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About Invoice, shipments & Manifest

What is an Invoice?

An invoice is a legally-binding document that indicates to the buyer the payment that is owned for the product or service the seller has already provided. These can be products or services, or a combination of both, and lists the agreed-upon prices for these goods.

Therefore, an invoice is by definition non-negotiable.

An invoice is different from a receipt is an acknowledgement of payment, whereas an invoice is a request for payment.

While the seller creates the invoice and provides it to the buyer, both parties have different term for them.

The seller calls it a Sales invoice, whereas, the buyer calls it a purchase invoice. In effects, however, they are the same document.

The different in name is only for filing purposes in the appropriate accounting department.

A purchase invoice goes to your account payable (liabilities), whereas the sales invoice goes to your account receivable (assets).

The Anatomy of an Invoice

While there are many different types of invoices, they all tend to have the same sections (although they may be in different places).

These Sections include:

  1. The name and contact information of the seller- You should clearly state who you are, including your logo, address, email and phone number.
  2. The word ‘invoice’- You should make the word invoice prominent so that the buyer (your customer) will see exactly what the document is about.
  3. A unique invoicing number and date of the invoice- Your invoice number should be uniquely identifiable to your business. Your invoicing number should be unique and sequential, meaning only one invoice has that invoice number.

You can choose to do it either as number only (0034) or letters and number (JGN0045). It is necessary to include the date of the invoice for record- keeping and tax purposes.

  1. The name and contact information of the buyer- Your client’s details should also be clearly stated and placed in such a way that you it will be seen through the window envelopes when the invoice is folded and mailed.
  2. A description of the products(s) of service(s) - Make sure that your product or service descriptions are accurate and clear. Each item has to be put in a separate line.
  3. The date that the goods or services were provided- you should include when the product or services was provided to avoid any confusion.
  4. The quantity of goods sold- Write down how any goods were sold- do so for each product or service listed.
  5. The unit price of the product(s) or service(s)- For each item including the unit price, even if they are all the same price.
  6. The total amount being charged- Your total including taxes, should be shown clearly at the bottom, optimally in a different size font.
  7. The due date for the payment- You should always include a due date for your invoices. Although 30 Days is standard, it is actually better to set the payment due date at 15 days.

Other important parts of an invoice

It is also recommended to include other invoice sections, such as the payment terms which discuss the due date for the payment, any charges for overdue payment, and the method of payment.

Other invoice my also contain any necessary taxes (such as GST, VAT or other local taxes), credit terms, discounts, and the tax or registered company details.

In countries where e-invoicing is common, it is standard to include the bank account number of the seller along with a reference code for online or wire transfer payments. 

What do you mean by Shipping?

There are two main definitions of shipping when it comes to logistics. The first definition speaks to the size of the package. Smaller objects, such as shoes, clothes, and accessories, can fall under the category of shipping since they can be boxed and sent to the customer using a postal service. The second definition refers to when items are required to be sent to customers. As such, consumers can understand the shipping date to be the day on which the item was dispatched and began making its way to them. 

What is Manifest?

Transport document that serves as a tally-sheet, and gives a detailed summary of all bills of lading (or air waybills) issued by a carrier (or its agent) for a particular voyage of a particular vessel or vehicle. For cargo carrying vessels or vehicles, a manifest lists its consignor, consignee, number, origin, destination, value, and other such information primarily for use by the customs authorities. Where the vessel or vehicle carries passengers, it lists their names, port of embarkation, port of disembarkation, etc., primarily for use by the immigration authorities.