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5 FAQS about invoicing

Everyday we receive inquiries from our customers about invoicing. Some questions more frequent than others, but nevertheless all questions are good questions, and I can guarantee you that you are not the only one interested in the answers.

5 FAQs about Debitoor invoicing

Despite using invoicing software that provides you with all the tools you need - or almost all - there will always be some questions and doubts which the software can’t answer for you. Therefore, in this article we will discuss five of the most frequently asked questions we receive about invoicing.

1. Can I use a proforma invoice as a final invoice?

The answer: No. We are not saying that it's not possible, we are just saying that this is not how you should be doing your invoicing.

A proforma invoice does not have any kind of fiscal and accounting validity, and it is simply a document that declares the seller’s commitment to provide the goods or services specified to the buyer at certain prices. For this reason, it is not a true invoice and can not be used as such.

In Debitoor we do understand the worry that many users have, that their customers will not pay them. In cases such as this, it is still not acceptable to use a proforma invoice instead instead of a normal invoice. And again, in cases such as this there are certain measures in place to encourage your customer to pay the invoice, namely the sending of reminder letters to the use of online payment platforms.

Furthermore, worse case scenario meaning you need to cancel an invoice, you can do so by creating a credit note

2. Can you use quotes to get paid for a service?

This question is similar to the previous, only with quotes instead of proforma invoices.

Previously we have received suggestions from users to add the option to mark a quote as paid. However, this is a suggestion which we can not and will not meet, for one simple reason: the law does not allow it. And to be frank, quotes do not serve the same purpose as an invoice, so it is important you know the difference between the two and when to use invoices or quotes.

Quotes in invoicing are normally sent if a customer enquiries about a product or service, or would simply like to know more. Although this is similar to proforma invoices, the difference is that a proforma invoice is sent if a customer has committed to a purchase, but a true invoice cannot yet be sent because the final details of the sale are not certain.

In Debitoor we have made it really simple and easy for you to convert a quote to an invoice. Once your quote has been accepted by the customer, you can convert the quote to an invoice in just one click without having to start from scratch.

3. Can I permanently delete an invoice?

The answer: No. This is a question which we get a lot, and again the reason why you are unable to do so is to do with the law.

In Debitoor, you can never permanently delete an invoice. You’ve probably seen there is an option to ‘delete’ an invoice, and when you do so it simply goes out of your sight but it’s actually still there - in case you need it for a reference.

For legal reasons, tax authorities require that you keep your transaction records for 5 years. This means that any tax authority can ask you to provide copies of invoices from a couple years back and you will be required to do so.

For whatever reason you might want to delete an invoice - you made a mistake on the invoice or your customer has a change of heart and does not want to pay - there are other ways to fix this than to delete the invoice.

It is common to make mistakes, and the easiest way to avoid this is to work on the invoice as a ‘draft’ before you are fully certain it is ready to be finalised. If you have already finalised the invoice and sent it to the customer and only then realise you have made a mistake, then you can counter the invoice by issuing a credit note. A credit note will cancel the invoice, and then you can create a whole new invoice with the correct details.

4. Can I create invoice number series for each customers?

An invoice number is a legal requirement for all invoices, and the rule is that your invoice number series should be sequential and should never contain gaps.

To clarify, no you can not create an invoice number series per customer. The invoice number is a unique, sequential code that is systematically assigned to invoices, and in Debitoor your invoice numbers will automatically follow a consecutive pattern.

The only time it is acceptable to create a different invoice series is at the beginning of the new accounting period. Yet even so, if you change your invoice series you need to make sure you do not repeat or leave out numbers.

5. Can I add a discount to just one product on the invoice?

The answer: Yes! With Debitoor invoicing software, when you create an invoice you can also add discounts to the invoice. This can be done in two ways, either you can add a discount specific to a product line, or you can add a discount to the entire invoice total amount.

If you would like to add a discount for a single product line, then you just need to click the arrow on the far right of that product line, and choose ‘Discount’ from the drop down menu. Here you can indicate the specific discount you are offering your customer on that particular product.

If you would like to offer a discount on the subtotal of the invoice as a whole, then you can do so in the section called ‘Options’. Here you can enter a discount percentage and this will adjust your total amount of the invoice.

We are always happy to help you with any questions you might have. If you can't find the answer on our website itself, then feel free to drop us a message at [email protected] - and chat to one of our friendly employees! :)