Invoice number rules


J

JaffaB

Hi,

Is there any rule which says that the invoice numbers that my company
produces has to be consecutive. I have a customer who I will be
invoicing on a monthly basis for the next 6 months or so, and for
several different reasons, I would prefer to use a range of invoice
numbers for this customer without it falling into my normal invoice
number range. Is there anything that stops me doing this?
 
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F

Fred Smith

JaffaB said:
Hi,

Is there any rule which says that the invoice numbers that my company
produces has to be consecutive. I have a customer who I will be
invoicing on a monthly basis for the next 6 months or so, and for
several different reasons, I would prefer to use a range of invoice
numbers for this customer without it falling into my normal invoice
number range. Is there anything that stops me doing this?
This came up a few years ago when we had a VAT inspection. We were able
to show a list of "voided" invoices in between issued invoices. You
probably need to look at doing the same. However the higher numbered
invoices ought to have later dates.

I can guess why you want to do it.
 
R

Ronald Raygun

Fred said:
This came up a few years ago when we had a VAT inspection. We were able
to show a list of "voided" invoices in between issued invoices. You
probably need to look at doing the same. However the higher numbered
invoices ought to have later dates.
What you're on about is just filling (or explaining) holes in your
numbering, but what JaffaB wants is to allocate a block of space to
one customer. There ought to be no problem with this. Many businesses
use pre-printed tear-off invoice pads, each consecutively numbered,
but between them starting at numbers maybe 100 or more apart. So
there's no reason why he could not allocate one "pad" to this
special customer. It can be easy, if necessary, to show that the
unused numbers were never issued.
I can guess why you want to do it.
It makes the customer, or the salesman, easy to identify from the
invoice numbers. But he said there were "several different" reasons.
 
J

JaffaB

The two biggest reasons are:

1) So that I can easy identify this customers billing away from the
rest of the mish-mash that is around
2) I am trying to win more business with this customer, and a little
scared that if they receive invoice number, say, 123 rather 10123, they
will question the size of the company - I know it sounds silly, but its
a consideration.
 
R

Ronald Raygun

JaffaB said:
The two biggest reasons are:

1) So that I can easy identify this customers billing away from the
rest of the mish-mash that is around
Hmm. If your invoices are only up to 123, there can't all that
much "mish-mash". :)
2) I am trying to win more business with this customer, and a little
scared that if they receive invoice number, say, 123 rather 10123, they
will question the size of the company - I know it sounds silly, but its
a consideration.
Yes, it's silly. The customer will think you're using a pad starting
with 10000. What do you think the customer will think if the first
invoice is 10123, and the next one, one month later, is only 10124?

What do you think will be the effect of the customer thinking your
company is small? Do you think it will reflect badly? Is the
opposite not at least as likely? They might think they will get
better service and more personal attention from a small business
run by its owners than a large one where the owners hide behind
staff who don't care.
 
J

JaffaB

1) So that I can easy identify this customers billing away from the
Hmm. If your invoices are only up to 123, there can't all that
much "mish-mash". :)
The 123 was an example. Think the last invoice number (for my 3 year
business) was 984.

But the point is taken.
 
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R

Ronald Raygun

JaffaB said:
But the point is taken.
Do you actually need invoice numbers at all?
It's conceivable that a date and customer name are sufficient to
achieve the aim of identifying an invoice uniquely. If not, add
a time stamp.
 
A

axel

Ronald Raygun said:
JaffaB wrote:
Do you actually need invoice numbers at all?
It's conceivable that a date and customer name are sufficient to
achieve the aim of identifying an invoice uniquely. If not, add
a time stamp.
Or have a special code for that customer. Eg, if it is Acme Widgets
Ltd, number the invoives from AWL-0001 onwards.

Axel
 
J

JaffaB

Or have a special code for that customer. Eg, if it is Acme Widgets
Ltd, number the invoives from AWL-0001 onwards.
Now that idea works for me, Ronald - what are your thoughts?
 
M

me

In message said:
The two biggest reasons are:

1) So that I can easy identify this customers billing away from the
rest of the mish-mash that is around
2) I am trying to win more business with this customer, and a little
scared that if they receive invoice number, say, 123 rather 10123, they
will question the size of the company - I know it sounds silly, but its
a consideration.
Can you not give them a customer reference and then add the invoice
numbers to that eg:

ACME-1
ACME-2
ACME-3
etc.
 
R

Ronald Raygun

JaffaB said:
Now that idea works for me, Ronald - what are your thoughts?
Sounds OK to me too, provided you feel the need to use an
identifier at all. As I said earlier it isn't strictly
necessary, but if you use billing software it will probably
want you to.
 
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U

usenet

JaffaB said:
Hi,

Is there any rule which says that the invoice numbers that my company
produces has to be consecutive. I have a customer who I will be
invoicing on a monthly basis for the next 6 months or so, and for
several different reasons, I would prefer to use a range of invoice
numbers for this customer without it falling into my normal invoice
number range. Is there anything that stops me doing this?
As far as I'm aware you can do whatever you like as long as invoices
can be uniquely identified.
 
N

Neil

your allowed any invoice reference you like. The consecutive thing is an
internal and external auditing thing that helps identify invoices. There is
no actual legal requirement.

There are rules for what has to be displayed on a VAT invoice such that the
necessary input and output VAT can be correctly claimed but this is entirely
different.

In your situation i would personally choose, as suggested, to add a client
reference such as ACME-001, ACME-002, or such like if you wish to
differentiate these invoices.

As for image - it cuts both way. General consensus is often the larger
appearence of the co. the better i.e. more stable supplier, longivity etc.
However as pointed out it can cut the other away re the personal service. It
depends on the individual customer and noone can second guess that for sure.
 
T

tombo

That's what I do - it works a treat. Especially if you're supposed to be
giving a customer your undivided attention, but are invoicing elsewhere at
the time.

And cosmetically it looks a lot better than a low invoice number.
 
T

tim \(moved to sweden\)

me@privacy.net said:
Can you not give them a customer reference and then add the invoice
numbers to that eg:

ACME-1
ACME-2
ACME-3
This is exactly what I did (and was going to suggest)

tim
 
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M

me

Neil said:
In your situation i would personally choose, as suggested, to add a client
reference such as ACME-001, ACME-002, or such like if you wish to
differentiate these invoices.
All this talk of Acme reminds me of one of these silly internet things,
which I haven't seen for several years, its Wil. E. Coyote taking Acme
to court as none of their products is fit for purpose!
 
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