Difference Between an Invoice vs a Receipt [with Examples]

Difference Between an Invoice vs a Receipt [with Examples]

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

While both an invoice and a receipt are commercial documents, invoices are issued to request payment, while receipts serve as proof of payment.

That’s why invoices are created before the buyer sends a payment, whereas receipts are sent as evidence that the money was received.

In this guide, we will be covering in detail the main differences between invoices and receipts, along with their similarities, importance, and uses in business.

Read along to learn about:

What Is An Invoice?

An invoice, also known as a sales invoice, is a document that allows your business to get paid. It’s issued by the seller, to request payment for services and products and it includes all of the details of the purchase. Since the purpose of invoices is to request payment, they are typically issued right after the delivery of the purchased product or service.

More specifically, a properly documented invoice needs to always have:

  • Business name, logo, and contact information
  • Client contact information
  • An invoice number
  • Billing date
  • Due date
  • Itemized list of products and services with their price
  • Discounts, taxes, and any other additional fees
  • Total amount due
  • Payment terms

All of this information is necessary so that clients know exactly what to expect in terms of payment, late fees, taxes, and due dates.

Creating and sending an invoice manually can become a tiring and time-consuming process very fast. Thankfully, though, you can choose from tons of invoice management systems online, as a more accurate, easier, and cost-efficient solution to your invoicing.

What Is a Receipt?

A receipt is a document created by the seller, that proves the client has completed payment. It’s only issued after the customer pays for their purchase, and that payment is received by the business.

Usually, a receipt will contain the most important details of the transaction, such as:

  • Business and client contact information
  • Itemized list of services and products
  • Total amount paid
  • Date of sale, and date when the bill was paid

Most small businesses nowadays use intuitive online receipt software to create and send out their digital receipts.

What’s the Difference Between an Invoice and a Receipt?

As you’ve probably noticed, there are several key differences between invoices and receipts. Let’s check them out one by one, according to the various bases of comparison.


An invoice is a commercial document that is issued to request payment for the purchase of a good or service. While a receipt serves as proof of payment and is a document issued after the billing of the product when the client pays.


The purpose of the invoice is to give the client an overview of their order, how much they owe, and when that payment is due.

While a receipt is created as legal proof that the client has paid the seller.

Time Issued

An invoice is issued after the delivery of an order and before payment has been made. Now, depending on the invoice type, there are times you might issue an invoice before the delivery of the product or service.

For example, if you’re dealing with a large project, you might split the final amount into several invoices, in order to keep the business’ cash flow healthy.

As for receipts, on the other hand, they are always issued after payment gets made.

Do you want to learn more about sending invoices and getting paid on time? Head over to our comprehensive guide on how to send an invoice.


As far as formatting goes, invoices and receipts do have some similarities. They both provide details regarding the seller and buyer contact information, as well as the total sum (to be) paid for the purchase.

Invoices, though, contain more detailed information about the transaction, and they outline the total amount owed. While receipts briefly list the itemized list of products and services and document the total amount paid.

Another important distinction is that invoices have a specific invoice number as an identifier, while receipts have a receipt number instead.

Want to know more about the elements of an invoice and how to create one from scratch? Read our guide on how to make an invoice.

Invoice vs Receipt Format Examples

Invoice vs Receipt Comparison Chart

How Are Invoices and Receipts Similar?

Why do some people use invoices and receipts interchangeably?

How are the two documents similar?

Well, for starters, they are both commercial documents issued by the seller. At the same time, both detail the purchase and contain the contact information of the buyer and seller.

And lastly, invoices and receipts are interconnected since they are part of the purchase cycle, and are legally non-negotiable financial tools.

Go Digital with Online Invoicing and Receipts

Creating financial documents manually and printing paper is costly, time-consuming, and bad for the environment.

It’s time for your business to ditch paper receipts and invoices, and go digital with cloud accounting software!

Deskera Cloud Accounting Software
Deskera Cloud Accounting Software

Deskera allows you to create online invoices and send out digital receipts in a matter of seconds!

On the Deskera invoice generator, there are over 100 professional invoice templates you can choose from and customize by adding your logo, signature, brand colors and more.

Then, just fill in the appropriate invoice details on the left sidebar of the page, and ta-da!

The invoice is done!

Deskera Invoice Generator
Deskera Invoice Generator

Send it out with just a click, by pressing Share, to download, export, or email the document to the customer.

Share an Invoice with Deskera
Share an Invoice with Deskera

Receipts are just as easy to generate!

First click on the “Get Paid” button on the Deskera Books platform, as shown below.

Generate Invoices and Receipts with Deskera: Step 1
Generate Receipts with Deskera: Step 1

Choose the payment amount, bank account, and payment type, and you’re done!

Generate Invoices and Receipts with Deskera: Step 2
Generate Receipts with Deskera: Step 2

Confirm the payment by pressing Receive, and the receipt is created automatically for you!

Generate Invoices and Receipts with Deskera: Step 3
Generate Receipts with Deskera: Step 3

With Deskera you can also automate your recurring invoices, request advance deposits, and get notifications for any outstanding amounts as well as past due invoices.

Recurring Invoices with Deskera
Recurring Invoices with Deskera

The best part: you can access the software from anywhere at any time, by simply downloading the Deskera mobile app.

So, what are you waiting for?

Try Deskera out right away, with our free trial!

Invoice vs Receipt FAQ

How Do I Make a Receipt for an Invoice?

A receipt for an invoice includes the following elements:

  • Receipt number
  • Business and client contact information
  • Itemized list of products and services with their total
  • Discounts and taxes
  • Total amount paid
  • The date that it was paid on

Is the Receipt Number the Same as an Invoice Number?

No, a receipt number and invoice number are not the same.

An invoice number is a unique sequential number, created right when a purchase is made. While a receipt number is generated only when payment for that invoice has been fully made.

Both of these numbers are identifiers that help track payments.

What is the Difference Between a Bill, Invoice, and a Receipt?

An invoice is created first, as a request for payment. Then, that invoice is received by the customer as a bill they have to pay. Once cash gets paid, the seller issues the receipt, as proof of payment.

To learn more about the differences between an invoice and a bill, check out our guide on bills vs invoices.

Why are Invoices and Receipts Important?

Invoices and receipts are crucial to your business because they allow you to track your sales and inventory.

By keeping an orderly record of your sales, you can also file the right business taxes, avoiding any potential tax audits.

Is an Invoice Proof of Purchase?

Although invoices may be legal proof that payment for the purchase of a product or service has been requested, they do not serve as proof that the bill has been paid by the client.

So, no, an invoice does not qualify as proof of purchase.

Key Takeaways

And that’s a wrap! We hope you found our guide on invoice vs receipts helpful.

Before leaving, let’s check out some of the main points we’ve covered:

  • An invoice is a commercial document issued by the seller requesting payment.
  • A receipt is issued by the seller, after the customer pays for a product, as proof of payment.
  • There are four main distinctions between invoices and receipts:
    • An invoice requests payment, while a receipt is created to prove payment.
    • The purpose of an invoice is to detail a purchase and ask for payment, while a receipt serves as legal proof that a customer paid the seller back.
    • An invoice is issued before payment is done, while a receipt is issued after.
    • An invoice details the total amount owed, while the receipt outlines the total amount paid. And as a document identifier, the invoice has an invoice number, while the receipt a receipt number.
  • As different as invoices and receipts are, they do have a few similarities. They are both commercial documents issued by the seller, they detail the purchase and contain the contact information of the buyer and seller.
  • Create invoices and receipts within seconds with accounting software like Deskera.
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