Invoices are used in various industries as a way to request payment from a party involved in a business transaction. While the type of invoice paper used is usually up to the business issuing the invoice, there are some kinds that are particularly good for certain industries. The common types of invoice paper range from regular printer paper that is perfect for an email invoice, to various types of invoice templates that can be purchased at an office supply store.
Many people choose to use electronic invoices, in which case they do not even need to be printed out. They can be created using invoicing software, or even just general spreadsheets that exist on the typical computer, and then emailed. If a hard copy needs to be made, an invoice can be printed out on regular printer paper for recordkeeping. Therefore, specific invoice paper is not always necessary.
On the other hand, some businesses require that invoices be created on the spot. For example, contractors typically make calculations while on the site of their next project, and write down the invoice information in front of the customer. In such cases, a pad of blank invoices is necessary, at which time the type of invoice paper used becomes important.
One type of blank invoice book that can be purchased contains carbon paper, which features a sheet of dry ink held together with wax. When placed under one piece of paper, and on top of yet another sheet, it allows the ink from the top paper to bleed through to the bottom, creating a copy. The original can be handed to the customer immediately, which allows the business to maintain the new copy for recordkeeping purposes without having to use a copy machine. These kind of invoice paper are often considered outdated, but some businesses have stuck to this tried and true method for years, and continue to use it.
Despite carbon paper's usefulness, it tends to stain the hands when being handled, which is why carbonless invoice paper has mostly replaced it. Most invoice books sold at office supply stores contain carbonless invoice paper, and usually feature either two or three forms. Books with two different forms feature a white copy, which is the original often given to the customer, and a yellow copy, usually kept for records. Those with three forms include a pink copy in addition to white and yellow, providing an extra copy of the invoice that is typically given to accounts receivable if applicable.