What is an Invoice? #
An invoice is a document that a company or organization sends to a customer to request payment for goods or services that have been provided. It typically includes details such as the date of the invoice, the name and contact information of the company or organization issuing the invoice, the name and contact information of the customer, a description of the goods or services provided, the quantity of goods or services provided, and the total amount due. The invoice may also include additional information such as the terms of payment, any discounts or special pricing that may apply, and any relevant tax information. The invoice serves as a legal document of the transaction between the seller and the buyer, and it is a common practice for businesses to issue an invoice for every sale made to a customer.
What is the difference between an Order and an Invoice? #
An order and an invoice are two different types of documents that are used in the process of buying and selling goods or services.
An order is a request for goods or services and a promise to pay for them, when a customer places an order with you, it does not have any affect at all on the company accounts until the order is shipped and a Customer Invoice is created as a result.
An Customer Invoice is the document that you create and send to a customer to request payment for goods or services that have been provided. eTail Support creates a Customer Invoice and posts it to your accounts automatically when you ship an order.
How is payment related to invoicing? #
Sometimes the Customer will have already paid before the goods are shipped, sometimes the customer will pay when the goods are shipped using a credit card, Paypal or similar, in these cases an invoice is still generated and the payment will be recorded against the Invoice in a separate process called ‘Bank Reconciliation’
Orders can be shipped in full or they can be part shipped, if an order is shipped in full then the order is used to create an Invoice which is then posted to the companies accounts as a group of new entries in the general ledger.
If the order is shipped in part then the order is split in to two orders, the first one uses the original order number and it contains the fully shipped parts of the order, it is used to create an invoice and then set to ‘shipped’. The second part of the order will contain the unshipped items on the order – it will have the same order number as the original, but with the suffix ‘-A’.
This process can be repeated in turn to generate further orders with suffix ‘-B’, ‘-C’ etc
The Invoice also usually documents the tax payable as part of the transaction and in many territories, it is a legal record of the transaction that is required by the government.
eTail Support Invoices are generated as ‘.pdf’ files as well as being stored in the system database so they can be printed and included in a shipment or they can be sent to customers by e-mail.
Can I customise the way that my invoices look? #
Yes, you can customise your invoice in eTail Support to add special text, logos etc