What is a debit note and how do you write one?
Learn how to make adjustments to already-sent invoices with a debit note.
Errors and changes happen. If you already sent an invoice to a customer only to realize you undercharged them, what can you do? You can’t send another invoice. Instead, send a debit note to adjust the total due.
What is a debit note invoice?
If you accidentally undercharge a customer, whether it’s due to an error or a change in costs during a project, you can’t just send a new invoice. That might interfere with the customer’s accounting processes and create a confusing situation — especially if the invoice has already been paid. Instead, send a debit note.
A debit note is an extension of an invoice. Think of it like a “P.S.” that’s sent after the fact. The old invoice is still valid, so it won’t mess up your or your customer’s books, but the debit note corrects any errors. Debit notes increase the total cost of an invoice, while credit notes decrease it.
What information to include.
How you write a debit note is very similar to writing an invoice. They contain much of the same information, with the main difference being that the debit note needs an additional reference to link it to the original invoice.
Be sure to include the following information in your debit note:
- Customer name, address, and contact information
- Your company information
- Item descriptions, quantities, and prices
- Debit note number
- Original invoice reference number
- Total amount due (not counting original invoice)
- Other terms and conditions
Some companies require a signature on debit notes. If you or your clients need to sign debit notes or invoices, simplify the process using e-signature software like Acrobat Sign. That way, you can streamline the approval process without involving printers, scanners, or fax machines.