A Proforma invoice is an invoice provided by a supplier in advance of providing the goods or service. A quotation in the form of an invoice prepared by the seller that details items which would appear on a commercial invoice if an order results.
Proforma invoices basically contain much of the same information as the formal quotation, and in many cases can be used in place of one. It should give the buyer as much information about the order as possible so arrangements can be made efficiently. The invoices inform the buyer and the appropriate import government authorities details of the future shipment; changes should not be made without the buyer’s consent.
As mentioned for the quotation, the points to be included in the proforma are:
- Seller’s name and address
- Buyer’s name and address
- Buyer’s reference
- Items quoted
- Prices of items: per unit and extended totals
- Weights and dimensions of quoted products
- Discounts, if applicable
- Terms of sale or Incoterm used (include delivery point)
- Terms of payment
- Estimated shipping date
- Validity date
When a buyer asks for a quotation the seller should always provide a pro-forma invoice. A pro-forma invoice is an invoice sent in advance of the commercial invoice, which is the final bill that the buyer agrees to pay. Some of the advantages of pro-forma invoice to the importer include to show to his government for foreign currency allocation, opening letters of credit and most importantly, to have a detailed information on the transaction that can help him plan. An accurate and professionally submitted pro forma-invoice can help buyers to make a decision and agree to the quotation.