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Sample Invoice - What is an invoice ? What To Put On It And Sample Invoices

What is the Invoice for and when to use it ?

The business invoice is an essential legal document given to the customer or client to serve as a record of goods or services sold to the customer or client. You the vendor or service provider need to retain a copy as a record of your sales. The customer or client needs to retain a copy as a record of their purchases or expenses. It indicates to the customer how much is due or how much has been paid by the customer.

You would normally send it together with the delivery of the goods or on completion of services you rendered. Or you may also send it separately in the mail after delivery of goods or services.

How To Write An Invoice And What To Include On It

Basically you can divide the Invoice into 3 main parts : The Header, Body and Footer.

1. Invoice Header (Top Part)

  • Your letterhead : Your business name, address, telephone & email and web address if available. In some countries, you must also include your business registration number.

  • The words "Invoice" or "Bill" clearly written towards the top of the page. If you are registered to bill and collect tax, in some countries you may instead have to use the words "Tax Invoice". You must confirm with your local tax authority if you need to use the words "Tax Invoice"

  • If your registered to bill and collect tax, you may also need to include your Tax Registration number. This can usually be indicated just below the words "Tax Invoice."

  • An invoice number. This a running serial number that you maintain. You should only have one number per invoice issued. Hence, no 2 invoices should have the same number.

  • An invoice date

  • Your payment terms or how soon you expect to be paid. E.g. "COD", "Cash", "30 days" etc.

  • Your customer or client name and address.

2.  Invoice Body (Middle Part)

  • A description of the goods your supplying, quantity, unit of measure, price per unit and total amount for individual items. In the case of services, your brief scope of work and amount for individual items.

3. Invoice Footer (Bottom)

  • Total Amount of all individual items.

  • If applicable, a tax amount and total after tax.

  • Payment instructions if necessary. Tell recipients how to make out their check (cheque) payment. If you expect payments by wire transfer, you should provide your bank account number and details here.

  • Other comments you may have like delivery instructions, goods return policy, overdue payment policy etc

Tools For Creating An Invoice

You can use any word processor or spreadsheet software program to create an in invoice. However these programs have limitations in that you cannot easily generate a sales report or track who paid and who hasn't. Also searching for an invoice means searching files in your hard disk and opening them one at a time. You can overcome these limitations by using a designated invoicing or billing software product such as our own Instant Invoice 2007 or Ezy Invoice 7.

Sample Invoice

Below are some sample invoice layouts created with our invoice software Instant Invoice and Ezy Invoice.

Related Article : Sample Quotation Credit Note Or Credit Memo


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