I investigated an unpaid invoice from several months ago. After contacting the customer, I realised the same job had already been invoiced (slightly different amount) and paid in full on a previous invoice. In accounting terms, is it okay to just delete the later invoice which should not have been raised in the first place?
This is a judgement call. I think there are two points of view:
Accounting records should never be deleted. The sales invoice was issued, so it should be preserved to memorialize all actions of the business. If you lean this way, the appropriate recovery is to issue a credit note in the same amount.
A true mistake can be corrected by deleting the erroneous transaction. This is an easy choice if the sales invoice has not been sent, but gets tougher if it has. If the sales invoice has gone to the customer, the customer deserves a written notification that it has been cancelled. And you should document the action in company records in case any confusion later arises.
Thanks, OK probably best to do a credit note so there are no invoice numbers missing which probably does raise questions later. As long as it simply disappears off accounts receivable as it shouldn’t have been sent in the first place. The customer is completely fine and has email confirmation to disregard the second invoice. I would have liked to do a quick and easy “Delete” of the invoice though