Invoices (receipt, invoice, vat) help.

Hi everyone,My apologies for not posting for a while, I have been really busy.The issue I have just come across is incoice/receipts.So we issue a quote to a customer and they accept.We then take a deposit payment to cover material cost and give them a receipt for the payment which clearly states the amount paid, date etc.We then complete the work and issue another receipt in the same style.Our question is VAT Invoices... how does this work?Do we simply add a VAT section onto our NCR Pads and issue them instead of receipts?What should they include?

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  • PRO

    Once VAT registered, clients must be given an official VAT receipt for any monies received (deposits, final payments etc). There is a legal requirement to show certain information (although the format is flexible). Ffrom memory, it must include trading entity/address, VAT number, VAT date, ex-VAT total, VAT element, Total and service/goods description. Like many business records, they need keeping for 6 years.

    Most of the 'hassle' goes away if you use basic VAT approved accounting software, especially if they can produce quotes, invoices/receipts.

    If you are using per-printed NCR pads, most suppliers have template ones available you can use and customise.

    • PRO

      Here's the full info needed on a VAT invoice :

      Straight from horses mouth ;)

    • Hi Gary,

      That is what I thought... We are not expecting to register for VAT until later in 2017 however would like to have the procedures in place/on stand by ready for the change over.

      We have currently created a 'paper system' where all our Quotes and Receipts are issued in person from an NCR Pad and given to the customer there and then.
      I am now wondering whether it would be worth using Quickbooks as they promise to keep track of everything including sending estimates/quotes to customers which would switch us to a mostly paperless business however my fear is that some customers are elderly and don't have an email address to receive the invoices etc and it could put them off.

      I suppose I am overthinking this slightly as the aspect of quickbooks seems great and will save so much time in place of sitting for a few hours a week doing accounts.

      Do you mind me asking if you use a software like quickbooks and what your thoughts are?


      • PRO

        You can always;

        1/ raise in advance, print out and take with you

        2/ send via post.

        It's a 'process' decision as to how you issue Estimate/Quotes, then an Invoice/Receipts and often depends on the customer type.

        For us, we issue a Quote....perform works...issue an Invoice....receive payment from client with a Remittance Advice.... Bank it........reconcile it.

        Some will ask for a Receipt but as we do not take Cash on completion, the receipt of Chq/BACS/online payment is easily tracked via Bank Statements. We then issue Statements on a regular basis (quarterly for us).

        All the above represent different parts of the "business transaction".

        QB Online is a good solution but assumes you print out or email documents. However, some use portable WiFi/BT Printers (although an overkill, unless you are servicing 10's of clients a day - such as in Lawn Care) and need to present on completion to client.

        We use QB Pro and could/would not be without it. There are many other packages equally or better than this...... but most are now moving to Online versions, which has it own set of Pros & Cons.

        • Thanks for the advise Gary, I think that has sealed the deal for us and for the small fee of £15p/m or £150p/y it seems to work worth while as our accountant will only charge us a fraction of the current cost as there is less work involved for them :) happy days.

          Thanks again gary :)

          • PRO

            Marc, there are a number of LJN members who have gone down the QB Online route.

            Hopefully, they will respond with their views and experiences and provide more valuable viewpoints as they've gone thru the 'pain' more recently.

            Don't discount equally good solutions such as Xero etc. Some are "free" for small businesses but make sure there is a reasonable upgrade path at a reasonable cost before committing.

            • PRO

              We use Quickfile, which is very accountant friendly. Same idea as Quickbooks....quotes, convert quotes to invoices, tweak and send or print for post/ presenting to client. 

              Can also add expenses, so material purchases, fuel, machinery repairs etc can be entered easily. Certainly helps with lowering accounting fees, and also helps us see our monthly margins.

  • PRO

    We quickbooks online for tracking all our expenses; customer side more complex for lawn care and so we use service assistant and integrate the two at the end of each month. QB is very easy to use and if you use for customer invoice etc all will be in place and if you wish it will do the vat submissions directly for you once you've setup.

    Can't comment on other sw, but QB will do everything you'll need.

  • PRO
    Make sure your choice is fit for purpose and will grow with you. Don't be swayed by free software unless it allows progression as the business grows.

    Look to ensure you only have 1 'repository' of customer data - ie don't duplicate it in different systems or in notepads. It was one of my key goals many years ago.

    Although the move is to online solutions, think long and hard about them and how they tie you in.

    Not pushing it, but you can buy QB desktop for a 1-off fee, which can deliver value for money and you own it and your data, but that brings other responsibilities.

    Currently we use QB Pro and another system that provides an end to end solution and dove tails into QB giving 1 data set real time.

    However Online products are getting there. Some on here use Jobber which allows a huge percentage of business admin with out a true accounts package in built, but does provide a real time link to QB and others.

    Thru business mentoring I've done with small businesses I've seen some come a cropper by not thinking a little ahead, especially if they intend to grow.
  • PRO

    QB online vs qb on desktop

    I started on qb on a desktop single license. Then I wanted someone else to access it - my admin person, then the accountant etc. All doable, but extra work. Plus, was regularly backing up my machine.

    Hard-drive went... very painfull experience despite backups. Re-installing sw, back-up etc all took days and expense.

    I'm now online for all key systems, including email, MS office, Serivce Assisant and QB. I can take any new machine and access all my systems within minutes, as can other staff members as I wish. No backups, great sharing.

    Very scalable - I can share and add with ease.

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