By Sondra Martin - March 17 2018 14:33:37
The difference between an invoice and a bill is the focus and standpoint. The invoice is created by a supplier, and it is a statement of services or products produced and delivered to a customer, including the amount owed. An invoice may be created before or after the product or service is received. It is common for an invoice to be included with products being delivered, so the recipient can check off the items to make sure they are all there.
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.
Invoices are even easier to do if you use accounting software. When your business is in the startup phase keeping track of invoices is a simple chore but as your business grows you will find that your bookkeeping requirements become more complex and time-consuming.
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.
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