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What are the different ways of numbering your invoices?
Thread poster: Umang Dholabhai

Umang Dholabhai  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 02:48
Member
English to Gujarati
+ ...
Oct 5, 2009

This may sound quite elementary or even naive. I tried to search a similar forum too without success. Could people tell me which methodology of numbering their invoices suits them best. One can then take their pick.

Presently I add an alphanumeric suffix to the invoice # which is the month numerical and that particular client's job no. E.g if the client name is XYZ. It is his 4th job in the month of October then my invoice would read 1004X. I know this is too cumbersome. Would anyone suggest better options?


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 23:18
Turkish to English
+ ...
1, 2, 3 .... Oct 5, 2009

The first invoice I issued was number 1, the second was number 2, and so on. I cannot for the life of my understand why anybody would want to use a more complicated system.

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John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
sequential numbers Oct 5, 2009

I number mine sequentially. However, in order to divert attention away from my then relative lack of experience, my first ever invoice was numbered 301.

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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:18
French to English
+ ...
sequential Oct 5, 2009

I use sequential numbers and start each year with a new number, so the first job I complete next year will be number 2010-001.

The tax authorities in the UK don't care what you do, as long as there is some kind of sequential system that you can explain (and that is consistent).


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Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Member
Dutch to German
+ ...
KISS Oct 5, 2009

Adding your client's job number might make it harder for you to put more than one job on an invoice.
My own method (without claiming that this is the way to do it):
[year][month][number] is the number that appears on the invoice. Personally, I start every month from 01. However, I also know colleagues who keep the count over the year.
I have every invoice saved as a PDF and the file name would be [invoice no] [client name].pdf. With the year coming first, followed by the month, I can easily sort them in chronological order.

Tracing what job is on which invoice is a different thing. I use TO3000 for that.


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Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:18
Member (2006)
English to French
I do exactly the same Oct 5, 2009

Wolfgang Jörissen wrote:


[year][month][number] is the number that appears on the invoice. Personally, I start every month from 01. However, I also know colleagues who keep the count over the year.
I have every invoice saved as a PDF and the file name would be [invoice no] [client name].pdf.



Stéphanie


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:18
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A bit of a side track Oct 5, 2009

Hi

I know this is not what you asked for but let me suggest using a program to take care of things like that for you.

My favorite in this regard and the one I use every day for keeping track of all my jobs is Translation Office 3000. Since the day I started using it I have forgotten about the "paperwork side", the program does all that for me.

This is a fantastic program for translators, it lets you keep track of all your clients, quotes, projects and jobs, invoice, schedule, balance and expenses, etc. You can customize it and add fields, for example I keep track of the time spent on each project on a custom field I created. It makes it a snap to find files, invoices, reports, etc.

You can also choose how to number your invoices even choosing a different scheme for each client.

You can download a free trial version that lasts 30 days. It costs 189 Euros but in my opinion it pays for itself very quickly in the time it saves you.

I am not in anyway affiliated to TO 3000, I just think it is an excellent program.


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:18
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Ingenious numbering system Oct 5, 2009

Alex Lago wrote
I am not in anyway affiliated to TO 3000, I just think it is an excellent program.

Agree with Alex Lago.
TO3000 (at least my version 7) has an ingenious numbering format, which at first looks complicated but proves very sound in the long run.
When you set up a new customer, TO3000 asks you to specify a short up to seven-character name for the customer. So "Fred Bloggs Translation Services" might be shortened to BLOGGS.

This forms the basis for the numbering system. To that a sequential 3-digit number is appended, eg BLOGGS001. Jobs are then numbered J-BLOGGS001, 002 etc, and invoices are numbered I-BLOGGS001 etc.

Furthermore, a directory is created called BLOGGS, with subdirectories to contain all the files for a particular job. This makes it easier to match up customers, directories, invoices, jobs, payments etc. Better than calling a job 2009-1031 which will puzzle you later on.

So whether you use TO3000 or not, this concept of using a shortened customer name as part of each number is very sensible.


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xxxblomguib  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:18
English to Flemish
+ ...
my system Oct 5, 2009

I use a 3 letter code for every client, followed either by the month the invoice refers to (in format mmaa) in case the invoice is a monthly one with various jobs, or the job reference in case the invoice just refers to a single job....

Therefore, I have invoices that look like

ABC_0909

or

ABC_job.ref

The thing is that you just have to be able to find back every job....how you go about it doesn´t matter...

Good luck!


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:18
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I have an eight-digit number Oct 5, 2009

The first two digits are for the year, so this year all invoices start with "09".

This is followed by the three-digit customer number.

Finally, I add the three-digit sequential number on the end.

Therefore, if my first invoice of the year (say, in 2009) were issued to customer number 54, the number would read "09054001".


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 16:18
Member
Spanish
+ ...
TO3000 Oct 5, 2009

Peter Linton wrote:

Alex Lago wrote
I am not in anyway affiliated to TO 3000, I just think it is an excellent program.

Agree with Alex Lago.
TO3000 (at least my version 7) has an ingenious numbering format, which at first looks complicated but proves very sound in the long run.
When you set up a new customer, TO3000 asks you to specify a short up to seven-character name for the customer. So "Fred Bloggs Translation Services" might be shortened to BLOGGS.

This forms the basis for the numbering system. To that a sequential 3-digit number is appended, eg BLOGGS001. Jobs are then numbered J-BLOGGS001, 002 etc, and invoices are numbered I-BLOGGS001 etc.

Furthermore, a directory is created called BLOGGS, with subdirectories to contain all the files for a particular job. This makes it easier to match up customers, directories, invoices, jobs, payments etc. Better than calling a job 2009-1031 which will puzzle you later on.

So whether you use TO3000 or not, this concept of using a shortened customer name as part of each number is very sensible.


Peter explained it very well. Additionally, you can see and manage your invoices/payments from several views in the program. I'm not affiliated with TO3000 either, but the program has made my life so easier that I recommend it all the time. Right now there's a group sale going on.


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:18
Italian to English
+ ...
sequential by year Oct 5, 2009

01/09 etc. I don't see any need for anything more complicated than that.

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James Fite  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:18
Russian to English
My invoicing system Oct 5, 2009

I use an alpha-numeric system that includes the type of job done (translation, telephonic interpreting, etc.), the client's abbreviated name, the date of the job and a sequential number for the number of the invoice for the year.

Example:

TI-BY05OCT09-001
TR-WE03OCT09-003

By using this system I can find invoices quickly, and I know exactly when the invoice was sent and to whom.


However, some of my clients have specific requirements for how invoices should be numbered, in which case I'd just use their numbering system.


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Andreas Nieckele  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:18
English to Portuguese
Sorted by date Oct 5, 2009

My invoices from September 2009:

0909-01
0909-02
0909-03...

Now in October:

0910-01
0910-02
0910-03

And so on...

Works fine for me.


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Lucy-Jane Michel  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:18
French to English
+ ...
I use letters and numbers too Oct 5, 2009

My invoices have the first three letters of the agency name, then the year and then the month, hence: sta0910. It's really interesting to see how other people do it too!

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