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What are the Different Types of Invoice Paper?

Autumn Rivers
Updated May 16, 2024
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Invoices are used in various industries as a way to request payment from a party involved in a business transaction. While the type of invoice paper used is usually up to the business issuing the invoice, there are some kinds that are particularly good for certain industries. The common types of invoice paper range from regular printer paper that is perfect for an email invoice, to various types of invoice templates that can be purchased at an office supply store.

Many people choose to use electronic invoices, in which case they do not even need to be printed out. They can be created using invoicing software, or even just general spreadsheets that exist on the typical computer, and then emailed. If a hard copy needs to be made, an invoice can be printed out on regular printer paper for recordkeeping. Therefore, specific invoice paper is not always necessary.

On the other hand, some businesses require that invoices be created on the spot. For example, contractors typically make calculations while on the site of their next project, and write down the invoice information in front of the customer. In such cases, a pad of blank invoices is necessary, at which time the type of invoice paper used becomes important.

One type of blank invoice book that can be purchased contains carbon paper, which features a sheet of dry ink held together with wax. When placed under one piece of paper, and on top of yet another sheet, it allows the ink from the top paper to bleed through to the bottom, creating a copy. The original can be handed to the customer immediately, which allows the business to maintain the new copy for recordkeeping purposes without having to use a copy machine. These kind of invoice paper are often considered outdated, but some businesses have stuck to this tried and true method for years, and continue to use it.

Despite carbon paper's usefulness, it tends to stain the hands when being handled, which is why carbonless invoice paper has mostly replaced it. Most invoice books sold at office supply stores contain carbonless invoice paper, and usually feature either two or three forms. Books with two different forms feature a white copy, which is the original often given to the customer, and a yellow copy, usually kept for records. Those with three forms include a pink copy in addition to white and yellow, providing an extra copy of the invoice that is typically given to accounts receivable if applicable.

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Autumn Rivers
By Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for SmartCapitalMind, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.

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Discussion Comments

By kentuckycat — On Sep 16, 2011

I run a small business and am in need of a better invoice system. I have looked at the stock invoice paper that you can buy from office supply stores, but it just doesn't have the kind of invoice design that would be the most efficient for me.

Are there any good online invoice creators where you can set up your own invoice paper? Unfortunately, I'm not very efficient with computers, so I don't think I could create one of my own.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

By matthewc23 — On Sep 15, 2011

@titans62 - My company sends out electronic invoices, and it seems to be very effective.

We don't send out so many invoices that postage ever became a huge problem, but using email still does save a good deal of money over the long run. Besides that, our clients can have their statements much quicker than if we had to mail them.

Just thinking about potential drawbacks, electronic invoices may not be a good solution if you work in some type of service industry where the customer needs to sign that they received a certain service and that it was satisfactory.

Regardless of how an invoice is delivered, you are right, there is no excuse for poor or absent professionalism.

By cardsfan27 — On Sep 15, 2011

I had to create a new invoice system for the store where I used to work. We didn't have access to any of the invoice programs, so I had to try to create my own. It is surprising how much is really on that sheet of paper when you start to look at it.

I looked at some invoice samples online and set up a spreadsheet where you could input all of the charges. Then the program would transfer the numbers to a word processor where you could print the invoice.

If you look online, there are a lot of stores that sell colored paper made especially for invoices. They can give a nice touch if you want your invoices to be a little more exciting.

By titans62 — On Sep 14, 2011

I think having a good invoice is a sign of a good business. I have gotten invoices before that were nothing more than a plain white sheet of paper with the company's name at the top and a list of costs. It was very unprofessional and made me think that if they didn't have the desire to make a good impression on the invoice, what else did they feel like slacking on?

I don't think every company needs to have fancy, colored, watermarked paper, but they should at least have their business information (address and phone numbers) as well as something that was more pleasing to the eyes than a plain list of costs.

Has anyone here ever dealt with email invoices? I wonder if that would be any more efficient than paper invoices.

Autumn Rivers

Autumn Rivers

Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for SmartCapitalMind, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.
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