Invoice software for Hong Kong

Invoice Date in Hong Kong

Invoice Date is a Significant Component of the Invoice

The invoice date is significant as it represents the date of billing. That is, when the customer is billed to pay for the order for which they have placed. This date usually happens after the product is delivered or after the service has been performed. However, often, the invoice date can be before this and is then known as an advance invoice.

invoice date

The invoice date is a significant component of the invoice due to the following attributes:

All of the above points shows that the invoice date is an important component of the invoice and is essential for the recording of accounting and other operational aspects of the business. Next will be a discussion on how to handle the situation when the invoice date is not correct.

How do we Deal With an Incorrect Invoice Date?

The corrective action that should be taken when an incorrect invoice date is recorded, will depend on the different perspective from the seller or buyer.

Next we will explore some further accounting rules related to the invoice date.

Invoice Date Rules (Accounting Rules for Invoice Date)

The accounting rules for the invoice date are different for accrual and cash basis of accounting. In the accrual method, the invoice date helps to determine the period of posting for the accounting transaction. In this way, the invoice date is crucial. Take the example of a sales invoice that was issued on the 31 December. The accounting rule here is to record the sales transaction in December. This adheres to the matching concept of accounting which states that revenue should be recognized and recorded in the period in which it was earned. If this transaction is recorded in the next month of January, this will not be accurate as it will impair the matching concept of accounting.

This is different to the cash basis of accounting where revenue is recorded when the customer pays the bill. In this situation the invoice date which is written on the invoice is not relevant in terms of updating the accounting record.

Invoice Date vs. Other Important Dates Comparison

Of particular importance, is that the date of the invoice should not be confused with other dates. These different concepts will now be discussed:

Format of Invoice

Setting the correct format of an invoice date enables the recipient to distinguish whether it is the day or month that comes first, as this is often a point of confusion.

This issue is not too significant if the trade takes place within the country. In this situation the normal format of dates will follow the custom of that country. However, if the business is an import and export business where customers are from across the globe, serious problems due to confusion over formatting can develop. For instance, the United States use the format of MM/DD/YYYY. However, most European countries uses the DD/MM/YYYY format. Due to this inconsistency, there can be significant confusion regarding the payment terms, the due date, delivery date and other terms of trade. In order to bring some clarity and avoid this confusion, the following tips can be effective:

What is Accounts Receivable Aging / Invoice Date Aging?

In this section, we will discuss what receivables aging is and how it works.

Invoice date aging is used to categorize unpaid invoices in line with the length of time in which the invoice was not paid. Some examples of typical time brackets include 1-30 days, 31-60 days, 61-90 days and over 90 days.

The date of the invoice is compared with the current date (date of aging preparation). This is used to calculate the number of days that the invoice was not paid and these calculated days are sorted into respective brackets. To illustrate, if the calculated days are 26, then this will fit in to the 1-30 days bracket. If the calculated days are 65, then this will fall into the 61-90 days bracket and so on.

Once all the invoices are sorted into the respective brackets, a sheet will be created that will show a complete picture of the length of time that amounts have not been paid. With this sorted data, the collections department will perform their work effectively as they will be able to follow up on any unpaid invoices and take corrective action.


Since the invoice date is used as a basis for deciding accounting treatment, the invoice date is one of the most crucial and significant components of an invoice. In terms of accounting, it helps to see whether the payment received via the invoice, is to be recorded as income or liability. It also helps to track due dates in the case of credit sales.

The invoice date is the official date for updating the accounting system and also acts as an important constituent of receivable aging. Any error on the invoice date needs to be corrected and this correction needs to be backed by appropriate documentation.

The invoice date is also known as the billing or issuing date. Moreover, it can be the same or different from the transaction date, due date and accounting date.

There is no universal rule for differences in invoice dates and can be the same or different depending on, the relevant scenarios, such as when goods were dispatched, as well as other factors.

If a business uses an accrual system of accounting, the invoice date becomes more relevant and significant.

As mentioned, the invoice date is an essential component of receivable aging. So in this regard, it is important to ensure that no issue will arise due to the formatting, when issuing invoices. This is particularly so in an import and export business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the invoice date be changed after an invoice has been issued?

The answer is “yes” the invoice date can be changed after an invoice has been issued. In this scenario, this correction needs to be backed by some reasonable logic. So, if the incorrect invoice date was due to human error, then the invoice date can be corrected. This must still be backed by supporting documents as auditors, tax authorities as well as the government may request or demand to review them.

To prevent any adverse repercussions, it is of the utmost importance that there should never be any intention to manipulate accounting records in any way. Otherwise, there may be financial penalties from financial institutions as well as a dent on the reputation of the business.

What is a future-dated invoice?

A future-dated invoice is when the seller of goods or service provider sends an invoice as a notice and their intention is not to bill on that date but on a future date. These types of invoices are often used in the following situations:

Is it possible to backdate an invoice?

Yes, it is possible to backdate an invoice. This correction needs to have relevant back up and a proper reason is needed to backdate an invoice. Some examples of when an invoice can be backdated include, error, a change in the agreement, or business terms. This underlying reason for the change must not be to manipulate accounting records or adversely impact any regulatory compliance.

Is the invoice date the same as the purchase date?

The purchase date is when a buyer acquires ownership of goods and represents the date on which the customer has acquired risks and rewards related to goods. On the other hand, the invoice date is when a customer is billed. These two dates can be different, and the same as well, such as when the customer is billed on the same date of purchase. In that situation, the invoice date and purchase date stand the same.

Is the invoice date the issue date?

The answer is “yes”, the invoice date and issue date are the same and can be used in place of another. As explained, the invoice date is when it is issued to request payment from the customer.

Is the invoice date more significant in the case of an accrual accounting system?

Yes, the invoice date becomes more important in the case of an accrual based accounting system. This is because this date is the official date to update the accounting record. However, in cash basis of accounting, the date of receiving payments acts as the official date of updating the accounting record. This means that the invoice date is of more significance in the case of an accrual based accounting system.

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