Sales invoice: What Is a Sales Invoice?

Sales invoice

Finally, each sales invoice should have a unique invoice number that helps both you and your client (but mostly you) keep track of how many invoices you’ve issued. A purchase order is what a customer sends to you to verify their order, which could include quantity, item descriptions, delivery dates, and prices. You might also consider a customer’s credit history when developing payment terms, particularly for large sales. There are many business owners who are not clear about what is a sales invoice? People take out many definitions for this type of invoice, but everyone should follow a standard sales invoice definition. Invoicing has never been easier, as you can simply choose a free sales Invoice Template, fill it in with your business information, and get paid.

Sales invoice

Depending on your software, customers can even use payment portals on the invoice itself to make a payment. A sales invoice includes contact information for both you and your customer. It also includes an invoice number, invoice date, due date, the amount due, payment terms, and a description of the services or goods that have been delivered. Typically, a business sends an invoice to a client after they deliver the product or service. The invoice tells the buyer how much they owe the seller and sets up payment terms for the transaction. Sales invoices are handy documents that tell your clients what they bought from you, when they placed their order, and how much they owe you.

What is an invoice? Guide, examples, and what to include

Such invoices will help business owners track the sale manage the store inventory and evaluate the popularity of all the products. With that bookkeeping purposes, you can predict future sales and make important decisions based on the invoices that get paid quickly. In accounting, when a sales invoice is recorded, it consists of a debit to the accounts receivable and a credit to the sales revenue. When a customer pays a sales invoice, it is recorded as a debit of cash and a credit of accounts receivable. After providing a service or a product to your customer, your business will send out a paper or digital invoice.

If your client is a large company, your point of contact for invoicing might be different than your day-to-day business contact. Sales invoices are crucial documentation for verifying claims made on tax returns. The IRS recommends small businesses keep supporting documents like invoices in case a tax audit is conducted. Your business can better keep track of the sales process and receivables while improving customer relationships by maintaining open communication and concise and accurate documentation.

If you own a service-based business, include the title of your project, as well as a description of the activities you perform. If you’re selling a range of products, include your SKU or product ID in the itemized list on your invoice. A debit invoice is issued when a business needs to increase the amount a client owes for a service or product.

  • A credit invoice is issued when a business needs to provide a customer with a refund or discount.
  • In the description portion of your invoice, you can itemize the amounts you’re charging for which services.
  • Within an invoice, you must provide your business contact information, including name, address, phone number, and email address, along with your client or buyer’s information.
  • It also shows what time the services were rendered and how much is required of the customer to pay with a payment deadline.

You may choose to set invoice payment terms of up to three months to give your customers the flexibility to manage their cash. For that, you need to focus on creating an impactful reference specific sales invoices template that works best for your business. Our list of the best billing and invoicing software for small businesses is a great place to start.

Common types of invoices

You work hard to make your clients happy—and a sales invoice helps ensure you’re fairly paid for that work. When you ship a beautiful custom quilt to a customer or finish arranging the perfect centerpieces, make sure to send an invoice as well, and then to follow up on payments if customers don’t. Unlike a typical sales invoice, a pro forma (or proforma) invoice is created by the seller before they perform any services or sell any goods. They’re similar to a quote, proposal, or estimate, and they help you and your customer align your expectations before you get into the actual business transaction.

  • Our list of the best billing and invoicing software for small businesses is a great place to start.
  • They’re similar to a quote, proposal, or estimate, and they help you and your customer align your expectations before you get into the actual business transaction.
  • Every invoice should have a unique invoice number for easy tracking and referral during discussions with your customers.
  • A sales invoice is a document showing a transaction between a business or freelancer and a customer.
  • Some use the term interchangeably with other accounting documents like bills, sales receipts, purchase orders, or sales orders.
  • It also creates a financial paper trail, and acts as an inventory management tool, with detailed records of sent invoices helping monitor cash flow and track sales accurately.

This accounting document is used when an hourly rate was quoted, but the job took longer to complete than originally estimated. When a business provides a refund or a discount, they may send a credit invoice with a negative total, representing a reduction of the amount owed by the customer. At, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don’t guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services. Invoices are sometimes confused with purchase orders, but these documents serve different purposes.

Sales Invoice Template

You can opt to send them immediately after delivery as part of closing out a job. Depending on the volume of sales invoices you create, you might choose to do them all at the end of the month. Those that fall in this category will need a stable cash flow so that you can meet all your payment obligations. You don’t want an invoice to fall through the cracks and not get sent on time. Now, you’ll want to know all the things that your sales invoice should include, covered in the next section.

Intuit Inc. does not have any responsibility for updating or revising any information presented herein. Accordingly, the information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research. Intuit Inc. does not warrant that the material contained herein will continue to be accurate nor that it is completely free of errors when published. A debit invoice is provided when a seller needs to increase the amount owed by the client.

Let’s say you’re a photographer who’s snapped some wedding photos, leaving a pair of happy customers in your wake. And, while the instant gratification of a Venmo request and instant payment seems the easy route, creating a sales invoice is a better financial choice. Sales invoices help paint a picture of your business’s cash flow, prove you’ve provided the services you’ve promised, and help you forecast future business. They serve as necessary documentation of business transactions for both the business and the client and act as the foundation for a company’s financial statements. A sales invoice is a document issued by the seller of a product to the buyer, charging them for the items purchased. The invoice provides a record of the amount of product sold, who it was sold to, the date it was sold, and the payment timeframe for the buyer of the goods.

The sales invoices are used for any type of retail or private sale that involves products or services from a seller or vendor to a buyer in exchange for payment or trade. A sales invoice works perfectly for both sellers and buyers to know the detailed brief descriptions of the services or products purchased including their unit price and quantity. Sales invoices are sent to request payment, from a business owner to a customer, after they provide products or services. When that invoice reaches the customer, it becomes the customer’s bill.

Even if your company is just starting out, it’s important to begin the habit of creating sales invoices for each job. Some use the term interchangeably with other accounting documents like bills, sales receipts, purchase orders, or sales orders. While an invoice is a request for a customer to pay for a product or service they’ve already received, a receipt is a confirmation that the customer already made the purchase. The creation of the sales invoice occurs after the product or service delivery.

Sales Invoices Types

It could be an exact date, i.e., “Payment Due October 31, 2018” or “Payment Due Upon Receipt.” Most sales invoices include a delivery date as well. Sales invoices are an important tool for small businesses because they serve as the foundation for the business’s bookkeeping system by creating a record of a sale. This helps you track your sales, monitor customer payments and create robust financial reports.

QuickBooks Payments makes it easy to create professional invoices and accept payments in one place, improving the overall transaction process for your team and your clients. Invoices do not contain proof that a business and its customer have agreed on the terms of payment outlined in the invoice. To reduce the chances of a disputed invoice, businesses may create contracts that outline the details of a transaction. Contracts signed by both parties can act as legal documents, reduce the chance of misunderstandings about transactions, and may help speed up the payment process. Define clear payment terms that outline how long customers have to pay their invoices during the sales process. Net 30, or 30 days, is a common amount of time given to pay invoices, but choose payment terms that make sense for your business, your customer, and the transaction.

The PO should also include any relevant terms and conditions, which vary from company to company. For instance, depending on your company, you might note that the seller isn’t responsible for damage that occurs during transit, or that the buyer won’t pay for goods that get lost in the mail. The description section of the invoice might be super short (“one-hour consultation”) or, if you worked with a customer on a lengthy project or sold them several bulk orders, quite long. Either way, each item sold needs its own line and description on the invoice.

For example, if you accidentally overbilled a client for services, you can issue a credit invoice for the amount overbilled to provide documentation of the amount you’re refunding to the customer. The invoice date indicates the time and date the vendor officially records the transaction and bills the client. The invoice date is a crucial piece of information, as it dictates the payment due date and credit duration. But this can vary based on a company’s needs and the agreement with the client or buyer.

Find a free invoice template that’s right for your business on our free invoice templates resource page. A credit invoice is issued when a business needs to provide a customer with a refund or discount. The invoice will include a negative amount to cover the cost of the amount returned to the customer.

While similar information is included in sales receipts and invoices, they are not the same. An invoice is issued to collect payments from customers, and a sales receipt documents proof of payment that a customer has made to a seller. Receipts are used as documentation to confirm that a customer has received the goods or services they paid for, and as a record that the business has been paid.