By Rita Derrick - March 13 2018 06:16:59
An invoice, on the other hand, records the receipt of the product or service and, as noted above, the terms of payment. Purchase orders are used by many companies as part of an approval process. Some companies require purchase orders for products or services over a specific amount.
Accounting software designed for small businesses can not only be used as POS (Point of Sale) systems and print out invoices on the spot, but make it easier to calculate and keep track of taxes, such as the GST/HST. There are a number of inexpensive, easy to learn, cloud-based accounting packages available for small businesses.
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.
But that invoice is often needed by the buyer for other reasons. They need that record. They need to prove that they paid you, often so they can write off your payment. In my years of writing, I have only had one client, a magazine, that did not need an invoice. I am not sure why or how they managed that.
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