Tips for accounting and billing: This is how billing goes

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Billing is the process by which an invoice is brought into the legally prescribed form. What do you have to consider?

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherConsultant and head of the Institute's job pictures Yourweb.


The most important help on billing

A lot has already been said about the invoicing. However, mistakes happen when it comes to this issue. This often depends on the lack of knowledge of the parties involved.

For example, the term billing is often equated with the term “accounting”. This is not wrong, but it falls short. Invoicing is the process by which an invoice is brought into the legally required form.

Minimum requirements for accounting

It is therefore important to note all data on the invoice that is mandatory. These minimum requirements are:

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  • The tax number of the accountant
  • The bank connection
  • Name and address of both the creator and the recipient of the invoice
  • A list of all delivered goods or services carried out at the net price
  • The tax rate used for the invoice
  • The gross amount
  • The date of the invoice creation
  • The agreed terms of payment
  • A logical (continuous and unique) invoice number.

Pre-and post-invoicing: What is to be recommended?

The terms “pre-invoicing” and “post-invoicing” are frequently encountered in the literature. In e-commerce, for example, “pre-billing” is the order of the day.

This describes the process that the invoice is placed before the actual processing of the customer order. For example, a customer ordered ten pairs of shoes.


At the pre-invoicing the invoice is first written, only afterwards the shop employee packs the package and sends it on the trip. It is exactly the opposite of the invoicing.

In the case of standard orders, pre-invoicing is recommended because it is a kind of instruction for the subsequent processing of the order. It specifies who gets what is needed and thus simplifies the execution.

retrospective invoice

However, if an order is a tailor-made service or if it requires several work steps which are not (at least partially) standardized, then the invoicing is advisable in order to be able to record and calculate all the services performed.

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The replenishment therefore requires a logging of the work steps: What has been done? How long did the individual steps take? What materials were consumed?

Special software for billing: Yes or no?

Most Company now rely on software solutions to draft invoices. The case where an empty Office document serves as the basis for invoicing and is then individually described has become an absolute exception.

The use of specialized software is advisable because it works with masks where the legal requirements are already filled out or automatically queried (eg addresses).

In addition, the work of invoicing, for example with a program like Haufe Lexoffice, is possible from any computer in the world if only an Internet connection is available. I can say that from my own experience: Automated online accounting software is a helpful companion in everyday work, which saves an infinite amount of time, especially in small and medium-sized companies.

Sample calculations simplify the workflow

In addition, it is possible to create different sample calculations relatively easily: shops usually have only to exchange address, product name and price, but can use the same invoice again and again.

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High-quality software solutions make it so easy to "move the data back and forth" very easily.

Software for billing: You have to pay attention to this

When selecting the right program, however, two points are of particular importance: First of all, this should be personalized. This is what has been said before:

You must be able to create and save certain sample calculations easily. In addition, it is important that such a software solution works intuitively. This means that employees can learn how to use them, so that no (lengthy and costly) training processes are necessary.

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