What is a Sales Invoice?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen
Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

A sales invoice is a document provided by a seller of goods or services to the buyer of these goods or services that indicates a number of details about the transaction. This type of document typically includes the names of the buyer and seller, the product or service being purchased, and the total amount charged in the transaction. A sales invoice may also contain other information such as addresses of one or both of the parties, a breakdown of individual services and prices, and instructions for how and when payment should be made.

Sometimes simply referred to as an invoice, a sales invoice is typically referred to as such by the business or person providing the goods or services. The buyer in this type of transaction often refers to the document as a purchase invoice, since the person or company is making the purchase. This distinction is typically contextual and a single invoice will usually be referred to as a sales invoice by the seller and a purchase invoice by the buyer.

There is no absolute template for how a sales invoice must appear, and though certain information is usually considered standard, the way in which it is conveyed is often different for different companies. Most businesses use a fairly plain and straightforward invoice template that provides the necessary information in a way that is clean and easy to read. Many people working in artistic industries, such as graphic designers or illustrators, create more complex and visually appealing invoices that still provide the useful information, but also act to reinforce the creative nature of the individual.

A sales invoice will typically indicate the names of both the buyer and the seller involved with the invoice. This can include the names of individuals as well as companies, depending on what is relevant, and will often have phone numbers and addresses for one or both parties. An invoice will typically have a unique number that makes tracking it easier, which is often used internally by both parties for record keeping. The actual goods and services provided are often listed on a sales invoice, and these are typically itemized for more efficient recording purposes.

Itemized lists of goods or services provided will usually indicate how much of each thing is provided, as well as individual pricing for each item. This will then be totaled and the full price of the transaction indicated in a way that is clear and demonstrates the form of currency required. A sales invoice will also typically state how the payment should be made, such as through check or cash only, and the time in which it can be paid, often 30 days from issuing the invoice.

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      Businessman with a briefcase