South Africa possesses the second-largest economy in Africa after Nigeria and is a regional industrialization hub for the continent. It is very well endowed with natural resources and among the world’s largest exporters of gold platinum and the agricultural sector is very well developed. It has a seaport that acts as the gateway to many landlocked countries that border it. This has enabled it as a commercial hub and various payments are normally affected by the invoice system. There are various types of invoices in South Africa and this article will discuss the most common ones.

Invoice Types in South Africa


With the proliferation of technology in business and more especially making payments, this has had an impact on invoicing. This applies to all invoices that are sent electronically, and e-invoicing is standard practice for small and established businesses, due to flexibility as well as immediacy. They are quicker, easier to create than the standard print invoices and offer flexibility in that one does not need an office or an office set up to create one just a smart phone and internet connectivity.

Purchase Invoice

This is a commercial document that a seller gives to a buyer and it contains the goods or services that are exchanged, the quantity involved, as well as the price that is agreed on at the point of sale. They are used as proof of purchase of a product or service and even the amount that was remitted in the transaction and the way the money was remitted.

Sales Invoice

This one originates from the business that is selling goods or offering services to a client as a way of requesting for payment of goods or services. The particulars of this particular invoice include a brief description on the product or service sold, the quantity as well as the price. It serves as an official record of a sale to both the seller and the client.

Credit Invoice

This is a form of credit memo normally issued by businesses that provide their clients with discounts or refunds, or for purposes of correcting a previous invoicing error. It will always include a total negative figure.

Commercial Invoice

Since South Africa deals with international trade, commercial invoices are in high circulation. Commercial invoices include details of a particular sale, and this is important in determining custom duty.   Other details contained by this invoice include the quantity that has been shipped, the description of the goods, packaging format, and the total value.

Timesheet invoice

This is used when an employee’s billing system is based on the number of hours or days that one works. This type of invoice is used by contract employees who are paid on an hourly basis by their employer. They are also common in industries where clients are billed hourly and this includes lawyers, creative agencies, business consultants, psychologists, and consultants.

Credit Memo

At times people send goods and they might be damaged, be stale or not be the right goods, to keep the relationship between the client and the customer the client will issue a credit memo of the same amount of money that the client parted with when paying for the goods that are in contention. This is to acknowledge a mistake hence repaying the customer.

In conclusion, invoices are used as reminders as well as for purposes of keeping records so as to ensure a good relationship between clienteles in any business transactions.