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Voucher vs. Invoice: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on November 27, 2023
A voucher is a document representing internal approval or proof of a transaction, while an invoice is a bill detailing goods/services provided and the amount due.

Key Differences

Voucher and invoice are both financial documents, but they serve different purposes in the accounting and business realms. A voucher acts as an authorization or proof of a certain transaction, often used internally within an organization. It might be used to approve an expenditure before it takes place. Conversely, an invoice is a bill sent by a vendor to a customer, listing the products or services provided, their cost, and the total amount owed.
While vouchers are typically used as internal controls, ensuring that transactions are properly authorized and recorded, invoices act as a formal request for payment. The primary function of an invoice is to detail the transaction between the seller and the buyer, providing clear evidence of what was delivered and how much is owed.
In many businesses, vouchers are used in the accounts payable process. Before a payment is made, a voucher is prepared to show that the payment has been approved. This might include supporting documentation like purchase orders or receipts. An invoice, on the other hand, often triggers the accounts payable process. Upon receipt of an invoice, a company knows it has an obligation to make a payment.
In essence, while both vouchers and invoices are pivotal in ensuring proper financial processes and controls, they have distinct roles. A voucher is more about internal checks and validation, whereas an invoice focuses on external transactions and communications between buyer and seller.

Comparison Chart

Primary Function

Internal approval or proof of a transaction
Bill detailing goods/services provided and the amount due


Internally within organizations
Between vendors and customers

Role in Accounting

Used in accounts payable as a pre-approval
Triggers accounts payable process


May come with supporting documents like purchase orders or receipts
Details products/services, their cost, and the total amount owed


Represents an internal control mechanism
Represents an external transaction

Voucher and Invoice Definitions


A prepaid token or coupon representing monetary value.
He redeemed a gift voucher at the bookstore.


A record of a transaction specifying what was provided and its cost.
Every month, I receive an invoice for my utilities.


A document authorizing a particular payment.
She provided the voucher to approve the office supplies purchase.


A document detailing goods or services sold with the total amount due.
The contractor sent an invoice for the completed renovation work.


An authorization or reference to a future payment.
The accountant issued a voucher to reimburse travel expenses.


A bill indicating terms of payment, items, and their prices.
The invoice had a 30-day payment term.


Proof of a completed transaction or payment.
I received a voucher confirming my hotel reservation.


A formal request for payment from a seller to a buyer.
The supplier's invoice listed all the items we ordered.


A receipt indicating a purchase or payment.
Upon payment, the shop provided a voucher as proof.


An itemized statement of money owed for goods shipped or services rendered.
The design agency provided an invoice for their branding services.


A piece of substantiating evidence; a proof.


A detailed list of goods shipped or services rendered, with an account of all costs; an itemized bill.


A written record of expenditure, disbursement, or completed transaction.


The goods or services itemized in an invoice.


What is a voucher used for?

A voucher is used as proof or authorization of a specific transaction, often internally.

Who typically sends an invoice?

A vendor or service provider typically sends an invoice to a customer or client.

Is an invoice a bill?

Yes, an invoice is essentially a bill detailing goods or services provided and the amount due.

Is a voucher an internal or external document?

A voucher is typically an internal document used within organizations.

Can a gift card be considered a voucher?

Yes, a gift card can be viewed as a type of voucher representing prepaid value.

Do all invoices require immediate payment?

No, invoices often have specified payment terms that give recipients time to make the payment.

Do vouchers represent money?

Vouchers can represent a prepaid monetary value or serve as proof or authorization of a transaction.

Is an invoice legally binding?

An invoice itself isn't a contract, but it's a formal record of a financial obligation.

How does an invoice differ from a receipt?

An invoice is a request for payment, while a receipt is proof of payment.

Who typically receives an invoice?

A buyer or client typically receives an invoice from a seller or service provider.

Can a voucher be electronic?

Yes, many modern vouchers are electronic, especially in online transactions.

What's the difference between a voucher and a coupon?

While similar, a voucher typically represents a prepaid value, while a coupon offers a discount.

Are vouchers only related to money?

Not always. While some vouchers represent value, others simply authorize or validate a transaction.

What details are typically found on an invoice?

An invoice usually lists the products/services, their cost, total amount due, and payment terms.

How are invoices and vouchers connected in business processes?

In businesses, receiving an invoice can lead to the creation of a voucher as part of the accounts payable process.

Can an individual issue a voucher?

Yes, individuals can issue vouchers, especially in contexts like gift vouchers.

What happens if a voucher is lost?

Depending on the context, a lost voucher might result in loss of its value or need for re-issuance.

What should one do if they dispute an invoice?

If an invoice is disputed, one should promptly communicate with the issuer to resolve the discrepancies.

Why are vouchers important for businesses?

Vouchers act as internal controls, ensuring transactions are properly authorized and documented.

When is an invoice typically paid?

An invoice is usually paid based on the payment terms specified, often within 30, 60, or 90 days.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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