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Thread: Invoices, Receipts and Quotations

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    Full Member Cream's Avatar
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    Invoices, Receipts and Quotations

    Invoices and Receipts

    I was looking back at the previous invoices sent for tax reasons, anyways I was thinking afterwards about the process we follow and wondered if other small businesses follow a similar process.

    No matter on what day of the month we have completed our work, we always invoice on the last Friday of every month (provided we are complete) - what date do you choose to invoice or when?

    We usually then send receipts out on the last day of the month, no matter what the day is we were paid on - Do you send receipts, if yes on what date or when do you prefer?

    Then how do you determine the invoice ref# (we started with 0001)

    All of our invoices and receipts are done in excel, nothing fancy but it works. Do you use the same or do you prefer a tool for creating your invoices and receipts?

    Is there anything different about your invoice/receipt, i.e. payment stamp on your receipts, thank you notes on both invoices and receipts?

    How many times have you received an invoice and you can't make out from head or tail? I have received some of those and I see the importance of clear concise invoices.

    I too have paid invoices received, however very few times do I get a receipt...

    Quotations

    A discussion came about quotations:

    The argument was about having your payment/EFT details on the quotation, someone said that they don't agree with having payment/EFT details on the quotation, it is just a quotation. You would only pay the invoice provided, based on the quotation surely?

    I personally don't have banking details on my quotations as I don't think that is the right place for it, the only thing I have is the quotation terms.

    What do you think about the payment/EFT details on the quotation and what terms do you normally include in your quotations?

    I hope the answers given will be useful to others.
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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    I think it is about time that banks started giving clients a unique payment gateway to put on invoices which only accepts payments to a particular bank account and firewalls any further enquieries.
    eg. FNB 1029384756 which deposits straight into my account eg. 675849302
    That way nobody sees or can find out my actual account No, that way nobody can scam my bank account.

    At present you have to expose your bank account to the world at large and as a result you are at risk.
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    Why do you send receipts? The only time I would expect a receipt is if I paid cash and that is simply to prove that you received it. Cheques, cards and EFT payments all leave a paper trail which can be used to prove payment in the event of a dispute.

    Account customers will get a statement which will show amounts due and received each month, but that is the closest we get to issueing any type of receipt.

    Invoice numbers typically start at one and then increase with each next invoice. Fairly simple.

    Excel is fine for invoices. The advantage of using an accounting package to generate invoices is that the data is already captured when you do the invoice which makes generating the accounts much easier. If you use Excel this info has to be captured again to generate your accounts. Not an issue if you only have a few invoices each month.

    Putting your payment details and terms on your quotation just simplifies the process. They can pay upfront without having to first contact you again in order to get this information. Some companies only generate invoices once the product has been made as this helps with costing correctly. If its a made-to-order product, they may want payment upfront so you will need to pay on quotation (or on pro forma invoice if you want to sound fancy).

    Your terms will depend on you and the norm in your industry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wynn View Post
    I think it is about time that banks started giving clients a unique payment gateway to put on invoices which only accepts payments to a particular bank account and firewalls any further enquieries.
    eg. FNB 1029384756 which deposits straight into my account eg. 675849302
    That way nobody sees or can find out my actual account No, that way nobody can scam my bank account.

    At present you have to expose your bank account to the world at large and as a result you are at risk.
    You can become a listed supplier (or whatever the correct term is) with Standard Bank. Anyone wanting to pay you simply searches for you on their online list by name when paying by internet banking. They don't get to see your bank details, just your name, and they need a reference number, normally their account number with you.

    This service is used by municipalities, SARS, parastatals and now by more and more small to medium businesses. I presume there is some cost involved though.

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    Full Member Cream's Avatar
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    Why do you send receipts? The only time I would expect a receipt is if I paid cash and that is simply to prove that you received it. Cheques, cards and EFT payments all leave a paper trail which can be used to prove payment in the event of a dispute.
    Invoices are normally sent to the person not working in accounts, our receipt are sent to that person so they know that they payments have been made. We also do it to say thank you, we have received the payment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cream View Post
    Invoices are normally sent to the person not working in accounts, our receipt are sent to that person so they know that they payments have been made. We also do it to say thank you, we have received the payment.
    Ok, I see. Its more of a courtesy and relationship building task. Not a bad idea I suppose, but I would guess its not too common.

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    And you are right, it isn't common at all. The amount of times I have had to pay for different training venues as an example, never have I received a receipt, nor a thank you for your payment/support or business.
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    I'm pretty much in the same boat as Busfact. We do, however, send out invoices with a paid stamp quite often, mainly because with "unknown" clients we don't release final documentation until we've been paid - so adding a "paid" invoice to the bundle we're sending anyway is no big deal.

    There are a selection of customer messages loaded and we'll include the one most appropriate at the time of sending - which includes a "thank you for your business" message

    If there is one area where we do go against the grain somewhat, it's with our statements. The statement run is done 14 days (or first working day thereafter) before the end of month and list open transactions (unpaid invoices and unallocated payments) rather than a period transaction list. I've found it improves timeous payments of accounts tremendously.

    The only "hitch" is every now and then someone will request an end-of-month statement, mainly to do with audit requirements on their side, but the extra work is no burden at all really. For those ones we send an open balance and a period transaction list type statement.

    EDIT: And invoices are dated on the day we completed service, except for standing order clients which are generated on the first day of the month.
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    Platinum Member Neville Bailey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    If there is one area where we do go against the grain somewhat, it's with our statements. The statement run is done 14 days (or first working day thereafter) before the end of month and list open transactions (unpaid invoices and unallocated payments) rather than a period transaction list. I've found it improves timeous payments of accounts tremendously.
    I do very much the same thing, for the same reasons, except that I run my statements on the 25th of each month, the idea being that it is will give my clients a timely reminder to pay my account by month-end, yet not too early, otherwise they might forget my reminder 2 weeks later!
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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    Pete Bowen has a software package that after you generate a statemant, sends out emails on a regular basis before the payment date eg. 15, 20, 25 and 29th in a nice but increasing in urgency way which I would imagine would put you at the top of the payment list. sorry I don't have a link!! Dave??
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