Sales Order vs Invoice: What Are the Differences?


A business will always have inventory to sell, but this doesn’t mean that your company won’t enter into unfamiliar territories from time to time. The payment is something that you’ll likely experience after a sale.

But you need to know these sales order and invoice guides if you plan on making a deal. Otherwise, you can find yourself facing problems a little bit down the line.

Are you unsure about the difference between a sales order vs invoice? Read on to find out more!

What Is a Sales Order?

A sales order is a commercial document that is issued by a seller to a buyer. It is usually used to confirm the details of a transaction, and it may also be used to request payment.

The order may be for goods or services, and it may be for a one-time or for recurring purchase. The sales order should include the buyer’s name, address, and contact information, as well as the seller’s name and contact information.

It should also include a description of the products purchased, the quantity, the price, the terms of payment, and the date of delivery.

What Is an Invoice?

An invoice is a document that indicates what items or services have been provided to a customer and the corresponding amount that is owed. It is common for businesses to provide customers with a statement after the completion of a transaction.

An invoice can also be generated prior to the completion of a transaction, in which case it is typically referred to as a “pro forma invoice.”

Tips for Customizing Your Invoice

When you send an invoice to a client, you want it to be customized to fit your brand and reflect your company’s professionalism. Here are some tips to help you create a custom invoice:

  • Choosing template that can easily be customized
  • Using company’s colors, logo, and font styles
  • Language must be clear and concise
  • Include all of the relevant information
  • Proofread before sending to the client

Create and send formal-looking invoices using the software. This will also help you to save time by tracking payments and creating recurring invoices. By following these tips, you can create a customs invoice that reflects your brand and professionalism. 

A Side-By-Side Comparison

A comparison of a sales order and an invoice reveals a few key differences. First, a sales order contains detailed information about the goods or services being sold, whereas an invoice simply indicates the amount due for payment.

Also, a sales order is created before the items are provided, while an invoice is created after they are delivered. Finally, a sales order may be amended or canceled before its arrival, while an invoice cannot be changed once it has been issued.

A Guide on How to Differentiate a Sales Order vs Invoice

Sales orders are typically created before an invoice, and they detail what a customer has ordered from a company. An invoice, on the other hand, is a request for payment that includes a summary of the items a customer has purchased.

While they may seem similar, they serve different purposes in the sales process. Now that you understand the difference between a sales order vs invoice, you can more easily manage your company’s sales process.

If you are still in doubt, be sure to reach out to a professional for help. 

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