Difference Between Bills and Invoices: Here’s the answer!

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You can also offer incentives for early payment and charge late fees. In the end, whether you’re generating an invoice or paying a bill, good accounting software will make your life simpler. Organize and manage your bills with ease from Deskera’s online billing management software. Billing is mostly common for retail businesses, such as grocery stores, merchandise stores, restaurants, and dining establishments, where the customer pays for the money upfront. Another important distinctive feature of invoices is that they represent the presence of credit, as the seller is not receiving cash immediately, but at a future date. For example, if you are a web designer, you would send an invoice to a customer after completing a new website.

Online billing software is becoming a helping hand to businesses as it can serve multipurpose. The ultimate purpose of a bill is to serve as legal evidence for both parties that a sales transaction took place, as well as to request payment that is immediately due. Similar to an invoice, a bill outlines the total payment due for goods received and services rendered, but with the expectation of immediate fulfillment rather than payment at a later date. Bills are most commonly used by restaurants, salons, retail stores, and other brick-and-mortar businesses. An invoice is a legal document that is sent to a buyer with a list of all the goods and/or services provided by the seller. It is a commercial document sent to the client with the expectation to receive the payment agreed in the contract/agreement by both the buyer and the seller.

What is an invoice?

• An invoice is a document that lists out the products that are purchased, quantities, and prices that have been charged for the products that are being sold and any advance payments made. A bill is another accounting document that acts as a reminder to customers who are receiving the products/services that they have to pay a certain amount to the supplier. An invoice is a document sent to a customer or client to request payment, that acts as a record of work performed and payment received. An invoice may be sent before or after work is performed depending on the agreement between the involved parties, and must detail a specific date by which payment is due.

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CAs, experts and businesses can get GST ready with Clear GST software & certification course. Our GST Software helps CAs, tax experts & business to manage returns & invoices in an easy manner. Our Goods & Services Tax course includes tutorial videos, guides and expert assistance to help you in mastering Goods and Services Tax. Clear can also help you in getting your business registered for Goods & Services Tax Law.

Billing statement vs invoice: what’s the difference?

When the seller sends the document, it is considered an invoice. It is their detailed record of the goods/services they have provided to customers and the payment terms to which customers need to adhere to. The invoice lists the date of the product/service provision, the cost of the product/service, and the due date by which payment should be made. Essentially, it is a commercial statement requesting money from a company’s customers. There is no end when it comes to billing & invoicing or the difference between an invoice and bill. Still, we are witnessing a rapid shift to reliance on technology by all-size businesses.

  • It acts as legal evidence about one party seeking the paid services of another party.
  • This method of a bill and a receipt is used for consumer as well as business situations.
  • If you want to read more about accounting concepts, check out the Deskera blog for a better grasp of critical concepts that can come in handy when running your own small business.
  • Establish payment terms and refund policies for different products provided to avoid confusion in the later stages.

Alternatively, the term bill is used by the customer to refer to payments they owe suppliers for products or services. Look at it this way – you generate and issue an invoice but receive, record, and pay a bill. An invoice and a bill are essentially the same thing, but the two terms are typically used by different parties involved in the same business transaction. A bill states the amount owed by a customer to the vendor.

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Bills provide limited details such as prices and VAT, invoices provide detailed information and are therefore legally binding. If you receive a bill in a restaurant, it isn’t necessarily a formal document. It may just state your table number, meals and beverages, VAT and the total.


And keep in mind that whether you use a bill or invoice – accounting software will always help you to get paid faster. In invoice and billing, The amount of money owed by a consumer to a firm is known as a bill. Customers are likely to pay for things and services they obtain or utilize. As a form of payment, it is either printed or written out. When you send an invoice, you’re asking for money to be paid to you within a specific time frame, like within 15 days .

Since an invoice is a demand for payment, it’s usually sent after the acquired goods or service is delivered. Invoices, bills, and receipts are essential for monitoring the money that flows in and out of your business. Ensure you use the right document for each transaction to help streamline operations and maintain accurate payment records.


https://1investing.in/s or bills are typically prepared using computer software in office environments, while many receipts are created on cash registers in stores. Receipts may also be handwritten at the time of a cash payment such as when a landlord receives the monthly rent from a tenant. Unlike cash register receipts or invoices, a handwritten receipt isn’t often itemized, but rather just includes the total amount. Invoices and receipts that are itemized usually first show the net amount, then have any taxes added or discounts subtracted before the total is placed at the bottom. Yet, the totals on a bill and a receipt will always mean different things.

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In some cases this might be cash only, but most businesses that expect to bill clients should have some form of card processing available as well. The key difference between a bill and an invoice is seen through the eyes of the sender or receiver. If a seller sends the payment details to the buyer, then it is an invoice. Whereas, when it’s seen from a buyer’s perspective, that is, when a buyer receives the payment details from the seller, then it is a bill to be paid.

Most post closing trial balance billing software tools are cloud-based, hence compatible with most devices. You can even work in offline mode, and the changes will automatically get synced when your device is connected to the internet. Sending the same invoices to a regular client can be a tedious task. What if you could automate the whole process to send out invoices automatically? Once you get the hang of it, invoices, bills, and receipts will become second nature to you; and they will help keep your business finances in line and organized.

The difference lies in when they are issued and how they are used for accounting purposes. While an invoice is raised to get payment from the customer, a receipt is issued after receiving the payment from the customer. The purpose of an invoice is to request payment, at a specified payment term, such as net-30. And since an invoice serves as a demand for payment, it’s typically issued after the delivery of the purchased product or service. Invoices are commercial documents businesses issue to their clients to request payment for work by outlining the service provided and detailing the amount of money owed for the work.


In contrast, an invoice may be the way to go if you supply services or products that require manufacturing or creating, such as custom furniture or web development. Usually sent after the products or services are received but can be issued at any point during the process. Invoices outline what was purchased , how many of each product or service was purchased, the cost of each unit, and other expenses, such as shipping and handling and relevant tax charges. An invoice serves as a request for payment, usually after a good or service has been completed. At the same time, invoices are also used to keep track of sales, for inventory management purposes, to record revenue for taxation, and much more.

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That’s why service providers tend to send bills, not invoices. While a bill focuses on collecting payment from a buyer, a bill of sale is a legal document that provides evidence of the transfer of goods or property from one person to another. It confirms that the seller has assigned ownership and the rights to an asset to the buyer. Invoices are ideal for businesses that provide a product or service but then arrange for their customers to pay them on a future date. At its simplest, an invoice is a commercial document issued to a customer following the exchange of goods and services. With some long-term projects, such as commercial construction that last months or years, you may reach an agreement for periodic billing.

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