By Sondra Martin - March 15 2018 21:18:57
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.
An invoice shows the payment that a buyer owes to a seller. From a seller’s point of view, an invoice for the sale of goods and/or services is referred to as a sales invoice. From a buyer’s point of view, an invoice for the cost of goods and/or services rendered is referred to as a purchase invoice.
In the original article that I wrote about invoices, I stated that I just stick with a Word document. If I have time, I will change it to PDF, but that does not always happen. Another common practice that I have seen is using an Excel spreadsheet to generate the invoice. But one important consideration that I did not mention back then is the plethora of accounting software out there. Due to affordable small business-targeted options such as Freshbooks or Quickbooks, you may never have to generate an invoice yourself anyway. I have heard wonderful things about these applications, but have yet to check them out.
A bill is a request for payment. A bill is usually considered from the customers standpoint. It is common to receive a bill without an invoice, as in a restaurant or retail store. A bill is usually given with the expectation of immediate payment.
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