What is an invoice number: Invoice Number: Definition, Examples & Best Practices

What is an invoice number

I’ve been using Hiveage’s predecessor Curdbee for years, and Hiveage improves on Curdbee in every way. The interface is polished, fast, fluid and intuitive, and the amount of features available are pretty amazing. It will be my project management software for the foreseeable future, and the only one I recommend to clients and colleagues. Yes, due to accounting, legal and tax purposes, assigning invoice numbers is essential.

There is no specific rule on how to set up your invoice number format. If you use an online invoicing software like Hiveage, you will have the option of choosing from a set of standard options, or defining your own. The software will also take care of automatically incrementing the invoice number sequence, so that you never accidentally duplicate the number of invoices. When a client has problems related to an invoice issued several months ago, the bill can be easily found, provided that the vendor has a sound numbering system.

The final part of the invoice accuracy checklist is to confirm you are sending the invoice to the correct person and email address. You will most likely find this information when you onboard a new client. For example, you might be charging an additional fee because the client asked for last-minute emergency services. If so, you may want to add a separate line item for “emergency services request – DATE” (e.g., “Emergency Website Services – October 2”) on the invoice. Also, failing to include an invoice number may cause payment delays when you deal with larger clients with more sophisticated accounts payable processes and policies. An invoice number and date are the most common ways to identify an invoice quickly.

Consider setting a different invoice number per client to simplify your invoice monitoring. A business has nine recurring monthly clients, each receiving at least one invoice per month. Therefore, use a different invoice number to keep track of each one. The “rule of 10” approach is ideal when your business is small or has a handful of clients. This approach works well even if you issue a dozen or more monthly invoices.

  • There is no specific rule on how to set up your invoice number format.
  • Custom invoice numbers are entirely up to the business issuing the invoices.
  • The example to the right is a less common way of numbering invoices, but technically speaking, it works the same.

With Hiveage I’m able to spend more time on the tasks that will actually grow my business without getting bogged down by non-billable administrative activities. Note that this is a supplementary article to our guide on how to write an invoice. It can quickly lead to cash flow problems that will have knock-on effects on other aspects of business operations. This matters whether you are a small business owner managing your own accounts or part of a busy, dedicated accounts department. They usually appear near the top of the invoice and (if in digital format) as its file name.

Invoicing with QuickBooks Payments

Even if your clients don’t insist on having an invoice number, there is another reason why you should use one. Once you have a good invoice number system, your business and your clients will benefit from the clarity and convenience it brings. Separator characters also help avoid mistakes caused by the type of errors sequential numbers and letters can cause. The date format above (YYYY/MM) helps keep files organized chronologically, but you can use whichever date format you prefer, including the ones with days. Otherwise, there are best practices and general business norms, but ultimately it is up to your business which numbering system you choose. Invoice numbers are consecutive or sequential (i.e., following a logical sequence).

The best option to avoid such complications is to adopt online invoicing software like InvoiceOwl and use reliable accounting software. It allows you to create invoices using a free invoice template and send invoices to your clients easily. You just have to mention your client’s company details and let our software handle it.

What is an invoice number

Depending on the country, you are not necessarily obliged to generate invoice IDs. Still, most customers tend to request them to be present on the invoices, as reference numbers ensure transparency and serve to confirm your professionalism. The more organized your company and its invoicing system, the more legitimized and professional you are in the eyes of your clients. If you issue a duplicate invoice number, the solution depends on where you are in the payment process.

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You can spend hours trying to streamline it on your own or make use of Finom’s top-notch invoicing service. This financial tool by Finom enables automatic invoice numbering and features an automatic reconciliation. Therefore, each payment is verified against the respective invoice without human intervention.

Getting this number right assigned to each invoice is of key importance for small business owners. This blog will go through the most fundamental invoice reference and details. Hiveage also supports recurring billing, where you can set up a regular schedule of invoices for a particular client (e.g., monthly or yearly subscriptions). Thus, you can have both a default invoice number sequence, and recurring profiles that adhere to it or use their own sequences. They take the job, and now you want to track and identify a purchase related to that job.

Many factors can influence how a business formulates invoice numbers. This will usually be to cater to when a business grows, expands, or there is a need to become more organized. Whether a simple or complex system of invoice numbering is used, the invoice number system should remain consistent from one invoice to the next. However, it’s always good for new and small business owners to learn the invoicing basics to provide adequate oversight of new invoicing software. Get started invoicing with QuickBooks today and create professional invoices 37 percent faster—and get paid two times faster.

Set up a system to assign invoice numbers and maintain a consistent invoice number format. Another option for invoice referencing is project-based invoice numbering which has a lot in common with the client invoice numbering. In this case, business owners assign project numbers as unique numbers specifying a particular project. For instance, if a project is numbered as 183, an invoice linked to it could be , , and so on. You can choose whatever logical numbering system makes the most sense for the way you do business. This system is based on assigning sequential invoice numbers—i.e., each invoice issued is one number higher than the previous one.

In that case, add a reminder to your invoice checklist to verify that you have charged the correct tax amount. Failing to include a description is one of the fastest ways to have a client question your invoice and potentially delay payment. Descriptions are especially important when you are billing larger amounts than usual. For instance, if a client is used to paying you $5000 per month and your next invoice will be $8,000, communicating clearly about the change is essential.

  • All invoices created for the job would then need to refer to the purchase order by mentioning its number.
  • Hollywood Limousine Services (HLS) issues 50 professional invoices in September.
  • When a client has problems related to an invoice issued several months ago, the bill can be easily found, provided that the vendor has a sound numbering system.
  • In this case, business owners assign project numbers as unique numbers specifying a particular project.
  • Assigning invoice numbers is not that straightforward, especially if you have many clients.

The simplest way to use invoice numbers is to choose a starting number like 100 and add 10 to it each time. The first invoice you send would be numbered 100, and the second invoice number would be 110. Given that your invoice includes all this information, why does an invoice number matter? It is a quick reference that makes tracking and communication easier. The information contained within the invoice number can include the date, customer’s name, project number, and chronological sequence number of the invoice.

The benefits of invoice numbers

Finom’s clients don’t have to think about how to generate their invoice numbers. This helps devote their time to more important business processes. Accounting software like Freshbooks makes invoice numbering and payment processing stress-free. Most online invoicing accounting software automatically generates invoices for you, with fields for you to enter the proper information. The software will create an invoice number too, which you’re free to use, modify, or replace if you prefer to assign invoice numbers another way. As a business owner, when your business grows, you’ll send out tons of these —which is a good problem to have but hard to track.

Before sending out your invoice, take a moment to verify that your invoice amount agrees with the client agreement. Failing to charge tax amounts (e.g., sales tax) is an invoice mistake that some new business owners make. The tax situation may become more complicated if you serve clients in different countries and locations.

An invoice number is a number assigned to uniquely identify invoices. It generally appears near the top of the invoice document so it can be easily noted by both the recipient of the invoice and the business providing it. Invoice numbers allow business owners to organize, categorize, and systematize payment processing in a clear and intuitive way. An invoice number is a unique identifier or unique number, that must be assigned to every invoice created. It is also the first time a client learns that an invoice has been delivered. If the document lacks an invoice number, your customer will be unable to locate it.

Chronological Method of Invoice Numbering

An invoice number is typically located near the top of the invoice, on the right or left side of the page. It is often accompanied by the date the invoice was issued and the name and contact information of the issuer. If you have multiple projects with a customer, you can be even more thorough and allocate a project number.

Now let’s imagine that about six months after you’ve completed these projects, the client reaches out to request some additional work. However, this time, your client insists that they paid only $1,500. If you’re just starting out using invoices to bill clients, here are a few simple tricks you can use to ensure that your invoices are well-organized and easily searchable.

It will be simple to anticipate your revenue and keep track of incoming payments since you will be able to describe exactly how many jobs you completed and how much you get paid. Moreover, an invoice number (also known as an invoice reference number) is assigned sequentially to each invoice to track and identify the transactions easily. It is also assigned to your invoice to help you avoid duplicate payments.