Packing Slip: What it is, How to Create it, When & Examples
If you have a business or work in the corporate world, you have probably heard about invoices and delivery notes. Often, these words are used interchangeably, which can lead to confusion and errors when documenting business transactions.
Therefore, in this article we will focus on explaining what a delivery note is and what it is used for, as well as helping you to differentiate it from an invoice. It is important to have this knowledge to carry out a proper management of commercial documents in your business, and thus avoid problems with the tax authorities. Read on to discover everything you need to know about delivery notes and their relationship with invoices!
What is a packing slip?
A packing slip is a commercial document used to record the delivery of a product and serves as proof of delivery. It is used in the process of selling and buying products and is issued by the seller to confirm delivery to the buyer.
The delivery note is an essential document for both the seller and the buyer, as it allows to verify the delivery of a service and avoid possible conflicts. In addition, it can serve as the basis for issuing an invoice, which is a document that details the value of the product that has been delivered and is used for tax purposes.
What does a packing slip contain and what are its parts?
They must have a specific structure, even if you are implementing a delivery note software or a template. A packing slip must have the following specifications:
- Name and contact information of the seller.
- Name and contact details of the buyer: including address, VAT number or NF.
- The delivery date.
- The date of issue.
- Description of the goods in the order.
- Quantity of each product that is part of the order.
Additionally, it may also include a stamp or signature of the addressee.
Examples of packing slips
This is what a delivery note looks like. It has a similar format to invoices, however, these are known as “delivery notes”.
Types packing slip
There are several types of packing slips that are used in the process of selling and purchasing products. The following is a brief description of the most common ones:
- Delivery note: is used to record the receipt of goods or services by the buyer. In this case, the delivery note is issued by the supplier or vendor and serves as proof of delivery.
- Sales delivery note: this is the delivery note issued by the seller to record the delivery of the product to the buyer. It serves as proof of delivery and as the basis for issuing an invoice.
- Return delivery note: used when the buyer returns the product delivered by the seller. In this case, the return delivery note serves as proof of return and as the basis for issuing a credit note.
- Delivery note: is the document used to record the delivery of the product by the carrier to the buyer. It serves as proof of delivery and can be used as the basis for issuing an invoice.
- Collection slip: used to record the collection of goods or services by the buyer or the carrier. It serves to verify the collection and can be used as the basis for issuing an invoice.
- Valued waybill: is a type of waybill that includes the value of the products or services delivered. This value may be expressed in a currency or in a specific unit of measurement, such as kilos or liters. It is used to accredit the delivery of goods or services and for the recipient to have proof of the value of what has been delivered.
- Non-valued delivery note: this is a type of delivery note that does not include the value of the products or services delivered. This type of delivery note is mainly used when the value of the products delivered is not relevant or not necessary for the management of the business. For example, in the case of delivery of samples or small quantities of products.
It is important to bear in mind that, although there are different types of delivery notes, they are all essential documents for the control and management of commercial transactions.
How is a packing slip issued?
The issuance of a delivery note may vary depending on the company and the management system used, but in general, the steps for issuing a delivery note are as follows:
- Identify the products or services to be delivered: before issuing a delivery note, it is necessary to identify the products or services to be delivered. It is essential that the description of the products or services to be delivered is clear to avoid confusion.
- Prepare the delivery note: Once the products or services have been identified, the delivery note must be prepared. It should include information such as the number, date of issue, name and address of the recipient, description of the products or services delivered, quantity delivered and the signature of the person responsible for the delivery.
- Verify the information: It is important to verify that the information on the packing slip is correct before delivering it to the recipient. This includes checking that the description of the products or services delivered is accurate and that the quantity delivered is correct.
It is essential to bear in mind that the process of issuing a delivery note may vary depending on the needs of the company and the management system used. In any case, it is necessary that the delivery note includes all the necessary information to accredit the delivery of the goods or services, as well as taking the time to check that the information is accurate and correct before delivering the delivery note to the recipient.
Tips for the use of packing slips
The following are some tips for the use of packing slips:
- Use a standardized format: It is advisable to use a standardized packing slip format to ensure that all necessary information is included. If possible, use the format provided by the company’s management system.
- Include clear and precise information: it is important that the description of the products or services delivered is clear and precise to avoid complications. It is advisable to include detailed information on the characteristics of the products or services, such as size, weight or color.
- Deliver the delivery note to the consignee: It is essential to deliver the delivery note to the consignee as proof of delivery of the goods or services. If possible, it is advisable to have the recipient sign the delivery note as proof of receipt.
- File a copy of the delivery note: File a copy of the delivery note in the company as a record of the delivery of goods or services. This will allow you to have a record of the deliveries made and will facilitate the management of the corresponding payments.
What is the difference between a delivery note and an invoice?
A packing slip and an invoice are two different documents used at different stages of the sales process (also, if you don’t know difference between invoice and bill check the article). Here are the main differences between a packing slip and an invoice:
- A delivery note is a document used to evidence the delivery of goods or services, while an invoice is a document used to request payment.
- In some countries, the delivery note is not a mandatory document, while the invoice is. This means that, in some cases, a packing slip may not be issued, but an invoice must always be issued.
- The delivery note is issued at the time of delivery of the goods or services, while the invoice is issued after delivery of the goods or services.
- The invoice is a tax document and is used to declare the sale and the corresponding tax payment. The delivery note, on the other hand, is not a tax document and has no direct tax implications.
Both documents are important in the sales process, but have different functions and are issued at different times. Check here: What is an invoice used for
On the other hand, if you have invoices receivable and you find it frustrating to contact each of your customers, we recommend you to use Oddcoll, an international debt collection platform to save hours of work managing commercial debt collection. If you are suffering from late payments, we recommend you to read: Overdue Payments and Payment Reminder Email.
A packing slip serves as proof of delivery and is essential for keeping track of the products or services delivered. In addition, the use of delivery notes can facilitate the management of the corresponding payments and help in the planning of future purchases. In short, the delivery note is a key document in the sales process that ensures transparency and efficiency in the management of deliveries and payments.
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