The A-Z of business documents 

Do you know your invoices from your purchase orders? With plenty of business document types out there, you’d be forgiven for not fully understanding the purpose of each one. We’ve created a breakdown of the most widely used business documents, so you can get to grips with them – once and for all…

Credit Notes

Credit notes – or credit memos – are issued by sellers to buyers as evidence of the reduction in sales. Credit notes can be used to reduce the amount that a customer owes you, or the amount that you owe to your supplier.

PDFDataNet note:- Converting PDF credit notes would be part of the system for processing PDF supplier or AP invoices.

Goods Received Note  (GRN)

A goods received note – or GRN, for short – is an internal document which records the list of goods received from suppliers, serving as a proof of delivery.

PDFDataNet note:- GRNs tend to arrive as paper based documents with the delivered goods. ScanToPDF can be used to scan, OCR and convert the document to a text based PDF and PDFDataNet can then be used to find your PO number within the document and pass the PDF and indexing data to your downstream application.

Order Confirmations

Order confirmations are sent from the supplier to the buyer, confirming that the order has been received and accepted – reassuring the buyer that they will receive the service or product.

Picking Note

A picking note – otherwise known as a picking slip – is a document sent to warehouse pickers, letting them know which items they need to retrieve from their inventory in order to fulfil a customer order.

ScanToPDF note:- if you can print a barcode on your picking note then ScanToPDF Barcode Batch Scanning solution can be used to scan the picking notes.

Proof of Delivery note (POD)

A proof of delivery note – commonly referred to as a POD – is a document which functions like a receipt, to confirm that a delivery has been completed.

ScanToPDF note:- if you can print a barcode on your PODs then ScanToPDF Barcode Batch Scanning solution can be used to scan and automatically rename your PODs.

Purchase Invoices

A purchase invoice is given at the end of a transaction to confirm that you have purchased some goods or services.

PDFDataNet note:- PDFDataNet is widely used in automating the uploading of supplier or AP (accounts payable) invoices into an accounts system such as Sage 50..

Purchase Orders

Businesses create purchase orders to communicate a list of goods or services they’d like to purchase from a supplier. Purchase orders become sales orders when entered in the company’s system.

PDFDataNet note:- this is the most common application for PDFDataNet, automating the entry of purchase orders into a sales order processing system such as SAP B1.

Request for Quotation

A request for a quotation (RFQ) is the name for the process when a business solicits quotes from select suppliers and contractors for a particular project.

Remittance Advice

Customers send sellers remittance advice documents to let them know that an invoice has been paid, helping suppliers to match invoices with payments. They’re not mandatory to send, but it’s seen as a courtesy, although they’re becoming less and less common.

PDFDataNet note:- the details within the PDF remittance advice can be extracted and uploaded into an accounts system.

Sales Invoices

Businesses create sales invoices (or, simply ‘invoices’) to request a payment that’s due from someone who purchased something from them.

PDFDataNet note:- as Sales Invoices are generated by your sales order processing system you should not need to extract their data. However, PDFDataNet could be used to easily convert your PDF sales invoices into EDI messages for customers that require – or demand – an invoice in an EDI format.


A quote – otherwise known as a proposal – is a formal offer to a client in reply to a request for a product, price and availability.

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