Proforma invoice vs. completed invoice template

When we talk about invoice templates, it’s generally understood that we’re referring to the process of filling in the details of your sale. It’s the first step in creating a fully completed invoice that can be emailed to your customer to help you get paid.

However, it’s also possible that your invoice template can lead to a draft, or proforma invoice. A proforma invoice isn’t the same as a completed invoice, and there are some small but important differences between the two.

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Differences between proforma invoices & completed invoices

A proforma invoice has no official or legal value, unlike a completed invoice. It can in no way replace an invoice.

This distinction can be seen when it comes to the content of the document. The main difference is the title ‘Proforma Invoice’ instead of ‘Invoice’. However, there are a couple of other details to take into consideration:

  • A proforma invoice should not have an invoice number. Invoice numbers are reserved for completed invoices. Once a proforma invoice is finalised, the completed invoice should follow your invoice number sequence.

  • The issue date of the proforma invoice doesn’t need to match the date of the finalised invoice. This means that when you create an invoice several days after a proforma, it’s important to update the invoice issue date.

Proforma invoice templates in invoicing software

In invoicing software like SumUp Invoices, you don’t need to worry about whether your proforma will be labelled properly or your completed invoice has the correct invoice number. SumUp Invoices takes care of this automatically.

Only when your proforma is converted to a finalised invoice does it receive an invoice number and the issue date is always updated as necessary.

Can the same invoice template be used for a proforma and a completed invoice?

Yes, with SumUp Invoices, the process of creating either a proforma invoice or a completed invoice begins with the same invoice template. In your ‘Invoices’ tab, click ‘New Invoice’ and fill in your details.

The difference comes when you’ve added the customer and product information and are ready to either click ‘Save’ to save it as a proforma invoice or to click ‘Complete Invoice’ to finalise the invoice and assign an invoice number and issue date.

With SumUp Invoices, once you’ve completed the invoice, you can send it to your customer via email. You can include your bank details on the invoice to accept bank transfers, or choose to get paid via an online payment link. With the payment link, your customer can pay with a credit card online.

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