer, can be added after you've saved your auto repair invoice form. To add this option, select "Sales Tax" from the "Show Customization Options" menu. Then, simply add the percentage of tax you want to apply to the entire invoice and Skynova's software will calculate the final total for you. Discounts are just as easy. Simply click "Discount" in the "Item" drop-down menu and Skynova will automatically convert the unit price to a negative number, deducting that amount from the total.
Once you've customized your auto repair invoice with your logo, service, and pricing information (including sales tax), the last step will be to make sure the payment due date is clearly visible. Most auto repair services make it clear that the due date is the same day as services are performed, but some businesses have installation payment options. If you choose to do the same, use the "Notes" section to make sure that information is also clearly spelled out on your invoice.
All of your Skynova invoices can be found on your account page, so printing is as easy as selecting the printing option next to each invoice. Select the one you want and choose print, save, or email. You can also download your invoices as PDFs and print hard copies for your own physical records.
As an auto repair business owner, your work is servicing your customers' vehicles so they can get back out on the road. You're a mechanic, not an accountant. And with Skynova in your corner, you don't have to be. Our wide variety of business templates makes getting and staying organized easier than ever.
Our free invoice template makes getting paid easier, too. No more hurrying to create a new invoice from scratch and no more interrupting your work to search for a customer's previous invoices. With a Skynova account, you can find the right invoice right away, every time. Try Skynova's free, easy-to-customize invoice for your auto body business today.
This article is meant to be used as a general guideline for your auto body business. It may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with a professional accountant to ensure that you're meeting accounting standards.