How do I correct an error on an invoice already sent?
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Create and send your invoices easily. Create your own invoice templates, send them to your customers, and keep tabs on your finances.
Rectifying an error on an invoice already sent to the client is a delicate exercise. As a precaution, Sofacto guides you in this situation, whether or not the invoice has been paid by the client.
If the invoice has not yet been paid
You have sent your invoice to the customer, but you realise that you have made a mistake on an amount or on one of the mandatory details ? You would be tempted to change the error immediately, to issue the invoice as is and to correct it as quickly as possible with the customer… However, an issued invoice cannot be so simply rectified. This requires the issue of a completely new invoice cancelling and replacing the previous one, and attached to a completely different invoice number.
The 2018 VAT Anti-Fraud Act has, among other things, laid down the obligation to keep a record of any change to an invoice. While this may seem tedious, online invoicing software such as Sofacto actually allows an invoice to be regularised in a few clicks! The previous accounting document is archived and a new one is issued to rectify the error, with its own invoice number.
For the same reasons, an invoice cannot logically be deleted. If there is a hole in the numbering of your invoices, this constitutes a tax offence that can be severely punished by the state during an inspection. Fortunately, here too, digital invoicing solutions have now largely simplified the numbering, ensuring their chronological continuity and avoiding any duplication.
Another important reason for not simply correcting or deleting a wrong invoice is on the customer’s side. He will potentially have already incorporated the original into his accounts (even if it has not yet been paid). And the customer cannot change the invoice for you, it is always the service provider’s responsibility to make the change.
For both you and the client, the new invoice should then state that it replaces the previous one, with a simple statement such as “Cancels and replaces invoice no.XXXXX”.
Note: some errors are considered minor and do not require a new invoice. Spelling mistakes or incorrect references, for example, can be changed directly on the invoice, as they do not affect the accounts. However, if the error is related to the amounts or the mandatory information, the invoice must be redone.
If the invoice has already been paid
If the customer has already paid an incorrect invoice, the solution is to issue a credit note for the amount paid and then re-invoice with a correct document.
In form, the credit note is similar to an invoice except for its title. This term must be prominently displayed, as it is identified by all as a negative invoice. It should also refer to the original invoice (with its number).
Note: Credit notes are not only used in the event of a simple billing error. It is also used in the case of a discount, a refund, a commercial reduction or the addition of services and/or goods to a transaction already settled.
Credit notes are an unavoidable practice in accounting and Sofacto offers a clear set-up where applicable, automatically indexing to the original invoice and scrupulously respecting legal requirements.
To generate the new invoice, you can simply start from the original invoice or create one from scratch. It all depends on the errors you wish to rectify! If you start from the “clone” of the original invoice, the new invoice will be generated as a new document in which you only have to change what needs to be changed.
In all cases, the utmost vigilance is required because government laws are very strict regarding invoicing defects. The penalties for bad practice are significant, both criminal and fiscal. Thanks to its various functions, Sofacto is an invaluable asset for managing your accounts and can be understood by everyone, from your clients to the tax authorities and your colleagues.
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