GST Invoice Guide: Customize Bill Format in Accounting Software.
What is a GST Invoice?
An invoice is an important element of the sales processes. It is an important document that serves as a bill for the services/ products provided to the customers. A GST Invoice is an invoice which complies with all the norms as laid out by GST council and must necessarily include details of parties involved(GSTIN), description of products/services and its HSN/SAC, tax rates and date of invoice.
As per GST laws, every supplier who has GST registration in India has to issue an invoice in the pre-defined format, while supplying goods or services.
Things to be mentioned on the customized GST Invoice
- Name, Address & Good and service tax identification no. (GSTIN) of supplier.
- A consecutive serial no. not exceeding 16 characters, in one or multiple series, containing alphabets, or numbers or special characters respectively unique for the financial year. This is also called as the Invoice number.
- Date of Issue of the invoice.
- Recipient name, address, and GSTIN (if registered).
- If the recipient is unregistered and the value of taxable supply is more than rs 50000 then name, address, state name, and state code.
- Place of delivery.
- Quantity and unit of goods & services.
- The total value of goods & services.
- Rate of tax for each item.
- HSN code of every item or SAC of every service.
- Description of goods & services.
- The taxable value of goods & services and discount if any.
- Amount of tax charged on each head CGST, IGST, and SGST should be shown separately under different column.
- Address of delivery when it is different from the place of supply.
- Signature in physical form or digital signature of the supplier of the authorized person.
- Name of the country of destination.
- A statement mentioning whether the reverse charge is applicable or not.
In case the invoice is generated for the supply of goods, three copies of the invoice are generated marked as
- Original for recipient
- Duplicate for transporter
- triplicate for supplier
and in case of services, two copies are generated which are marked as
- Original for recipient
- Duplicate for supplier
So, we see that there is a major shift in the way invoices are prepared pre and post GST regime. There is a lot much detail, a supplier has to provide in a GST invoice and that makes it look clustered and sometimes even non-professional. Business owners want the invoices generated from their billing software to look professional, user-friendly and at the same time reflect their brand. That is why business owners go for customization of bill formats in their billing software. We studied five top accounting/billing software of India to find out how bill formats can be customized to look the way business owners want.
Bill format customization option in top 5 accounting software in India:
We will now see how customization of bill formats work in top accounting software in India. The data gathered is as per our internal testing and as on the date of writing this post. The detail may vary in future days. However, I will try to keep updating as and when there is any change.
Zoho Books is one of the top GST billing software for small businesses in India. As true with most of the top billing software, standard format given by ZOHO meets all the requirements of the GST bill as discussed above.
ZOHO bill format is divided into three sections
- Items and Description
Please see below a standard format of ZOHO books.
Customization Options in ZOHO books:
- Watermark image and logo of the supplier can be set.
- Up to three self-defined or custom fields can be added in the header section. It can be anything like your Whatsapp number or your fax number.
- Up to eleven self-defined or custom fields can be added in the item and description section. This is important as business owners want custom fields as per their wish. One such example could be MRP of the product. Buyers must keep in mind that reporting on custom fields are missing. These custom fields are only for printing or display purposes.
- Width of each column in the item and description section can be modified as per need. Also, any column can be removed as well. For example, if you want you can remove SGST column (although not desired here).
- Terms and conditions can be customized as per wish. You can add as many terms as you wish.
- All the fonts and colors can be customized.
- Five copies of the bill can be printed with mark at the top that whether it is original, duplicate, triplicate, etc. You can, however, give as many prints as you want.
With the above customization options, ZOHO has undoubtedly given immense ease to its users. However, at the same point, we found that there were certain un-answered questions. ZOHO does not provide printing option with 80 mm thermal printers which most small and medium retailers in India use these days.
MARG ERP9+ is one of the most used accounting and inventory software in India. Marg is designed in a way that it is capable of fulfilling the requirements of most small businesses formats. Marg has given freedom to its user to customize the bill formats in the way they want. These bills can also be sent through an email.
A typical bill generated from MARG ERP is divided into the following sections:
- Header section
- Item lines section
- Grand Total section
- Terms and Conditions section
Although customization is not as easy as in ZOHO or QuickBooks, deep customization is available in MARG. You can make your format right from the scratch or you can modify an existing format. A separate file can be generated which can be imported in any Marg software.
To customize, you may have to learn a little bit of coding (although not so difficult as it sounds). You can find here how to customize a bill format in MARG. MARG ERP is compatible with most printers available in the market like Laser, thermal or even dot-matrix printers.
Customization options available in MARG ERP9+ are:
- Complete customization is possible in all the above sections.
- There is no limit of custom fields in the item & description section.
- Term & Condition can be added or modified.
- In Grand total section additional notes can be added such as bank details, tax details, etc.
- Watermark image or other images can be set.
- The row & column of item section can be customized according to the needs.
- We can customize the paper size of printing bill format at a time of printing. Ex A4, A5, etc.
With the above customization, MARG ERP9+ have given more feature as compare to ZOHO books, Busy, etc. Moreover, MARG ERP also has an option of printing the invoice in Thermal printer which is not found in ZOHO Books or QuickBooks.
Below is a standard format of MARG ERP9+ wherein you can see that it is compliant with the GST norms.
QuickBooks is a cloud-based GST invoicing & accounting software suitable for small and medium-sized businesses. This software is extremely easy to use and can also be accessed by an android or iOS-based mobile devices. QuickBooks has a great UI/UX and it also offers tools to import and export data from excel.
Coming to its Bill format options, there are five in-built templates in QuickBooks- Airy Classic, Modern, Fresh, Bold and Friendly. These templates are mostly for A4 size papers. QuickBooks has divided its bill format into three different sections and can be customized separately. These are Header, Item lines, and footers.
QuickBooks also has the option of designing a fresh format right from the scratch. This can be done by making a template in MS Word and importing it.
Some of the important bill format Customization options available with QuickBooks are:
- Apart from options to change colors, logo, and fonts, you can also have custom fields in the header section of the templates. You can have at most 3 custom fields.
- QuickBooks provides limited fonts: Helvetica, Arial Unicode MS Courier, Time new roman and font size 8pt, 10pt, 12pt.
- In the header section, company name, phone, email, company CIN, Address, website field can be enabled or disabled.
- Width of columns in item lines can be modified as per wish.
- In the item section, all field can be enabled or disabled except Product Name.
- Customization of terms & condition is done and its font size can be changed according to the needs.
- In the footer section, font size, and alignment can be changed to left, right and center.
- In footer section only discount, deposit, tax summary field can be enabled or disabled.
- Three different copies of the invoice can be printed marked as original, duplicate and triplicate.
Although users of QuickBooks have complained that bill formats for 80mm thermal printer are not available, we have, for our few clients, designed it. You can see below an image of one such format that is compatible with the thermal printer. The only drawback that this format has vis-à-vis a regular thermal printer format is that its length is as long as an A4 sheet. If the length of the bill goes beyond it, it will show a page break.
Below is a standard format of QUICKBOOKS
Tally erp9 is India’s most popular accounting software. Tally ERP9 offers comprehensive business functionalities such as accounting, finance, inventory, sales, purchase, GST invoicing and many more. Tally ERP9 gives very few options to customize GST invoice. However
Tally ERP9 comes with an execution Kernel, an interpreter & development language TDL (Tally Definition Language) with the help of which customization is possible.
TDLs are provided by the tally business partners.
Important customization option available in TALLY ERP9 for default bill formats:
- The sub-title can be customized.
- The height & width of the invoice can be modified.
- The quantity, rate, batch, narration can be enabled and disabled.
- Customization is possible while printing the invoice in half-page or one page.
There are many other bill format customizations available. Below is the image of configuration panel in Tally ERP9. Only these customizations can be done on default bill formats. To go beyond these customizations or to make a new format, one has to use TDL. You can get TDLs for many beautiful bill formats from Tally Partners.
Below is the image of the standard format of Tally ERP9
BUSY accounting software is a leading business accounting software for small-medium enterprises. BUSY help the business by managing accounting, inventory, billing & operational controls.
BUSY bill format is divided into three sections
- Items and Description
Customization option available in BUSY:
In header section:
- The company name, address, can be changed while printing invoice if company name created is different.
- The borderline can be enabled or disabled according to the needs.
- Authorize signature can be enabled or disabled according to the needs.
- Bill head can be pre-defined as tax or retail invoice and also can be customized.
- The logo can be printed at top, right & center.
- Narration can be enabled or disabled.
- Party detail can be enabled or disabled.
In Item section:
- Zero price item can be enabled or disabled while printing.
- Thirty-one column can be added.
- Bill sundries, discount can be enabled or disabled.
- Signatory information can be customized.
In footer section
- Term & Condition can be customized.
- Daily message can be customized.
You can set the type of printer from the Hardware Configuration option. All commercial type of printers can be integrated with BUSY accounting software.
Below is the standard format of BUSY Accounting Software
The bill formats in the most-used accounting software in India can be customized in several ways and you should take into considerations, all the norms of GST while going for any customization. A non-GST compliant invoice can also call for a penalty. Since the information which is to be shown in a GST invoice has increased considerably, we should customize an invoice in a way, that it not only shows all the information as required by GST, it should be user-friendly to the customers as well.
You can refer our buyers’ guide to selecting the right accounting software. You can also check out features, detailed specifications, and reviews of other accounting software here. However, at any point, if you feel these pages to be overwhelming, feel free to contact us so that we can guide you through your journey to the right software selection.
Also, let me know your feedback on this topic by commenting to this post.