Chapter VI - Bills, Receipts And Accounts

  • 1. Bills for goods.
  • 2. Bills for labor.
  • 3. Discounting bills.
  • 4. Forms of receipts.
  • 5. What is an order?

Try to understand clearly the meaning of all the business terms you have to use.

The terms "bill" and "invoice" usually mean the same thing, that is, a "bill of sale." This applies to goods sold, or services rendered.

The merchant sends you an itemized invoice of the goods you ordered and he has shipped.

The carpenter sends you an itemized bill of the work done by your order.

Such a document should be regarded not as a "dun," but rather as a record of the contract or transaction.

In the foregoing case the merchant and the carpenter are the creditors, the recipient of the goods or work is the debtor.


In writing out a bill the date is the first thing to be considered. This should be the same in form as a business letter.

This form will serve as an illustration:

Glenwood, N. J. October 1, 1910. Robert Brown To George L. White, Dr. Sept 2. For 25 lbs. sugar, at .06 . . .$1.50 " 6. " 30 lbs. ham, at .20 . . . . 6.00 " 14. " 100 lbs. flour, at .03-1/2 . 3.50 ---- Received payment, $11.00


Wholesale houses send such bills as soon as the goods are shipped or delivered, though the payment, as per agreement, is not to be made for thirty, sixty or ninety days.

Where there is a running account, that is, frequent orders, with total payments never completed, it is customary for the seller, at the beginning of a calendar month to send to the creditor a "statement." This statement does not repeat the items of the bills rendered, its purpose being to show the balance due to date.


Where a mechanic or laborer is employed by the day at a fixed wage, the length of time and dates should be given.

Richmond, Va. November 3, 1910. Charles M. Pratt, To John Smith, Dr. To 4 days, from Oct. 1st to 4th inclusive, at $2.00..........$8.00 To 2 1/2 days, Oct. 10th, 11th and 12th.................... 5.00 To 3 days, Oct. 17th, 18th and 19th ....................... 6.00 ------ Received payment, $19.00 Signature.

This bill is just as transferable as a mortgage. If for any reason Mr. Smith should decide to sell it, say to Robert Brown, he should make the following endorsement across the back:

"In consideration of ------ dollars, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, I do hereby sell and assign to Robert Brown, the written account, which is justly due from the within named Charles W. Pratt, and I hereby authorize the said Robert Brown to collect the same. "John Smith." "Newburg, N. Y. November 1, 1910."

Regarded simply from a business viewpoint and without considering ethics, "Honesty is the best policy."

Bills, where possible, should be promptly paid.

Prompt payment is a guarantee of credit and credit is the heart if not the soul of business.

Never, if it can be avoided, buy goods on the installment plan.

Be sure to get a receipt for all payments you make, and be equally sure to keep the receipt where you can find it.

Examine all bills and invoices; compare them with the goods received, and no matter what your faith in the seller's care and honesty, calculate for yourself the price of each item, and be sure that the total is correct.

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