What’s the Difference Between an Invoice and a Bill? (Plus Other Transactions)

An invoice and a bill are documents that convey the same information about the amount owing for the sale of products or services, but the term invoice is generally used by a business looking to collect money from its clients, whereas the term bill is used by the customer to refer to payments they owe suppliers for …

Business English Lesson! What is the difference between a BILL, an INVOICE, and a RECEIPT?

What is a bill?

A bill is typically sent out more quickly than an invoice, and the sender also demands prompt payment without the option of payment terms. While some companies might call the communication they send to customers an invoice, a customer might call the same thing a bill. You could think of a bill as what a customer receives and an invoice as what a business sends.

A bill, not an invoice, will be given to you before you leave the premises if you eat at a restaurant. You’re responsible for paying it immediately.

What is an invoice?

An invoice is used to keep track of the goods and/or services a customer has received from your business. An invoice is a particular kind of bill that contains an itemized list of those goods or services and the prices for each one. The total amount due, the due date, and any other payment terms, such as the choice between making monthly payments as opposed to a single payment, are also included on an invoice.

As an illustration, a company that offers cleaning services to a business may bill the client for the work after it has been finished. This most likely consists of a detailed list of services, their associated costs, and payment options.

Invoice vs. bill: key differences

Although the terms “invoice” and “bill” are frequently used interchangeably, there are some important distinctions between the two:

Other types of transaction receipts

In addition to bills and invoices, the following transaction receipt types are also common:

Sales receipt

When you pay a bill or invoice, a business issues you a sales receipt as proof of payment. A sales receipt must include the following information: business name, transaction date, the cost of the goods or services, and the method of payment. In order to confirm payment, a sales receipt may also include the client’s name, if applicable, and signature. Product-based businesses may include their contact information on sales receipts so that clients can easily get in touch with them.


A customer can ask a company for a statement to find out the status of their account. It may include past sales transactions, credits or payments. Businesses frequently send customers who are on a payment schedule periodic statements so they are aware of how much they might still owe for their purchase.


It’s customary for recipients to ask for an estimate of what they can expect to pay when a customer needs a company to provide services or a business partners with a vendor. This helps you plan your spending wisely, and you can choose to compare prices between different estimates before choosing who to hire. A quote is an agreed-upon, fixed price for goods or services, whereas an estimate is approximative and subject to change depending on a number of factors.

Expense report

When an employee must pay for items out of pocket and will later receive reimbursement from their employer, you may use expense reports. For instance, you typically need to submit receipts and an expense report before being reimbursed if you’re in charge of planning and paying for your own business travel or fuel to meet with clients.


Is invoice and bill number same?

Comparing an invoice to a bill Invoices typically do not include customer information. Bills only provide basic information, such as the price of the sale and any applicable taxes. For accounting and taxation purposes, each invoice is given a distinct invoice number. Bills aren’t numbered.

What is bill to in an invoice?

The individual or business identified as the party in charge of making payment for a good or service on an invoice or other demand for payment The purchaser of the good or service is frequently, but not always, the bill-to party.

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