Who signs the bottom of an invoice?

As a business owner, you’ll be all too familiar with the ubiquitous sales invoice.

No matter what industry you operate in, you can’t conduct daily operations without them.

You pay them as a client, and you use them to collect payments from customers.  

Sales invoices include details like the client’s name, your company name, and your phone number.

They also include informative details like the date of the invoice, payment due date, your bank account details, and the total amount due.

That all seems straightforward, but who signs at the bottom?

Do invoices need to be signed?

In most parts of the world, you won’t be required to sign or demand signatures for invoices.

Many businesses and freelancers, though, prefer signed invoices as extra verification or confirmation of receipt and payment.

In other cases, signatures of a first invoice can signify an ongoing business relationship. 

Adding a signature to an invoice or purchase order does not guarantee this, but it gives people and businesses peace of mind that a sales agreement has been made.

Of course, the more invoices you process, the more time you’ll spend signing them.

Surely there must be a way to expedite this process. Read our guide on how to sign an invoice and save yourself some time. 

Who is required to sign an invoice?

If you’re going to use signatures for invoices, then who’s obligated to sign?

Is it you, the one promising to deliver a product or service?

Or is it the customer who is promising payment? It’s a common invoicing issue that many companies don’t know the answer to.

Actually, that answer is simple. Both parties should sign the document (or alternatively, neither should sign). 

By having each party sign an invoice or sales receipt, the document is formalized.

Just remember, the signatures don’t necessarily make the transaction any more legally-binding than the invoice itself. 

What enforces the contract of sale is when you deliver what’s expected by the customer. 

Can you sign invoices electronically?

Many businesses are opting to go paperless. It’s good for the environment and saves money. 

Now, how in the world can businesses do this when so many documents need to be signed? How are people signing the bottom of the invoice without a physical copy?

Well, document management solutions like PandaDoc make it easy for businesses to generate, edit, and store documents—like invoices—at any time.

Don’t waste your time sweating through another Excel spreadsheet. Download our free invoice template to streamline the invoicing process!

Why is it important to issue invoices?

The most important reason you should issue invoices is for legal compliance with tax regulations.

In the US, all business-to-business (B2B) sales must have an invoice that includes the business name and the amount to be paid. 

Invoices also outline payment details and direct the payment process for customers.

Although not legally required, many small businesses and freelancers issue invoices to customers for the many benefits they bring.

They’re especially useful to businesses that process sales without taking payment upfront. Check out our handy guide to writing an invoice and the following reason’s it’s beneficial to do so: 

Tax control

Invoicing services and applications help businesses request payment and keep track of all incoming revenue.

For eCommerce businesses, invoicing software can also automatically keep track of sales tax and input tax from purchases. 

The invoicing process makes it easy for you to monitor what you owe or are expected to be refunded during a tax period.

This enables you to adjust expenses accordingly to prevent any cash flow problems when paying tax bills.

Control cash flow

Speaking of cash flow, invoicing also lets you control your outgoing payments as well as income brought in through sales.

This may include transactions like refunds or credit notes, as well as payments to suppliers and other business overhead costs.

Bookkeeping and invoice solutions will also let you offer customers several payment options.

These can include processing an invoice payment via debit card, credit card, or alternatives like PayPal. 

By using invoices for outgoing payments, you can keep an eye on your cash flow in real-time with accounting software.

If a potential problem is spotted, you can find your oldest invoice numbers and follow up to settle late payments as quickly as possible. 

Better decision-making

An invoicing system makes it easy to get a snapshot of how your business is performing.

You can find out which customers you’re invoicing the most and for what average amount over a period of time.

You also have easy access to information like due dates, payment terms, and contact information. 

Electronic invoices provide readily available information to decision-makers.

Instant access to online invoices helps you when making tough calls, like which jobs or projects to prioritize.

In other words, who gets to move to the front of the line when they need assistance with your products or services?

Additionally, every sale will be attached to a unique invoice number.

This means you can eliminate human error when it comes to duplicates or misplaced receipts. 

Quickly sign your invoices with ease

PandaDoc saves businesses loads of time by eliminating mundane tasks like physically signing every document.

Instead, you can use our eSignature features to automatically sign every transaction, purchase order or invoice. 

Even better, our service makes online payments easier for your customers, with plenty of embedded payment methods.

All invoice copies will be stored on our servers and available for you to use at any time. 

When combined with legally-binding electronic signatures, you can receive and process payments at lightspeed.

You will increase your business’s cash flow and delight your customers with ease of use and convenience. 

Not to mention that PandaDoc also lets you implement electronic signatures for all sorts of other legal documents and agreements.