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Invoice - How to Issue one

Whenever you purchase items you usually receive an invoice from your supplier.

Whenever you sell products, you have to issue an invoice.

If you want to be a perfect law obeying businessman your invoices to a customers should at least follow these rules:

  • If you sell to consumers you only have to issue an invoice on request
  • If you do not make out an invoice you must use a cash register instead
  • If you sell to businesses you must always issue an invoice with the customer´s name on it

As only retailers and restaurants normally use cash registers, it means that everybody else must make out an invoice to each customer.

Text on an invoice

To a large extent you can design an invoice as you wish, as long as you meet a few basic requirements:

  1. The customer´s name must be stated on the invoice.
  2. Your company name must be stated on the invoice.
  3. An invoice must be numbered.

    The number must either be pre-printed or done by a computer program. You can also do your own numbering in a text processing program, but it takes a good load of order and discipline.

  4. Numerical order
    Each invoice, no exceptions, must be made out in numerical order. You must have a really good reason for using more than one series of numbers.

  5. An invoice must be dated.
    In theory, rules prescribe that you must date the invoice with the actual date you make it. However, in practice it is often accepted to issue invoices in the beginning of one month and date them end of previous month. But the time lag must be no more than two weeks at the most.

  6. Delivery date for goods or service if it does not correspond with invoice date.
  7. The name or description of the sold goods, the total price
  8. Possible price reductions or bonuses must be stated if it can not be seen from the total price

File invoices

You must file copies of the invoices you issue. The copy must be either a carbon copy, a photocopy or an additional computer print-out. The wording just has to be identical to the original, except for the word ´copy´ and colours, paper quality, etc.

Your invoice copy is a very crucial and fundamental part of keeping your own accounts.

Accounting does not make corporate earnings or balance sheets more volatile. Accounting just increases the transparency of volatility in earnings.
- Diane Garnick, American investment manager

Double-entry Bookkeeping
Example of an Account Plan
Account Plan - Chart of Accounts
Who is Able to Do The Accounts?
Invoice - How to Issue one
Re-posting a Voucher
Adding Vouchers
Mis-entry in the books
What is Accountancy?
Principles in Accounting
Understand Financial Info
Safeguarding Your Assets
Help to Take Action
Close your Business