A pro forma or preform (as it is commonly called) invoice is more like a negotiating tool that allows buyers to bargain with the sellers in an informed way. Such invoices are used in cases of non-finalized deals and serves as a guideline for customers helping them bargain better deals with their sellers. It must be noted that the proforma invoice, in no way can be presented as a liability document of a buyer recording the amount payable but must be treated as an information booklet, notifying the customer about the negotiating tactics that may prove to be effective in the trade.
Since a proforma invoice template forms an integral part of the archiving of the international sales transaction process, it is advisable to opt for a standard proforma invoice template that may simply be delineated and used whenever necessary. A proforma invoice template is thus an easy to use pre-built layout that outlines the basic format of a universally accepted standard proforma invoice. It comprises of the following features:
- Proforma invoice templates must have provisions for incorporation of detailed information about the sales transaction in question. In case of international sales, it must also bear space for inserting specific information describing the contents of the shipment, identifying the shippers, stating the manufacturers and the expected date of delivery.
- The proforma template must also contain ample space for entering detailed information about the terms and conditions involved in the purchase deal thereby, notifying the buyer about the stakes involved and the way the negotiation process may be handled. This would include informing the buyer about the credit policy permitted by the company, mode of payment accepted and the tax payable on the products or services in question.
- A proforma invoice template must always contain a declaration signed by the issuer, vouching the truth of all the information stated in the invoice to the buyer.