By Judith Cross - March 13 2018 06:42:43
An invoice indicates what must be paid by the buyer according to the payment terms of the seller. Payment terms usually specify the period of time that a buyer has to send payment to the seller for the goods and/or services that they have purchased.
An invoice is a pillar of the sales process. It is the main document that serves as a bill for the service or products your business has provided. A properly created invoice is a legal document that provides a binding agreement.
The usual sections in an invoice include:
~ The date that the invoice was created. Do not forget this! The date of the invoice starts the clock ticking on the customer. If you have terms (a time limit for payment), you want to include the date so everyone knows when the payment is due.
~ Names and addresses of customer and supplier. If you are creating the invoice in accounting software, you may only need the email address of the customer, but it is still a good idea to collect and include the physical address, in case you need to send a real letter or document.
~ Contact names of individuals at the two businesses (or business and individual). It is a good customer relations rule to make sure you spell names correctly.
~ Description of items purchased, either products or services, including prices and quantities. Often you will have standard item descriptions and inventory numbers. But be as specific and detailed as possible, when you create the invoice. This avoids confusion and "I did not know" issues.
~ Terms of payment. For example, the provider might specify "net 30 days," which means that the entire amount is due within 30 days.
Invoices are sometimes confused with purchase orders. Purchase orders (POs) are before the transaction, and invoices are after the transaction. Purchase orders record an order by a customer to a vendor or supplier.
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