Invoicing abbywinters.com

An invoice is an official documented request for payment, when you provide a good or a service to someone.

Our business is registered in the Netherlands. We require an invoice from you that meets international standards. We have found that some people we work with have not needed to submit invoices for payment before, so we have created this FAQ.

Clear expectations help us run a successful business, and helps us pay you promptly!

If you submit an invoice without the info we need, your payment will be delayed. 

Invoicing

If your invoice does not meet these requirements, we will reject it. We may be in a different country to you, with different conventions. The person responsible for paying your invoice may not be familiar with your location or local conventions. Err on the side of caution – Always be clear.

An invoice must have the following information, in the English language.

  • The word “Invoice”
  • Your name
    • Your real full name, or your your business name
    • We need to know who’s invoicing us, so we can ensure we have received the goods or service you’re providing.
    • If you change your real name or business name, please let us know, so we can link it up on our end.
  • Your address
    • Your full address, where we could reach you by mail. Business address if you have one, or just your home address.
  • The date 
    • This is the “Invoice date”, the date from which we all start counting how many days we have to pay you.
    • It’s never acceptable for this to be in the past for too long (maximum, 5 working days, it is possible that a manager within AW BV wants to perform a pre-check) – we will reject your invoice. It may be in the future (though that would be weird). It should be the date you sent the invoice to us.
    • Because we deal with people from all over the world using different date formats, always use unambiguous date formats like 04 Jun 2019 (DD-MMM-YYYY).
  • Unique invoice number
    • A unique invoice number (that is, unique from other invoices you have provided to us)
    • Your accountant will require you to have a separate invoice number for every invoice as well! (ie, for your other customers)
    • It does not matter what the number is (1, 00000001, 28471234, 25A…), it just has to be unique for every invoice or credit note you provide to us.
  • Your european VAT number, if applicable 
    • See How does VAT work?
    • Note, we’re a Dutch company, so you cannot invoice us for your local, state or federal taxes – only European VAT, which may or may not apply.
  • Our company name
    • abbywinters.com BV or GMBill.com BV
  • Your contact at our company
    • That is, who our accounting department should speak to about this invoice on our end.
    • List this as, “Attention: John Smith”
  • Our address
    • Postbus 3691, Amsterdam, 1001AL, Netherlands
  • Our VAT number (if applicable)
    • NL821153985B01
  • Line items
    • For each good or service you’re providing
    • An item description, number of those items, price per item, line total
    • See below for more info on line items
  • Any credits
    • That is, money you owe back us. For example: 
      • If services were delivered not as agreed
      • If services were double charged on the previous invoice
      • If you over-charged us last time
  • A subtotal
    • A VAT-exclusive subtotal first, if VAT applies
  • VAT-amount
    • It is required to show the VAT-amount and which percentage is used for this.
    • This applies to the EU-entrepreneurs or companies.
    • See below for more info on VAT
  • A grand total
    • That is, the amount you expect us to actually transfer to you including the currency.
  • Your bank details for payment
    • We’ll be sending from a Dutch bank
    • If your bank account is in the EU, the IBAN and associated account name is all we need
    • If your bank account is outside the EU, we require additional information. Refer to the “EFT to non-European Union countries” section on this page (this is aimed specifically at models, but applies to other suppliers as well)
    • Note that we cannot pay model fees by PayPal, this is a limitation of the PayPal service.
  • Your payment terms
    • That is, when do you expect this invoice to be paid? 14 days is standard, but we can discuss something different.
    • See When do you pay invoices? for more info
  • Supporting evidence
    • See below

Here’s an invoice template (MS Word .docx format) you can use, that contains all these items. Edit all text in red to be applicable to you, then change the text colour to be black.

Note that at all times the invoice must be sent in PDF-format.

Line items

Some stuff on an invoice listed above never changes, but the line items – what you’re actually charging us for – typically change on each invoice you issue.

Line items vary by the good or service you provided, but being more specific is always better, and using agreed unique reference numbers is better still. 

  • Always cite MDB IDs if the line item is about a model
    • Ideal for Models, Model Scouts, Model Liaisons
    • Example: 10032751
    • The MDB ID is a unique serial number for models in our system
    • Never use real name of the model, always MDB number and/or site name (or both)
  • Always cite PPCMS IDs if the line item is about a shoot
    • Ideal for Models, Shoot Producers
    • Example: 34761
    • The PPCMS ID is a unique serial number for shoots in our system.

What about being reimbursed for expenses I incurred?

Some line items may be for reimbursements, that is, expenses you incurred in providing your goods or services to us, that we have agreed we’ll reimburse you for. 

These may only be included on invoices by previous agreement with us. Ask you abbywinters.com contact before issuing the invoice, if unsure.

Include the cost of the expense as a line item on your invoice (note that if you are adding VAT to your invoice, there are some special considerations here. See How does VAT work?).

On a separate page of your invoice, supply the official invoice you received from your supplier. It’s strongly preferred that the invoice you’re claiming reimbursement for is only for the items you’re claiming reimbursement – ask the supplier for unrelated items to be on a separate invoice. If that’s not possible, clearly indicate on the supplier invoice what you are claiming reimbursement for (including the correct proportion of taxes, if applicable). A lack of clarity here will delay your invoice being paid.

Ensure the scan of the invoice is of high quality and reveals all writing on the invoice. A quality photo of the invoice from the supplier taken with your mobile phone is usually fine. Screenshots of emails are also fine, if the email contains all the elements of a proper invoice.

Never include comments or questions in the email the invoice is sent with, or on the invoice itself. If you have other queries, comments, concerns, considerations or questions, email them separately and get the matter resolved before you email the invoice!

Never include items for reimbursement that have not already been discussed and approved.

Absolutely, we recommend sending test invoices, especially if this is the first time invoicing anyone (but any time is fine).

Make the invoice number be 00000 (so it’s not accidentally processed as a real invoice), and send it to your abbywinters.com contact with any questions. They’ll provide feedback.

Additionally, make it clear this is a test invoice.

VAT stands for Value Added Tax (more info). We’re a Dutch company, so you may need to add VAT to your invoice if you are based in the Netherlands. However, VAT may only apply if you or your company has a current registered European VAT number, something only EU entrepreneurs or EU companies can have.

Practically speaking, VAT can only be charged to us by suppliers with a Dutch VAT number. If your business is not based in the EU, VAT will definitely not apply to your invoices.

If you have a VAT number, and you or your company is based in an EU country other than the Netherlands, VAT is “reverse charged” (more info) – effectively no VAT applies, but your invoice must include yours and our VAT numbers (ours is NL821153985B01). You must add the note “VAT is reverse charged” to your invoice, and list €0 for VAT.

If you have a VAT number, and are based in the Netherlands, you must show 21% VAT for the invoice subtotal, and add that amount to the Grand Total. We’ll pay you the grand total (later, you’ll offset that against the VAT for purchases you have made in that period, and either pay more or receive some VAT back from the Belastingdienst (Dutch Tax Office)).

In the exceptional case that you perform work for abbywinters.com BV that falls under the 9% VAT, please inform your contact upfront. If you are not aware of this rule, you are very likely not subjected for this rate.

If you’re not sure how VAT applies to your work, we encourage you to discuss VAT with your accountant, before invoicing us. We can only provide this high-level, general guidance – we’re not accountants and we’re definitely not YOUR accountant!

How should I handle passing on VAT for expenses I incur?

Say you’re a Shoot Producer based in the Netherlands, and you’ve planned a cool Solo shoot that involves you buying some props. You’ve got approval from HQ to invoice us for the cost of the props.

The shelf price for the props is €11.56, plus 21% VAT (€2.42), so you paid €13.98 in total for the props. You keep the receipt, and produce the shoot.

On your invoice line items, you always list the ex-VAT price – that is, the price we have agreed for your work. It’s a Solo shoot, it was 3-assessed, so that’s €450. 

Similarly, you’d list the props reimbursement of €11.56 – the price without VAT (otherwise, you’d be charging VAT on VAT, and that’s not allowed in most circumstances).

On the Subtotal line, total up all the line items, then calculate VAT on that subtotal. Add that VAT to the subtotal, for the grand total. For example:

34961 Emma K Solo (OL) €450.00
Props for 34961 (approved by PC, receipt attached) (ex VAT) €11.56
Subtotal €461.56
VAT (21%) €96.92
Grand total €558.48 

 

We only pay invoices for work we have received and verified. For example:

  • As a Model, after the shoot day (the evening of the shoot day is fine)
  • As a Shoot Producer, after the Media and Metadata Ingestion is certified as complete
  • As a Model Scout, after the model appears in their first shoot (evening-of, at the earliest)
  • As a Model Liaison, after the calendar month has ended, for shoots that have occurred

We prefer to receive fewer invoices for larger amounts (for example, from a model, for all the shoot days in a block of shoots – ie, three shoots over four days). But, you can invoice more frequently if you wish (unless we have a prior agreement on this).

However, you must invoice us within 30 days of the good or service being delivered to us. Waiting longer will increase the time we take to process your invoice.

We only accept invoices by email, in PDF form. Do not submit word-processor (eg, MS Word, Pages, OpenOffice, LibreOffice) invoices – convert them to PDF.

Send invoices only to financial.controller@abbywinters.com, or other email address as previously agreed with your AW contact. 

Make the subject of the email your name (or company name), the word “invoice” and the invoice number. For example, 

ABC services invoice 021

Attach the invoice PDF (or multiple invoices is also fine). If you have questions about the invoice, ask them – and get answers! – of your abbywinters.com contact before sending the invoice to the Financial Controller. Sending a test invoice is always recommended if you’re unsure.

Supporting spreadsheet

We ask some Contractors to provide additional supporting details to their invoice, typically a spreadsheet listing each item of work. This will have been discussed with you when you first started working with the company – search for an email with the subject “Your invoices, and supporting info” from your main AW contact, to your personal (non-@abbywinters.com address).

If valid, we pay all invoices within the terms of our agreement with you, typically 14 days. If there are no terms specified on the invoice, we’ll operate on 14-day terms. The 14 days is calculated from the invoice date you choose (so long as it’s not in the past when the invoice is issued!).

We pay due invoices received by midday Monday (Amsterdam time), on Dutch Wednesdays each week. For example:

You deliver an invoice on Monday at 7am (Amsterdam time). That’s before the Monday midday cutoff, so it’ll be paid on the following Wednesday.

You deliver your invoice at 10am Tuesday morning. That’s after the Monday midday cutoff. That invoice will not be paid tomorrow (Wednesday), instead it will be paid on Wednesday the week after.

If Wednesday falls on a Dutch bank holiday, we’ll pay due invoices on the next non-bank-holiday day. For example;

December 25 (Christmas day) is a Wednesday in 2019, a public holiday in the Netherlands. So is Boxing day, December 26. Friday December 27 is the next non-bank-holiday, so invoices due to be paid on Wednesday 25th, will be paid on Friday 27th instead.

If the invoice is invalid for some reason, we’ll work with you to fix the issue and get the invoice paid on Wednesday the following week. This may be later than the 14-day terms specified on the invoice, but submitting correct and unambiguous invoices up front will mean they can be paid on time.

In general, we’ll reject an invoice that does not meet the requirements of What elements must an invoice have?

Other reasons for rejecting an invoice may include:

  • We have not yet received the complete good or service from you
  • You over- or under-charged us for the good or service
  • Your line item had the wrong specification (eg, model or shoot serial number)
  • Your maths is incorrect
  • You asked for reimbursements, but did not provide supporting evidence
  • The supporting evidence you provided for a reimbursement is ambiguous
  • Our company name is not mentioned correctly
    • For example, sent to a person’s name, instead of the company abbywinters.com BV – a person is not a company
    • For example, sent to an abbreviation of our company name (eg, “Abby BV” is likely a totally different company!)

As soon as we notice your invoice is incorrect, we’ll let you know what the issue is, and how to proceed.

There are two possible options:

Wait for the invoice to be correct

If the issue is simply that we have not received a good or service, we can wait for you to deliver the good or service (up to one week, maximum). 

This may delay the payment of your invoice beyond your specified terms… but you should only be invoicing us for good or services we have already received anyway!

Issue a credit memo for the wrong invoice, then issue a new, correct invoice

If you’d prefer not to wait to deliver the good or service, and you want to get paid for the other items… or, if there is some other sort of error on the invoice, you’ll need to issue a credit memo (to “cancel out” the incorrect invoice), and issue a new, correct invoice.

You may only invoice us for goods or services that are completely delivered to us (unless we have previously agreed otherwise, which is very rare).

If a piece of work is only partially complete at the time of invoicing, include it on the next invoice – never invoice for incomplete work, unless by specific arrangement with us.

For any good or service you supply, we always clearly discuss our expectations, our “definition of done”, and the price. We never proceed in commissioning work from a supplier until that is agreed, usually by email.

So, you should only ever charge the agreed fee for each line item.

If there are exceptional circumstances, discuss them with your abbywinters.com contact before submitting an invoice, and perhaps we can work something out.

Models: If you require reimbursement for some expenses (see What expenses do you cover?), itemise them line by line on your invoice (being sure to manage VAT correctly, if you’re based in the Netherlands), and provide a scan of the receipts, as described in How can I be reimbursed for my expenses?

We accept invoices in Euro, US Dollars, and Great British Pounds… but we prefer invoices to be in Euro.

However, in our original discussions with you about the scope of the work, we may have quoted fees we offer in a certain currency. In these cases, invoices must be in this currency (for example, model fees are always quoted in Euro, so invoices for model fees must be in Euro).

See also, What currency will you pay me in?

If your bank account is not Euro-, GBP-, or USD-denominated, your bank will convert the money we send, to your bank account’s currency.

The exchange rate is likely to be unfavourable, and they may charge a fee for this – discuss this with your bank before invoicing us, so you know what to expect.

A credit memo can be considered a “negative invoice”. They are used to “cancel out” an incorrect invoice you have issued to us (more info). Typically, you’d issue a new invoice (with a new invoice number) at the same time as issuing a credit memo, fixing the original mistake.

We require this to protect ourselves: we don’t want you coming back six months later saying “Hey, you never paid me for this!”. Your accountant will also require a copy of this credit memo, so be sure to supply it to them at tax time.

See How do I issue a credit memo?

You should issue a credit memo if you realise you have invoiced us incorrectly, or if we identify you have invoiced us incorrectly. We’ll always let you know when it’s necessary from our side.

If you are creating invoices in accounting software, consult its help guides for “credit memo” (may be called a “credit note”).

If you make invoices “manually” in a word processor or spreadsheeting program, from a practical perspective, we recommend the following approach:

  1. Make a copy of the original (incorrect) invoice
  2. Rename the copy, appending “credit memo”, and assign a new, unique invoice number
    1. It is essential this invoice number has not been used before!
  3. Open the copy – we’re going to make some edits
  4. Change the word “Invoice” to “Credit memo”
  5. Change the invoice number to be the same as used in the new file name
  6. Change the date to today
  7. Add a minus symbol (-) to each line item, subtotals, VAT, and grand total
  8. Save to PDF
  9. Send the new file to financial.controller@abbywinters.com,
    1. In the Subject of the email, indicate this is a credit note
    2. Attach the original, incorrect invoice to the same email

The original, incorrect invoice is cancelled out. So now, you can issue a new, correct invoice – with a new unique invoice number.

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