What is an invoice number? Zoho Invoice Essential Business Guides

What is an invoice number

Their placement should be consistent across your invoices so that both you and the customer do not have to search for it. Some invoices could have the number in several spots on the invoice, but this is not a requirement. Chronological numbering includes the date of the project completion as the invoice number. Once you have a good invoice number system, your business and your clients will benefit from the clarity and convenience it brings.

A professional and organized invoice can work wonders for your business. Even something as simple as a clear invoice number format is one of the invoicing basics that can ensure you keep the payments coming in promptly, They encourage repeat business, too. They take the job, and now you want to track and identify a purchase related to that job. All invoices created for the job would then need to refer to the purchase order by mentioning its number. Additionally, once they send a final payment or a partial payment, you want to be certain your records are updated. Wherever the transaction related to the invoice is recorded, you would want to have the correct invoice number mentioned for easy cross-referencing.

  • If a client receives three, five, or even more invoices from you each month, there is an increased chance of a payment problem.
  • After, you should add the issuance date (optionally) and the sequence number at the end.
  • The purpose of the invoice number is to identify the particular invoice among all the invoices sent out by you.
  • The fastest and simplest online finance service for SMEs, freelancers and the self-employed in Europe.
  • Invoice numbers are consecutive or sequential (i.e., following a logical sequence).

And on every invoice, there’s a reminder that nearly two-thirds of people wish they could be doing what you’re doing. With the basic invoice number pitfalls out of the way, you can beef up your business and keep living your best freelance life with these tips. Note that this is a supplementary article to our guide on how to write an invoice. Separator characters such as a hyphen (-), forward slash (/), or underscore (_) are very useful for making invoice numbers easier to read by humans.

What if you want to change your invoice number series?

FreshBooks’ invoicing system helps you track old invoices, avoid duplicate payments, and prepare for future invoices. The software will automatically assign the next invoice number, “10,001.” Additionally, if you attempt to enter an invoice with a duplicate invoice number, most software will warn you. To create sequential invoice numbering manually, use a list of sequential numbers. When you use a number, write down the name of the customer to whom you assigned the invoice number and the amount of the invoice. Moreover, an invoice number (also known as an invoice reference number) is assigned sequentially to each invoice to track and identify the transactions easily.

  • The main rule to follow is that your invoice numbers need to follow a sequence, they can’t be randomly assigned based on arbitrary criteria.
  • Invoice number simplifies the payment tracking process and avoids all the confusion.
  • Types include the proforma invoice, commercial invoice, or final invoice.
  • Assuming you have a reasonably detailed contract, that document should describe the invoice process, timing, and amounts.
  • Ultimately, it’s always wise to do what’s best for your business—that’s why we’ve built QuickBooks invoicing software to be intuitive and customizable.

So in this guide, you will learn What is an invoice number and the best methods with examples for assigning the first invoice number in your invoice. You may also have people who need to understand your invoice number system, including your accountant, especially if you are adding business services or changing your business altogether. Beyond the fact that an invoice number is a legal requirement, there are at least 2 other essential ways they help your business succeed.

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From there, you can add unique identifiers such as customer numbers, a code for your business, or the date. When you rely on invoice software to do the leg work, you can eliminate human errors and speed up the process. There will be no risk of numbers skipped or duplicated, which is always a concern when you enter the numbers manually. The first step to numbering invoices is finding a system that works best for your business.

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Hiveage also supports recurring billing, where you can set up a regular schedule of invoices for a particular client (e.g., monthly or yearly subscriptions). Thus, you can have both a default invoice number sequence, and recurring profiles that adhere to it or use their own sequences. As we have already pointed out, invoice numbers are essential in order to find and identify your transactions with ease. In the process of doing business, you will be sending out numerous documents, including quotes, bills, and purchase orders.

Chronological Invoice Numbering

Invoice numbers are unique to the business that issues the invoice and are used primarily to track payments and communicate between the issuing company and the paying entity. An invoice number can be used to reference past due invoices, invoices coming due soon, or invoices that have already been paid. The number can be anything, as long as it is easy to read, understand and track. An online invoicing solution automatically generates invoices with unique invoice numbers that you can customize and send to your customers. Another option for invoice referencing is project-based invoice numbering which has a lot in common with the client invoice numbering. In this case, business owners assign project numbers as unique numbers specifying a particular project.

However, you also need to overcome many invoice sequencing errors, as they may lead to payment duplication. With an invoice generator, you can create a new invoice in moments. With the template, you can begin filling in invoicing basics that will stay the same on every invoice, like your website, phone number, and email address. It may seem basic, but if you have employees, partners, or colleagues involved in your invoicing, make sure your invoice number approach is crystal clear. For people who will be working with your invoice numbers, include them in the discussion so you have a shared agreement. I’ve been using Hiveage’s predecessor Curdbee for years, and Hiveage improves on Curdbee in every way.

What is an invoice number

It includes getting the invoices to customers in a timely manner. It includes tracking the payment of those invoices, and the ability to look back at invoices, for instance at tax time. One of the components of freelance invoicing is having a system that makes it easy to track invoices and enables simple bookkeeping.

You may notice that the number of zeros changes in the above example’s left box. Using zeros before your sequential invoice numbers, systematically set up your invoice to cater to a high number of subsequent invoices. The example to the right is a less common way of numbering invoices, but technically speaking, it works the same. An invoice number is used as an identifying and organizational feature on an invoice. Invoice numbers can help a business keep track of its expenses and incoming payments in an organized manner.

What is an Invoice Number – Invoice Basics Made Clear

Review the checklist every time you prepare an invoice to detect errors and oversights. Tracking these different invoices is far easier when you have a single invoice number to support your invoice tracking system. An easy-to-reference invoice number makes it easier to be efficient when you monitor your business. An invoicing software like Moon Invoice not only generates invoice numbers for you but also fully automates the invoice process for your company. Most frequently, it takes the shape of a custom invoice number series of letters, characters, letters, or all combined. The importance of this number in an invoice is that it helps in identifying the invoices and making sure that they are not duplicated.

Without a contract in place, it becomes much more challenging to manage your business. Assuming you have a reasonably detailed contract, that document should describe the invoice process, timing, and amounts. Before sending out your invoice, take a moment to verify that your invoice amount agrees with the client agreement. Given that your invoice includes all this information, why does an invoice number matter?

Another common approach is to use the current year as an identifier, and then add a sequence of numbers from there, such as ‘210001’ followed by ‘210002’. As well, an automated system will allow you to leave behind spreadsheets and manual invoicing, and have your office available to you wherever you go. It can be argued that the invoice number is one of the most important components of an invoice – other than the amount owed, of course.


So let’s begin with the importance of invoice no. on the invoice. The fastest and simplest online finance service for SMEs, freelancers and the self-employed in Europe. These options allow you and the payer to keep the accounting records accurate and avoid future complications.

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Outside of the amount due, the invoice number is the second most important number on your invoice. Systematically assigning a unique number to each invoice will give you an identifier for it. Use this identifier to look up an invoice on a computer when a customer calls with an invoice question or to find a physical copy of the invoice in your files. Structure your invoice number any way that best suits your needs, as long as you end the number with a distinctive sequential identifier.

If I ever need to send an invoice, I know it’s gonna work, and I know they’re gonna get it, and I’ll know when they’ve seen it and paid or not paid it. At least if everything else gets hard, I know I’ve got a system there that’ll let me get paid. One limitation in Hiveage at the moment is separate, project-based invoice number sequences (when they are not related to a recurring profile). This is one of the upcoming features currently in our product roadmap, as of this writing. Credit notes are documents you can issue for mistaken or changed invoices. They list the amount owed to a client, which the client can redeem at a later date.

Make sure to check your first invoice with the invoicing software carefully. Invoice number errors or having the wrong customer number can throw off your client’s system as well as your own. Next, fill in the items that will usually stay the same but may change with specific clients, such as payment terms.

Make sure you do not leave or repeat numbers while switching to another invoice number format. If you are doing project-based work then you can format invoice number with project code prefix. This invoice number structure will include the project name and sequence number.

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