For an ordinary person, receipts and invoices are the same and there seems to be no difference at all. However, for someone who is running a business that sells goods and/or services, the difference between the two is huge. When a customer decides to purchase a good or service, he or she enters an agreement to do business with the seller and usually completes the transaction through monetary payment. To make the transaction official, the seller will usually issue a receipt or invoice to record the sale.
Hence, these are legal business documents used to record the amount of money paid or owed for with regards to the products and services that are sold. That is why customers are often left confused by the similarities between the two documents. However, a receipt and an invoice are different documents with distinctive purposes.
According to an article published at Wikipedia, “An invoice, bill or tab, is a commercial document issued by a seller to a buyer, relating to a sale transaction and indicating the products, quantities, and agreed prices for products or services the seller had provided the buyer”. It is often issued before the payment is made. The seller biller sends the copy of the invoice to the client, in the hopes of getting the payment within a set period of time.
The elements that are listed on an invoice include the following: the name of both vendor and customers, the business address, contact details of the vendor (phone numbers, email address, and fax number), the goods and services sold, the quantity, the prices, the date issuance of the invoice, the invoice number, and the total amount to be paid.
An invoice can come in different types: Pro-forma invoice, credit memo, commercial invoice, debit memo, self-billing invoice, timesheet, statement, progress billing, collective invoicing, recurring invoicing, electronic invoicing.
An official invoice is a tool that is often used to request payment from the customers, monitor sales, manage and control inventory, and facilitate goods and/or services delivered. Moreover, you can use the invoice to track your revenues in the future, as well as manage and build strong customer relationships by providing them easy payment options.
According to an article that is published at Wikipedia.com, “A receipt is a written acknowledgment that a person has received money or property in payment following a sale or other transfer of goods or provision of a service. It is a legal document that serves as a proof of ownership after a payment has been finalized and made.
A receipt often includes elements, such as the names of the vendor and customer, list of goods and/or services purchased, prices, taxes, discounts, credits, total amount of the purchase paid, mode of payment, the date the payment has been made, receipt number, and signature of the vendor.
The following are different types of receipts that are often issued to customers: official receipts, billing statement, delivery receipts, collection receipts, donation receipts, electronic receipts, money receipts, service receipts, sales receipt and bank statement.
Receipts serve as a proof that the customer is able to pay for the goods and/or services he or she has desired to purchase. Oftentimes, receipts are used by customers to return defective items. However, for entrepreneurs, receipts are important documents that are used for tax filing purposes.
It is always for an entrepreneur to know the crucial difference between an invoice and a reciept and should not use both documents as replacement for each other. Although they may have some similarties, both receipt and invoice should be used for the purposes that are stated above.
Since we have now reached the end of this article, do not forget to check out our free Microsoft Word Receipt templates and Excel invoice templates. They are available for free download, highly editable, and easy to use.