Invoice definition

what is an invoice

All data is stored in digital format, making it easily available and accessible whenever information is required. If you feel more functionality would be useful, then you will probably want to consider a more comprehensive small business accounting software option. Recurring invoices come into play when a customer orders the same type and volume of goods or services on a weekly, monthly or another regular cadence. In popular culture, a retainer is commonly understood to be a situation where professional help is always available as required based on a retainer payment. The payment is made not for the professional help itself but for having it available when needed.

  • The first is the billing address, and the second is the delivery address.
  • Here’s some tips for saving time and money on your invoicing process.
  • You’ll come away with tips and tricks that can help you automate the invoicing process, making the experience a breeze for you and your clients.
  • Switching collection methods on your invoices from manual ‘push’ payments to automated ‘pull’ payments eliminates late payments and gets you paid on time, every time.
  • This bill includes extra details needed for crossing the border such as country of origin, date shipment, the weight of the product, and more.

Although there is no fixed standard, there is certain information that any invoice should contain. The type of information included in a PO is very similar to what’s included in an invoice (see below). To see our product designed specifically for your country, please visit the United States site.

Define Invoice and What Does It Include?

An invoice is a legally binding agreement showing both parties’ consent to the quoted price and payment conditions. Looking for an example of a professional invoice for use in your business? An invoice ID also referred to as an invoice number, is a unique number that’s assigned to each invoice a business generates. The invoice number is crucial because it allows a business to easily identify and refer to individual transactions with clients.

  • An advance payment confirms the client’s commitment and offsets the possible loss to the business if the customer suddenly cancels the project.
  • They are a set of rules and regulations that must be followed by both accounting and finance divisions and the company at large.
  • Also, any extraneous data that can confuse customers (such as internal company codes) should be removed from the invoice.
  • An free invoice is a document people commonly use in business dealings or transactions (usually in sales transactions).
  • Your invoicing software should make it easy to quickly send and track invoices.
  • So the first rule of invoice management is to send invoices right after you’ve completed a job.

Invoices serve an important purpose for both the business sending the invoice and the client receiving it. For small businesses, an invoice helps expedite the payment collection process by giving clients a notification of the payment that’s due. For clients, invoices provide an organized record of an expense with itemized details and can help with record keeping. A debit invoice is issued when a business needs to increase the amount a client owes for a service or product. As a small business owner, you might be sending a bunch of invoices each month to your customers. When it comes to invoicing, you are likely aware that the invoicing process is just not limited to sending invoices to your clients.

Invoice Example

If the goods and services are purchased on credit, for instance, invoicing payment terms provide details on how far along in the future that credit applies. Once you have your billing process working smoothly, the next problem to overcome is actually having your invoice settled on time. Timesheet invoices are used on projects where the client is charged per hour and represent what is an invoice an easy way for businesses to keep track of hours expended on a specific project or client. Using timesheet invoicing has also been shown to increase employee productivity. Online invoicing often allows customers/clients to view invoices and possible payment methods (i.e., bank transfers, ACH, credit card, debit card, and more) as well as to make the payments online.

With Square Invoices, everything is stored right in your Dashboard and sorted by status. Sometimes your client is the one doing the bookkeeping themselves or an accountant is. With Square Invoices, you can email both your client and whoever’s actually paying so you can get your money as quickly as possible. You can send digital invoices straight to customers’ inboxes through Square Invoices.


With this method, the invoices are sent to the customers before the project has been initiated or the product has been delivered. The amount quoted in the invoice could be a deposit, partial payment, or the entire sum. Once you send an invoice seeking advance payment and receive it, you will need to record the transaction. After the completion of the project, the final invoice will reflect the advance already paid and display the remaining balance due.