Businesses are required to keep records of each transaction. Without a record of sales, refunds, or exchanges, it is impossible to keep your business finances and cash flow in order, handle your company’s taxes or evaluate your business’s performance.

As a business owner, you need to use a combination of receipts and invoices, as most firms do, to record transactions for both themselves and their clients.

If you consolidate these responsibilities of invoices and receipts in one spot, you may be able to streamline your procedures and devote more time to your small business.

Without a clear understanding of the differences in Invoice Vs Receipt, managing your firm’s assets and adhering to applicable legislation and rules may become much more challenging.

Let us take a deeper look into the difference between a receipt and an invoice in this comprehensive guide:

Difference Between Invoice and Receipt (With Example)

It’s common to use receipts interchangeably with invoices, but they are not the same. Here are the main distinctions between an invoice and a receipt that small businesses need to know before they provide services.

What is an Invoice?

Invoices are issued to request payment promptly from the customer. The invoice serves as financial statements or proof of payment for services rendered or goods sold to your customer. It is a commercial document confirming services sold and money owed to your clients for any business size.

It is a record of the specifics of a purchase and sale transaction between a buyer and a seller. If goods or services were acquired on credit, the invoice would typically include details about the terms of the completed transaction as well as any available payment options by the due date.

In this legal document, the product or service is detailed item by item, along with the costs, total cost, additional service provider expenditures, and any applicable taxes that the customer is liable for covering for labor, time, and materials. Owners may receive supplier bills as part of their business.

Businesses create invoices and send them to customers, (business to business or business to client) that include the necessary payment information. The invoice may include a demand for payment of other unpaid invoices or a partial certain amount that must be paid in advance on occasion.

Invoice Example


When a store buys goods from a manufacturer, the goods are delivered to the receiving department, and an invoice is sent to the accounting department. The retailer is still required to pay the manufacturer for the goods purchased, and this invoice serves as a bill-like reminder of that obligation.

The invoice specifies the itemized list of ordered and delivered goods, the length of the cash discount, and other terms of sale. Payments are paid of the total amount to the manufacturer by the retailer’s accounting department, along with a copy of the invoice, to be applied to the appropriate purchase account by the manufacturer.

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What is a Receipt?

The owner of the business issues a receipt to the customer as invoice proof of the total amount paid when the customer pays their invoice. It is also required to file tax returns, making receipts important for clients.

This will help both the customer and the customer avoid challenging circumstances. Additionally, you can use electronic receipts for upcoming client transactions. Receipts assist a small business owner in keeping track of earlier payments and in calculating taxes to guarantee you are not in violation of any tax limits issued prior.

Receipt Example


Here is an example of using a receipt for your business:

Suppose John bought a book order from your business and you have sent him the invoice requesting compensation. After the customer has received the invoice and paid the bill, you need to provide proof of payment made by him in the form of a receipt. This receipt typically issued contains different information like unique invoice number, sales tax information, business name, services or goods provided.

How to Create Invoices and Receipts Differently?

To understand the difference between an invoice and a receipt, it is crucial to know how they are written differently.

How to Write an Invoice?

Even though creating an invoice is fairly simple, there are a few important provide details you should never overlook to get paid swiftly. One of the most significant differences between the two financial records is that an online invoice typically contains more information about the transaction and its terms than a receipt.

Here are a couple of terms:

  1. Your company’s name, address, and phone number;
  2. The customer’s name and address;
  3. A clear invoice number;
  4. The payment date the invoice was created;
  5. The due date and any other payment terms;
  6. All acceptable payment options;
  7. A detailed list of all goods and services purchased, including the cost and quantity;
  8. And the total amount due, including any applicable taxes and fees.

Because invoices both request payment and document a transaction, all of this information is legally required to inform customers of the charges and your payment expectations.

How to Write a Receipt?

Receipts are even easier to create than invoices because they are much less detailed. They contain critical transactional data as proof of payment. There is no need for customer information or a unique identification number, but the following information must be included on the sales receipts you issue for your e-commerce businesses or any small business:

  1. Your company’s name, logo, and contact details;
  2. The date of the sale;
  3. A full list of the purchased products and services;
  4. The cost of each purchased good or service;
  5. Any discounts or vouchers;
  6. The full payment, including all fees and taxes.

Some receipts may also include your company’s payment method, terms of sale, or return policy because customers may find this information useful if they want to exchange or return an item.

When to Use Invoices and Receipts?

One way to think about invoices and receipts is that the invoice is issued before payment and the receipt following payment. If you send an invoice, you anticipate receiving payment; if you send a receipt, payment has already been received.

Invoices are a trusted financial tool for payment in many industries. They keep track of current business transactions as well as relevant information. Receipts can also be used to forecast economic outcomes, such as forecasting future sales based on historical data. Finally, because both are checked for information, they are both useful for tax purposes.

The Importance of Receipts in Business

Receipts are required by all businesses to maintain complete and accurate records. Here are a few pointers on how they are crucial in maintaining your business’s finances:

Track Expenses

Receipts help you keep track of all business expenses. It even enables you to review historical data and make future budgets based on past spending.

Assists during Tax Filings

Receipts act as critical evidence in the event of a tax audit. In general, your business must have a receipt as proof of purchase to file a tax return and receive expenses claimed on your tax return.

Proof of Business

The entire sales receipt is required as proof of a business expense; a bank or credit card statement is insufficient.

Why are Invoices Important in Business?

An invoice is typically sent after completing a transaction because it is simply a payment request. Customers may receive an invoice after receiving their ordered goods or services, depending on the terms of the sale.

  1. An invoice specifies the number of goods or services provided and requests payment of the agreed-upon price.
  2. The invoicing process is typically carried out after the transaction has been completed to ensure that the terms of the original agreement have been met by both parties.
  3. An invoice contains the necessary details of a business transaction. It includes as much information as possible while keeping the invoice simple to understand.


Every successful business requires both a receipt and an invoice. Despite some similarities, invoices, and receipts serve different purposes, and knowing the main difference between an invoice and a receipt will help you use them correctly in your business and help manage business expenses. Every business that conducts business must generate invoices and receipts. The crucial distinctions, key differences, and different functions must be noted to be appropriately compensated that the customer makes for your services. They help your business identify how much they owe and if the customer paid.

Using efficient invoicing software, you can create and manage invoices, distribute receipts, and reconcile payments. Consolidating these tasks in one software may streamline your processes, giving you more time to work on your business. Because of technology improvements like these, small business owners may now email invoices and receipts.


Jayanti Katariya
Jayanti Katariya About the author

Jayanti Katariya is the founder & CEO of Moon Invoice, with over a decade of experience in developing SaaS products and the fintech industry. He holds a degree in engineering. Since 2011, Jayanti's expertise has helped thousands of businesses, from small startups to large enterprises, streamline invoicing, estimation, and accounting operations. His vision is to deliver top-tier financial solutions globally, ensuring efficient financial management for all business owners.