Published May 31, 2019
In many languages, the word for ‘invoice’ is the same as the word for bill and receipt. You might ask yourself "Why are there different words in English for them? Is there really any difference between them? In which situations do we use each word?” We’re glad you asked.
What is a receipt?
This is the piece of paper a customer gets once they have paid. The primary purpose of a receipt is to provide proof that a contractual obligation regarding the exchange of goods or services for goods or services has been fulfilled.
As an example, you get a receipt from the bar and the credit card/utility company because (1) you have paid and (2) the contractual obligations (pay for the stuff I gave you) has been fulfilled.
Anyone needing proof of payment for one of your clients or customers can make a generic sales receipt and customize it to fit their business’ needs. Of course, if you’re giving someone a receipt, then you have already given them their bill.
What is a bill?
A bill is what a customer calls the piece of paper for the goods or services that they have received. Usually, payment is expected immediately when the bill is presented (though not always).
To use the examples from above, when you go out for drinks you ask for the bill. The reason for this is threefold: (1) you are the customer, (2) you haven’t paid yet, and (3) you are usually expected to pay immediately upon receiving the piece of paper.
For those looking for a free billing template, we have over 100 for you to choose from. But honestly, if you’re the one giving a bill, you’re actually invoicing.
What is an invoice?
This is where things get a “little” more technical. An invoice is a document that someone provides to a customer stating what some goods or services will cost to be paid in the future. This is where the technical part comes in; an invoice is (1) given by the person who provides the goods/services (2) on credit.
Continuing the examples, the supplier gives an invoice to the bar for their drinks because (1) they have already provided the drinks to the bar (2) but the bar only pays for the drinks at the end of the month.
Of course, colloquially, many of us use the word bill for both a bill and an invoice, like the languages I mentioned before. However, there is a technical difference that is important linguistically and legally.
If you’re looking for an invoice, bill, or receipt, then you’re in luck because you’ve come to their home. We’ve also got quotes, estimates, credit memos, credit notes, and purchase orders for you. I guess you could really call us a dormitory.
- HOW TO: Add Two Taxes or a Compounded Tax to an Invoice
- HOW TO: Manually Mark Invoices as Paid
- HOW TO: Copy Invoice Items Quickly!
- HOW TO: Add Taxable and Non-Taxable Items on One Invoice
- HOW TO: Self-Organized Invoicing is Here!
- HOW TO: Get Paid in a Flash With Payment Links!
- HOW TO: Invoice Customers Faster With the Email Feature!
- HOW TO: Copy an Invoice to Create a New One
- 300 Stunning Invoice Templates for a Polished, Professional Look!
- 3 Tips For Enjoying Summer, Even When You Have to Work!
- 7 Ways to Prevent Work-From-Home Burnout
- How to Get a Customer to Pay Your Invoice
- New Year’s Resolutions for Small Business Owners
- Holiday Gifts for Small Business Owners
- Why You Should Use an Invoice Template Software
- Managing & Engaging Your Remote Employees
- How to Deal With Difficult Customers
- How to Send an Invoice
- 4 Simple Steps to Start Freelancing
- How Your Business Can Profit From Halloween
- You’re Setting the Wrong Goals for Your Business
- How to Get Over Your Phone Anxiety
- Questions to Ask Yourself When Starting a Business
- 4 Steps to Take When Taking on a New Client
- Introducing Cash Receipt Templates!
- How to Make Your Small Business More Professional
- 9 Invoicing Documents, and When You Should Use Them
- Common Mistakes Freelancers Make
- How to Network Without Leaving Your Home
- 6 Signs That You Might be Ready for a Side Hustle
- 8 Financial Blogs Small Business Owners Need to Read
- How to Prevent Late Payments on Invoices
- Top 10 Countries by Startup Ecosystem
- 5 Reasons To Use Paperless Invoices
- How to Avoid a Toxic Workplace
- Why You Should Upgrade to Unlimited Invoicing
- Tech and Economy: How Tel Aviv became the Start-up City
- The Importance of Customer Service
- What is an Invoice?
- 5 Plants to Minimize Toxins & Maximize Productivity
- M-Commerce in Developing Countries
- Customize Your Invoice
- 9 Ways to Vacation Stress-Free
- How to Get Your Laptop Spring-Ready
- The Truth About Failure
- 5 Women You Should Know About
- The Most Expensive Super Bowl Ads of All Time
- Top 10 Cities for Female Entrepreneurs
- Jobs That Didn't Exist 20 Years Ago
- Gifts for the Entrepreneur in Your Life
- How to Secure Your Small Business
- Unique Ways to Thank Your Customers
- Best Cities to Live in With a Salary of $50,000
- How to Separate Yourself from Your Business
- How to Manage Your Mental Health as a Business Owner
- Books to Read Before Starting a Business
- 5 Ways to Get Loyal Customers
- Why You Should Take a Staycation
- Businesses You Can Start While Working Full Time
- Should Freelancers Ever Work for Free?
- How to Stay Active at the Office
- Best Business Ideas for People Who Love to Travel
- How to Perfect Your Elevator Pitch
- The Best Places in the World to Work Online From
- 5 Businesses You Can Start for Free
- How to Organize Your Desk for Maximum Productivity
- How Your Business Can Profit off the World Cup
- What the Color of Your Logo Says About Your Business
- How to Become a Wedding Planner
- Why Veterans Make Perfect Entrepreneurs
- Why Every Day Should Be "Take Your Dog to Work Day"
- 3 tips For First-Time Freelancers
- 3 Tips for a Stress-Free Vacation
- Spring Cleaning in The Office
- 5 Tips When Starting Your Business
- New to Invoicing
- 3 Tips on Last Minute Tax Filing
- Characteristics of a Successful Business Owner
- Accomplishing Your 2018 Goals
- How to Set and Achieve Your New Year's Goals
- Tips For Boosting Your Productivity
- Motivational Quotes to Get You Through Any Day
- New Flags on The Template Gallery!
- Be Featured on Our Site!
- How to Create Your First Invoice
- A Helping Hand on the Road to Success
- How Wine and Invoicing Go Together
- How to Use 'My Reports' as Statements
- 1st Day of Summer
- A Faster Way to Organize and View Your Documents
- 3 Ways to Wrap Up Your Month
- 5 Activities You Have Time for While Using Invoice Home
- Creating a Partial Payment
- What Invoices and Technology have in Common
- Get an Invoice that Suits You
- Need more details in your Invoice? No problem! Use the Advanced Form.
- Ready to bill your client? Awesome! Time to convert your Estimate into an Invoice.
- Stay organized! Bookmark customers, unpaid.. Here’s how!
- Providing discounts? Effortless work-flow here!
- 500 Free Business Logos for You!
- Don't mess with passwords anymore!
- See why the New Invoice Home got a 5 Star Rating!
- 100 Professional Invoice Templates to promote your Brand