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Feb 28 2024 · 6 min read

The ins and outs of invoice payments

Learn the essentials of invoice payments, and look at it from different perspectives. Explore the benefits of organized invoicing.

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Running a business is like driving a car - there is a lot to learn at the start of the journey, and you need to be able to juggle different components all at once. One critical aspect is handling invoice payments. Understanding how they work both for issuers and payees can streamline your financial processes, help you maintain positive relationships with vendors, and ensure timely payments. Inside this article you’ll find the basics of invoice payments like terms, due dates, payment methods and more. We'll also delve into the significance of organized invoicing, the benefits of automation, and provide actionable tips for efficient payment processes.

What is an invoice payment?

In simple terms an invoice payment refers to the method by which a customer pays a merchant or service provider for the delivery of goods or services.
When a business provides a product or service, they issue an invoice to the customer, outlining the details of the transaction and the amount owed. The invoice payment terms set by the merchant specify the deadline for payment and whether any discounts apply for early payment.

The difference between an invoice and a bill

While the terms "invoice" and "bill" are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a clear distinction between the two. An invoice is a document issued by a service provider to a customer, requesting payment for goods or services rendered. On the other hand, a bill is a request for immediate payment, often encountered in scenarios such as dining at a restaurant.

Invoice payment terms

Invoice payment terms serve as guidelines for both the merchant and the customer, ensuring transparency and clarity regarding payment expectations. While there are no legal requirements for invoice payment terms (they vary from country to country), it is crucial to include enough information in your invoice.

Typical invoice payment terms

Typical invoice payment terms include the following information:
  • Due date: the date by which the invoice amount must be received by the seller.
  • Payment method: the accepted payment methods, such as bank transfer or cheque.
  • Discount rate: if applicable, the percentage discount offered for early payment.
  • Installment payments: if allowed, the conditions for making payments in installments.

Invoice payment due date

Every invoice has a due date, which specifies the deadline for payment. It is essential for customers to adhere to this date to avoid being in default of payment, which can negatively impact their credit rating. Merchants, on the other hand, should ensure that the due date allows customers enough time to make the payment. The B2C sector typically uses a 14-day due date, while the B2B sector often allows 30 days or longer. If no due date is stated on the invoice, the statutory payment period of 30 days automatically applies.

Example of invoice payment terms

Suppose you want to issue an invoice with a payment due within 14 days. You can use the following wording:

Payment Terms: Net 14

Alternatively, you can provide a more detailed description:

Payment Terms: Payment is due within 14 days of the invoice date


Payment Terms: Payment due on May 12, 2023

Invoice payment terms for discount rates

If you wish to offer customers a discount for early payment, you can specify it in the invoice payment terms. For example:
  • Payment Terms: 2/7 Net 14
This means that customers can deduct a 2% discount from the invoice amount if they pay within 7 days. If they choose not to take advantage of the discount, the full invoice amount must be paid within 14 days. The terms can also be written out in detail:
  • Payment Terms: 2% discount for payments made within 7 days; 14-day due date

Sending invoice payment reminder emails

Occasionally, invoices may become overdue if customers forget or delay payment. In such cases, it is essential to send friendly reminder emails to prompt payment. A polite and professional tone should be maintained to preserve positive customer relationships. Here's an example of an invoice payment reminder email:

Subject: Invoice Payment Reminder

Hi [Client's Name],

We haven't received payment for invoice XYZ, which was due on [Due Date], with an overdue payment of £100.00. We kindly ask you to review your accounts and make payment for the invoice by [New Due Date]. If you haven't received the invoice, please find it attached to this email.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Kind regards,
[Your Name]

The process of recording invoice payments

Efficiently recording invoice payments is crucial for maintaining accurate financial records and ensuring that invoices are not mistakenly left as "overdue." Implementing a standardized process for managing incoming and outgoing invoices can help you stay organized and avoid any discrepancies in your accounts.
One effective way to streamline the invoice payment recording process is by using invoice management software, for example Enty. These tools automate the tracking of due dates and match account data with invoice information. When a payment is received, the software automatically marks the invoice as "paid" and can even facilitate automatic bank transfers for seamless payment processing. You can also conveniently share invoices via email or download them as a PDF.
By leveraging invoice management software, you can reduce the likelihood of errors, eliminate manual data entry, and save valuable time that can be better utilized for other aspects of your business.

Issuing an invoice: a business owner's guide

For business owners, issuing invoices is a crucial step in the payment process. Clear and well-structured invoices not only facilitate timely payments but also contribute to a professional brand image. Issuing invoices involves several key steps to ensure accuracy and clarity.
Here's a guide to issuing invoices effectively:

Include essential information

Your invoice should include your company name, trading address, contact information, and the recipient's information (if applicable). This ensures that the invoice is easily identifiable and provides clear communication channels.

Provide a detailed description of goods or services

Clearly outline the products or services provided, including quantities, prices, and any applicable taxes or discounts. This helps the recipient understand the invoice and verify its accuracy.

Assign a unique invoice number

Each invoice should have a unique identifier to aid in tracking and reference purposes. Sequential numbering can help organize your invoices and simplify record-keeping.

Specify payment terms and due date

Clearly state the payment terms, including the due date and any applicable discounts for early payment. This provides clarity to the recipient and encourages prompt payment

Offer multiple payment options

To accommodate different customer preferences, provide multiple payment methods, such as bank transfer, check, or online payment platforms. This flexibility improves the likelihood of timely payments.

Share the invoice promptly

Send the invoice promptly after delivering the goods or completing the service. Timely invoicing helps maintain the payment cycle and reduces the chances of delayed payments.
By following these guidelines, businesses can issue clear and comprehensive invoices that facilitate smooth payment processes and foster positive relationships with customers.

Paying an invoice: a customer's perspective

From a customer's perspective, paying an invoice is a straightforward process that involves fulfilling their financial obligations. When receiving an invoice, customers should review it promptly to ensure accuracy and avoid any potential discrepancies.
Here are some steps that customers can take to ensure smooth invoice payments

Review the invoice details

Check that the invoice accurately reflects the goods or services received and that the total amount due aligns with expectations.

Note the due date

Take note of the payment due date to ensure timely payment and avoid any potential late fees or negative impact on credit ratings.

Choose a payment method

Select a payment method that is convenient and secure. Options may include bank transfer, check, or online payment platforms.

Make the payment

Initiate the payment process, ensuring that it is completed before the due date to fulfill the financial obligation.

Keep records

Retain a copy of the paid invoice and any relevant payment confirmation for future reference and record-keeping purposes.
By following these steps, customers can ensure that invoice payments are made accurately and on time, fostering positive relationships with businesses and service providers.

The benefits of using invoice management software

Organized invoicing is vital for efficient financial management and maintaining a healthy cash flow. It involves implementing systems and processes that streamline the creation, delivery, and tracking of invoices.
Here are some benefits of organized invoicing:

Improved cash flow management

Organized invoicing allows businesses to track payments and identify any outstanding invoices promptly. This facilitates better cash flow management and enables businesses to plan their expenses and investments more effectively.

Enhanced customer relationships

Clear and well-structured invoices help build trust and credibility with customers. By providing accurate and professional invoices, businesses demonstrate their commitment to transparency and professionalism.


With organized invoicing systems in place, businesses can automate invoice creation and delivery, reducing manual efforts and saving valuable time. This allows business owners and employees to focus on core business activities.

Accurate financial reporting

Organized invoicing ensures that all transactions are properly recorded, making financial reporting more accurate and reliable. This benefits businesses during audits, tax filings, and financial analysis.
By investing in organized invoicing systems, businesses can streamline their payment processes, enhance customer relationships, and improve overall financial management.

How Enty can simplify your invoice payment process

When it comes to managing your invoice payments, Enty offers a comprehensive solution designed to streamline the entire process. You can issue customized invoices in multiple currencies, or customize invoice design ensuring flexibility for your international transactions. The system automatically applies VAT, eliminating the need for manual calculations. Once your invoice is ready, you can easily share it via email or download it as a PDF.
To expedite the payment process, Enty allows you to add payment links to your invoices. This convenient feature enables your customers to make secure online payments with just a few clicks, using their preferred payment method. With Enty, you can simplify your invoice payment management and ensure prompt payments while maintaining a professional image.

Last thoughts

Understanding the ins and outs of invoice payments is crucial for efficient financial management. By grasping the meaning of invoice payments, differentiating them from bills, and familiarizing yourself with common payment terms and due dates, you can stay on top of your business's financial obligations. Remember to record invoice payments accurately and utilize invoice management software to streamline your processes. With Enty's comprehensive invoicing features, you can simplify your invoice payment process, ensuring timely payments and a smoother financial workflow. So take charge of your invoice payments and enjoy the benefits of a well-managed financial system.
Remember, managing your invoice payments effectively is just one aspect of running a successful business. Stay tuned for more informative articles and expert advice on finances, taxes, contracts, productivity, and other essential business topics.
Say goodbye to invoice hassles – automate the process with Enty
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