Back in the days before e-commerce, every job was billed using paper invoices, everyone was paid with paper checks, and all those paper records were delivered in person or sent in the mail. Back then it was easy to put together the information needed for an invoice. For the self-employed freelancer in the 21st century, things are no longer that simple and it affects what you put on your personalized invoices.
A job invoice is intended to provide an estimate to clients for how much a project will cost based on parts, labor, and other expenses. A job invoice is not the same as an official quote or contract. If you are a construction contractor or other service provider, you may need to offer clients an initial estimate to give them an idea of the scope of the project. While this is not an official quote, it is good to be realistic about potential costs so that clients understand what they are getting into. Consider providing more than one estimate - one based on the likely cost and another that includes costs for complications that could arise.
If your business ships products to customers, a sales invoice template is the perfect choice. This template allows you to include shipping information, and it calculates the tax along with shipping and handling. This is ideal for small business invoicing, looks professional, and coordinates with the packing slip and purchase order templates.
A pro forma invoice describes the value of a transaction prior to its completion. The term pro forma refers to a planned business transaction. Pro forma invoices are commonly used when two companies are just starting to do business together and for international trade. The invoice describes the terms of a deal and can sometimes be used to expedite the customs and shipping processes.
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