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Creating invoice numbers
Thread poster: Laurie Henkinbrant
Laurie Henkinbrant
Local time: 19:24
English to French
+ ...
Oct 20, 2004

Hi

I'm just starting to work as a freelance translator and had my first job Yesterday.
Now I have to make an invoice and I have no idea what invoice number I should put.

Can somebody tell me how to choose invoice numbers, and how to organise them?

Thanks


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Paul Lambert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:24
French to English
+ ...
Keep it simple! Oct 20, 2004

I still use the same system as I did when I started out: my first two invoices were SP001 and FR001, for Spanish and French work respectively. Then just increase the number by one as you go along. Works fine for me!

Welcome to the world of freelancing!

Paul


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:24
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Do you need them? Oct 20, 2004

I have always headed my invoices with the client's purchase order number and filed the invoice under a filename incoporating a reference to the client. This plus the date on the invoice enables me to keep track of my invoices without difficulty.

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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 19:24
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
Over here, yes, you do need a number Oct 20, 2004

Jack Doughty wrote:

I have always headed my invoices with the client's purchase order number and filed the invoice under a filename incoporating a reference to the client. This plus the date on the invoice enables me to keep track of my invoices without difficulty.



Do check with local customs:
In Belgium you're obliged to enter invoice numbers (consecutively)!



[Edited at 2004-10-20 09:03]


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xxxNicolette Ri
Local time: 19:24
French to Dutch
+ ...
Of course you need a number Oct 20, 2004

Bur keep it simple, something like year + number (2004_001, or 04001).

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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 19:24
French to English
Yes, check local accounting regulations Oct 20, 2004

You may need to have a logical sequence for each customer or for your own records on the whole.

I personally use an abbreviation for each customer followed by a logical number.

For example, ACME Translations would be ACM-001, ACM-002, etc. for each consecutive invoice.

I agree that you should keep it as simple as possible.

Good luck!

Sara


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Nina Snoj
Slovenia
Member (2004)
Spanish to Slovenian
+ ...
Do it right from the start... Oct 20, 2004

...and you will avoid a great deal of trouble and confusion later on; trust me:)
When I started invoicing, I created a time format rather then a client format (which I think is more practical once you have regular clients): Invoice 04-0904, for example, was the 4th invoice of the month of September, year 2004.
I add the client name to the invoice number and although it may not be the best solution it works for me...
Good luck!

Nina


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vixen  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 20:24
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Simple method Oct 20, 2004

Like Nicolette, I use a combination of year + number, namely 04_001, 04_002, and so on.

I also use these numbers when saving the invoice files on my computer, but I add an abbreviation for the company name, so that I can see at a glance who the invoice was for. E.g. if invoice no. 17 of this year was for Microsoft, the invoice number would be 04_017, but I would save the file as 04_017_MS.

HTH,
Marianne


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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:24
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
consecutive numbering depending on country's legislation Oct 20, 2004

vixen wrote:

Like Nicolette, I use a combination of year + number, namely 04_001, 04_002, and so on.

I also use these numbers when saving the invoice files on my computer, but I add an abbreviation for the company name, so that I can see at a glance who the invoice was for. E.g. if invoice no. 17 of this year was for Microsoft, the invoice number would be 04_017, but I would save the file as 04_017_MS.

HTH,
Marianne


I use the same system - only I make the names even longer. After the invoice number and the invoiced company I add the invoice date. (e.g. 04_017_MS_040504):)

Legislation: depends on what the Tax Authority / laws require in your country. In Spain YOUR invoices have to be consecutive in NUMBER and DATE, so if you have 04_001 and 04_002, you cannot issue invoice number 002 before number 001. You cannot use the Purchase Order number either, only as a reference in the invoice with your own number.

This sometimes leads to strange situations, where a client/agency sends me their automatically generated invoice, that I cannot use because it does not use my consecutive numbering or there are other requirements (such as VAT number) that are not on the invoice - I then send them MY invoice with my own invoice number and data as required in Spain....


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Erika Pavelka  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:24
French to English
Simplicity Oct 20, 2004

I started my invoice numbers at 001 (today I'm in the 700's). It's a simple solution and I can always easily find an invoice. The other suggestions are good too, but perhaps needlessly complicated (just my opinion!).

Erika


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Laurie Henkinbrant
Local time: 19:24
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
number sequence when new year starts Oct 20, 2004

So those who use the year system (i.e. 04-001), what do you do when the new year starts? Do you start with 05-001, or you just change 04 into 05 and continue the other number. For example, your last invoice in 2004 is 04-210, then for you first invoice in 2005, do you put 05-211 or 05-001?

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vixen  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 20:24
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Starting with 001 each year Oct 20, 2004

I start over each year, so next year, I'll start with 05_001.

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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:24
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Same here. Oct 20, 2004

Nicolette_ wrote:

Bur keep it simple, something like year + number (2004_001, or 04001).


That is what I do too, 04-001, 04-002 etc. It helps me when I do my bookkeeping. When I record the deposit of a cheque, I enter the invoice number as well so I know what it was for and I can check from time to time whether all the invoice numbers are there (I also keep unpaid invoices in a separate, red file folder).


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AnaAngelica Amador
English to Spanish
+ ...
I use the simplest numeration. Oct 21, 2004

Years ago, I used the year-number combination, but I was starting, did not know any better and let it cause me needless anxiety. I kept thinking "This time last year, I was in #50, OMG, I'm 12 behind!" Now I look to my y-t-d and know that invoice number is not as good an indication of how well I'm doing as my bottom line.

Like Erica Pavelka, I use just the numerical order.
The year is already in the date, why repeat it?

Every time I reach another hundred invoices I send thank you cards to my most loyal customers and tell them how appreciative I am to have their business.


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Aisha Rishi
Pakistan
Local time: 23:24
English to Urdu
+ ...
Very Simple Oct 21, 2004

Although usually I just put the PO# of the client, but if an invoice number is required I do it this way my initials-serial number-year so it is like (ar0104). Then I keep adding in to the serial number and ofcourse the year when it changes.

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