How to invoice a customer?
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How do you invoice clients?

When an order is received, it should be carefully examined to see whether the prices, terms, etc., are acceptable and whether the customer is good for credit. If the account be a new one and credit is required, trade references may be requested or a confidential inquiry may be made through a data agency such as Dunnly. Provided everything is satisfactory, the order should be acknowledged and put in hand without delay.

Order Routine.

The utmost care must be exercised in planning the order routine as upon it depends the speed and accuracy with which orders are put through. Conditions will dictate the style of the forms and the smaller details, but in all cases the loose-leaf method affords great advantages over online,offline or bound books. It is generally desirable to allot a distinguishing order number to each order by entry in an Order Register.

As soon as an order is executed, the ” date completed ” and the sales reference are noted against the original entry, and orders not so marked are deemed to be unexecuted, and frequent investigation is made to ensure that all goods dispatched are properly charged.

When a large number of orders is received daily, a different style of register is advocated. The order number is stamped on the customer’s original order and also upon all forms pertaining to it. The order having been duly registered and allotted a number, steps must be taken to instruct the warehouse or factory to proceed with the work. The practice of executing orders directly from the customer’s official order is to be deprecated, as if the order be lost a difficult problem arises. The best method is to copy the details of the order upon loose-leaf forms. Numerous copies of an order can be made at one writing by means of duplication, and the different copies may be distinguished by the use of paper of distinctive colors. The copies written at one operation may include the invoice, acknowledgment of order, day book copy, packing note, works order, delivery note and receipt, etc. Besides saving considerable time, a system of this description eliminates the chance of error in copying from one book to another, and one is certain that all copies are alike without the trouble of checking.

In many businesses, it is expedient to write the job order and the cost sheet at one operation ; the cost sheet then bears the details of the order on the front, and the back is employed for the entry of time and material.

It may not be desirable to divulge prices to the warehouse and factory staff, and in that case the order forms can be made shorter than the invoice, or the duplicates can be cut so that prices do not appear on the forms for use outside the office.

Where part deliveries are frequent, it is preferable not to write the invoice and day book copy at the same time as the other copies mentioned ; and in these circumstances, the system should be divided into two parts, viz., the order and the invoicing. The disposition of the various copies depends entirely upon the attendant circumstances. The completed forms are best filed in loose-leaf binders to give a cross reference, one kind alphabetically under the name of the customer and others numerically under the order number.

Examples.

The following concrete examples will doubtless suggest how the multiple order system can be modified to meet individual requirements.

Case 1 – The office is adjacent to the warehouse and standard goods are supplied ex stock. Part deliveries are frequent. The average number of items on each order is six.

ORDER REGISTER. As soon as an order is received, the name of the customer is entered in a consecutive order register, as previously described.

ORDER FORMS. When the order has been registered in the above manner, the details are copied upon duplicate forms, one copy for office use and the other for the Dispatch Department. The back of the office copy is printed to record the invoicing of part deliveries, and the back of the dispatch copy for entries of goods sent. Both forms are headed with the order number.

The office copies are filed in an Unexecuted Order binder alphabetically under the customers’ names until the orders are completed. Dispatch orders are sent to the warehouse for execution. As soon as a part delivery is made, the particulars are entered on the back of the dispatch order which is returned to the office for invoicing. The Invoice number is recorded on the back of the office copy, and the dispatch order is sent back to the Dispatch Department for attention to the remainder of order. Upon completion of the order, the entries on the back of the two forms are compared, and the total of the invoice
column on the back of the office copy is checked against the total amount of the order as shown on the face of the form. The completed copies are disposed of as follows

Office copies are removed from the Unexecuted Order binder and filed in alphabetical order in an Executed Order binder, thus clearing the former of all finished work. Dispatch orders are filed in numerical order under Order Nos., to form a cross reference to the alphabetically arranged office copies.

Each time the dispatch order is returned to the office, notifying that a part delivery has been made, an invoice is issued for the goods delivered. Invoices in duplicate are put up in pads, numbered in advance, and the carbon copies are filed in a loose-leaf binder in numerical order. This method renders unnecessary the usual day book, as the totals of each invoice are entered in an invoice summaiy to give the sum of sales to credit to the Sales Account. The invoice summary can be ruled for analysis of sales, or it may take the form of a Register of Sales and Costs when the product is specially made and a costing system is in use. Ledger postings are made direct from the invoice copies ; these copies are first sorted in the same order as the accounts in the ledger to save time in posting, and afterwards resorted in numerical order for filing and entry in the Invoice Summary.

It is understood that additional copies of an order can be made at the same writing. An extra copy may be required for a customer to serve as an acknowledgment, or a factory order may be necessary for the production of special lines.

Instead of the Dispatch Department sending the Dispatch Order to the office every time a part delivery is made, the office may be notified of ” goods ready ” by means of a duplicate packing note, and a copy of the invoice may be employed as authority to release the goods. Then the Dispatch Order would remain in the warehouse until finally completed.

Case 2 – The office is situated in the City of London and the warehouse in Manchester. Orders are received and invoiced by the office but executed by the warehouse. Part deliveries are not frequent.

A similar Order Register is employed as in Case 1. Invoice, day book copy and dispatch order are written at one operation. The invoice and day book copies are filed together in numerical order in an Unexecuted Order binder and the dispatch order is posted to Manchester.

ADVICE NOTES. The warehouse is furnished with pads of numbered triplicate forms 1st copy, perforated to tear. Advice to customer as the 2nd copy and Advice to London as the 3rd copy. The Manchester copy shall be secure in book.

When the goods are dispatched, the warehouse sends the first copy to the customer and the second copy to London. Upon receipt of advice, the office removes the invoice and day book copies from the Unexecuted Order binder, checks the advice against invoice, dates both day book copy and invoice, and posts the latter to the customer. The day book copy is placed in a loose-leaf binder under date of invoice and given a rotation number as filed ; the rotation number is entered in the Order Register and also marked on the advice note. The advice note is filed under its own number in a separate binder.

An invoice summary is used as in Case 1. The customers’ original orders are preserved for reference in the regular filing system.

Carrier’s Receipts

A receipt should be taken for all goods delivered. The receipt can be written at the same time as the order copies and held in a binder until required, or it may be expedient to make out receipts when the goods are ready for dispatch. Where loose-leaves are in use, receipts for hand deliveries can be filed in alphabetical order under the customers’ names. The forms falling under each section are arranged according to date, and as the route is recorded on the filed dispatch order copy and the Order No. on the receipt note, reference can be made in a minimum of time.

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