By Mary Hernandez - March 28 2018 09:39:02
Invoices may be mailed or emailed or faxed to a customer. When a customer pays, the invoice number should be noted on the sales receipt and matched to the sales receipt in your accounting software, so it is clear that the invoice has been paid. The payment takes the outstanding amount out of your accounts receivable account.
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.
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.
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.
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