Characteristics of a valid invoice

Sometimes a number of invoices have to be rejected as they are not valid. To help Account NI process invoices quickly, follow the following good invoicing practice.

What is a valid invoice

Valid invoices are those which are legible, from which a clear scanned image can be produced, and which clearly show the following information:

(a) the department being billed

(b) where related to a purchase order (PO), the 10 digit PO number or where not related to a PO, the contact name in the department (the person requesting the goods)

(c) the invoice number, or where a utility bill, the account number

(d) payment terms

(e) invoice date / tax point

(f) supplier name, address, postcode and VAT registration number

(g) remittance name and address where this is different to (f) above

(h) goods / service details which match the PO details, including quantity billed, item description, unit of measure, unit price and total value

(i) the agreed charge, including any discounts, handling and freight charges and a breakdown clearly showing each VAT amount and the applicable VAT rate (and where not complete, a breakdown of the relevant work or services as they relate to this charge or an explanation of a difference in expected charge)

Ensure that your invoice / credit note is legible, especially if handwritten (our preference is for typewritten). In addition, ensure that it is not:

  • printed on dark paper
  • printed in a colour of ink that is difficult to scan, such as purple
  • stapled, as this also creates problems for scanning
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