whats a proforma invoice

A customer or client might decide to make a payment towards the cost of the goods or services listed on the proforma invoice before receiving those goods or services and the final invoice. Accounting software can help you record this, and once the selling company creates the final invoice, it should be possible for the seller to attribute the payment to the correct invoice. Since proforma invoices are not technically accounting documents, companies who accept payments on proforma invoices should have a plan in place for how exactly the company handles those payments. A sales invoice should represent the final total amount due on a sale.

whats a proforma invoice

It’s a binding agreement – although the terms of sale are subject to change. Businesses in all industries use the proforma invoice to compensate for their internal purchase process. It streamlines the sales process by eliminating additional follow-ups and other issues after a sale goes through since all terms have been agreed to upfront. Unlike a standard invoice, a pro forma invoice should not have an invoice number.

Can You Pay A Proforma Invoice?

In simple terms, a proforma invoice is a preliminary invoice sent by the seller to the buyer in advance containing the terms of sales. It notes crucial information about the purchased items as well as other relevant information, such as transportation charges. The simple answer is no, a payment can’t be made on a proforma invoice. However, in order to understand why, the difference between proforma invoices and standard invoices must be understood. The world of financial documents is pretty complicated and can baffle even the most experienced entrepreneurs, but FINOM can make things much easier. We provide a wide range of financial services, including a business account, invoicing, and accounting software integration. Using invoice software will keep your workflow fast and straightforward.

whats a proforma invoice

A pro forma invoice is generally raised when the seller is ready for dispatching the material but they want to ensure that the payment is being sent before dispatch. And similarly, the customer also wants to know which components are included in the pro forma invoice to avoid disagreements later. Lenders and investors will require such statements to structure or confirm compliance with debt whats a proforma invoice covenants such as debt service reserve coverage and debt to equity ratios. Similarly, when a new corporation is envisioned, its founders will prepare pro forma financial statements for the information of prospective investors. Also, banks will request pro forma statements in lieu of tax returns for a start up business in order to verify cash flow before issuing a loan or line of credit.


The proforma invoice is used to create a sale, not to generate payment for a sale . Once the final proforma invoice is accepted by the buyer, it should be signed by the authorized buyer/importer and returned to the exporter. Another option is to use your invoice template, obtained online or via an accounting software like Xero, re-title it to ‘Proforma Invoice’, and make amends accordingly.

whats a proforma invoice

InvoicingInvoice Email – How to Run Your Business More EasilyGet paid on time for your product or service with the FINOM invoice program. Save time with invoice templates and use a financial management program.

ReliaBills wants you to get paid quickly without going through the hassle of creating an invoice. We know how hard it is to juggle between managing your business and invoicing for your clients. That’s why ReliaBills has made it easier by providing all of the tools and features that you need in one platform. Prior to services being rendered or goods being delivered, a pro forma can be used. In business, a sale is recognized when goods are delivered or services have been rendered. Pro Forma Invoices outline the commitment that a seller intends to provide the services or the goods to be delivered. In essence, it is a documented transaction in good faith between both parties to purchase and deliver goods and services.

Since proforma invoices are not final sales invoices, they cannot be used for tax purposes or treated as VAT/GST invoices. This is because it doesn’t fit the “tax point”, which is the time of supply.

Can Payments Be Made On Proforma Invoices?

It gives your business a general idea of the amount that will be due and when it must be paid. A commercial invoice is necessary for paying the bill and noting it as an expenditure. It should be kept and filed for references, and to back up your accounting information in case of an audit. A proforma invoice is necessary for any type of business as it gives clients a ‘heads up’ on all of the items they will receive. That way, they already know how much they will be paying even before the goods or services are delivered. This invoice provides enough information to allow your customers to determine the things needed to form a general examination of the included goods or services.

It also does not necessarily include a payment due date or exact date of delivery. A proforma invoice is an abridged or estimated invoice sent by a seller to a buyer in advance of a shipment or delivery of goods and services. It notes the description about the quality and quantity of goods and their value and the other important information such as weight and transportation charges involved in the delivery process. The invoice due date is usually mentioned in the final invoice, https://business-accounting.net/ but the proforma invoices can speed up the payment process by letting your customers know how much they owe. Proforma invoices give your customers time to make their minds and necessary arrangements for the payment. The proforma invoice template from any invoicing software serves as a record to follow up on the goods and services. When the template is sent to the customer, they have to agree on the price or the value included following the purchase approval process.

Proforma Invoices And Taxes

Customers are not legally required to pay the amount listed on a proforma invoice. A proforma invoice is a preliminary invoice that gets sent to to request payment for goods and services before they are supplied. It is an advanced total, or estimate of the total, that sellers can use as a good faith agreement for goods and services that will be delivered to the buyer.

  • This is because it doesn’t fit the “tax point”, which is the time of supply.
  • A purchase order is considered a commercial document, meaning an official confirmation of a sale, while a proforma invoice is a quote from a sale, not a confirmation.
  • Whereas the proforma invoice is like a quotation, is not legally binding and is sent before the sale and details have been confirmed.
  • Clarify all fees and contract details before signing a contract or finalizing your purchase.
  • Only after a proforma invoice is converted to a true invoice will its value be registered in your accounts; this is because, until that point, there is no guarantee that the customer will agree to your terms.
  • This means the invoice would typically not be in the name of your business because the supply was not made to it.

Customers are therefore not obligated to pay for goods or services listed on a proforma invoice. A proforma invoice can also not be used in your accounting cycle the way a standard invoice can. Only once a finalized invoice has been issued can the business accept payment from the customer, link the payment to the invoice, and have the payment recorded in its accounting reports.

Business Is Our Business

You can edit an invoice directly in the web and mobile app and download it in PDF and CSV formats. But they do give some advantages in negotiating the deal even though there are similarities with other types of financial documents. A pro forma invoice still has its unique function that can make running your business a smoother ride. If the goods get damaged in transit, the typical routine would be to send your customer a credit note against the original invoice. But having a pro forma invoice lets you make any necessary amendments and then turn the document into a full sales invoice.

  • Proforma applies to invoices that are not yet completed which means that the invoices do not have an invoice number that is needed for every legal invoice.
  • For context, let’s consider the seller receiving an order confirmation from a buyer.
  • Pro forma bills are incomplete pieces of legislation and undergo only the first reading stage.
  • A tax invoice usually shows the name of the business or person the goods or services are supplied to.
  • In some countries, customs may accept a pro forma invoice if the required commercial invoice is not available at the time when filing entry documents at the port of entry to get goods released from customs.
  • Outside of work, Faye is a big fan video games especially League of Legends which she has been playing since many years.

If you’re a seller, convert your pro forma invoice to a final invoice in your accounting software, and Bill.com will help streamline and manage the accounts payable process. Buyers can use Bill.com’s accounts payable product to review and approve the invoices they receive and then pay them according to the payment terms. To learn more about how it works, sign up for a risk-free trial.

What Is The Difference Between An Invoice And A Pro Forma Invoice?

Also, it should be clear with the details of rate and percentage of GST imposed on every goods and service. And when in a case with any old or pre-traded companies anticipated again, then it will be usual for an account to be pre-settled for the buyer with credit facilities and services. Acknowledging the diversified varieties of invoices, to increase the cash flow can be a game-changer in the business practices of your company.

A sales quote is prepared in the form of a pro forma invoice, which is different from a commercial invoice. It is used to create a sale and is sent in advance of the commercial invoice. In trade transactions, a pro forma invoice is a document that states a commitment from the seller to sell goods to the buyer at specified prices and terms. It is not a true invoice because it is not used to record accounts receivable for the seller and accounts payable for the buyer. You might create a proforma invoice to give buyers your closest estimate of the final cost price of the sale.

They often ask whether an invoice can be factored before they have finished providing the service or before the product is delivered. A pro forma financial statement leverages hypothetical data or assumptions about future values to project performance over a period that hasn’t yet occurred. In the online course Financial Accounting, pro forma financial statements are defined as “financial statements forecasted for future periods.

Pro Forma Invoice Vs Quotation

Ultimately, this piece of paper or electronic item offers the buyer detailed information about their intended purchase without binding them to make a payment. A proforma invoice can also help the purchaser decide whether to go ahead with the order. They will also not be hit with any unexpected fees once the invoice arrives, as the proforma invoice will have already given them an estimate. A proforma invoice is a document provided before or with a shipment of goods. Streamlines the sales process between the buyer and seller prior to confirming the purchase.

The difference is that a pro forma invoice is sent before goods have been ordered and a credit memo is issued post delivery of damaged goods. Standard invoices are distinct from what is known as a proforma invoice. They contain much of the same information, but serve different purposes. It’s important to avoid confusing or conflating the two, since only standard invoices are legal documents.

Are issued when requesting payment for the sale of products, or shortly after the sale has been completed. Sales invoices that contain tax and VAT information are also known as tax invoices. These are legally binding tax documents and should be kept in your bookkeeping records. There is also a profound difference between a proforma invoice and a standard invoice. A proforma invoice is used to create a sale while an invoice is used to generate payment for sale.