By Sondra Martin - March 17 2018 14:33:37
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.
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.
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