DEFINITION of 'Invoice'

A commercial document that itemizes a transaction between a buyer and a seller. An invoice will usually include the quantity of purchase, price of goods and/or services, date, parties involved, unique invoice number, and tax information. If goods or services were purchased on credit, the invoice will usually specify the terms of the deal, and provide information on the available methods of payment.

Also known as a "bill", "statement" or "sales invoice".


Invoices will track the sale of a product for inventory control, accounting and tax purposes. Many companies ship the product and expect payment on a later date, so the total amount due becomes an account payable for the buyer and an account receivable for the seller. Modern-day invoices are transmitted electronically, rather than being paper-based. If an invoice is lost, the buyer may request a copy from the seller.

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