Business Studies

Types of Office documents

Office documents are the books kept to show records of sales and purchases a company or organization makes.

Sales and purchases are made in business organizations so therefore those working in the company should keep proper records on the sales and purchases made in the organization.

  1. Types of office documents

Types of office Documents are

  1. The sales documents
  2. The purchase documents


Invoice: The invoice is an important business document. It is a document containing information about the goods sold and purchased. To the seller of goods, it is known as the sales invoice, where as it is known as the purchase invoice to the buyer.

An invoice usually contains

  1. Name and address of the supplier or seller
  2. Name and address of the buyer
  3. Invoice number and date
  4. The buyer’s order number
  5. Details of the goods purchased or services received from the sellers
  6. Price per unit
  7. Terms of payment
  8. Trade discount and cash discount (if any)
  9. Transport cost
  • Account number of the seller
  • Taxes payable
  • Error and omissions expected (E and O. E)
  • The signature of the manager

Five copies of an invoice are always prepared and they are distributed as follows

  • Original copy belongs to the customer
  • One copy is for the seller’s account department
  • One is kept in the sales department file
  • A copy is sent to the seller’s stores or warehouse
  • The last copy is kept as a duplicate delivery note to be kept by the customer after delivery.

Debit Note: A debit note is usually sent by a seller to a buyer to indicate an increase in the amount (the buyer) owes. It is a document similar to an invoice

A debit note may be sent to a customer (buyer) if:

  1. The seller undercharged the buyer on the invoice. For an example if goods worth #200 are invoiced at #150, a debit note of #50 will be sent to the customer for payment.
  2. The seller sent goods of better quality which the customer has agreed to retain
  3. For any reason the amount on the invoice is less than the one that is due from the customer

Day Book: The day book is kept by the supplier for the day to day records of every order received in a day book. It contains the name, the value of order, the order number etc. It is a quick means for checking orders.


The following are some of the purchasing document

  • Requisition: A requisition is a document meant for internal use only. It contains all the things needed by the department and the type of materials, the quantity and size required. It must be signed by the head of that department and sent to the purchasing officer.
  • Letter of enquiry: This is the letter that is compiled by the purchasing officer after collating the requisition from various departments. He later identifies possible supplier(s) He/ she sends a letter or makes a phone call to enquire the availability, price and possible delivery date of the goods
  • Order: When a customer receives a catalogue and price list, he can then order goods by mail, phone or through the internet. The order form must contain the right details of the goods and services required by the customers. Copies of the order are usually sent to
  1. the supplier
  2. the buyer’s goods inward section or the ware house
  3. the accounts department
  4. the buyer’s file

Test and Exercise

  1. ———————– are the books kept to show records of sales and purchases a company or organization makes (a) office document (b) sales day book (c) purchase day book (d) postage book
  2. the original copy of an invoice belongs to (a) the customer (b) seller’s account department (c) sales department (d) seller’s store
  3. ——— is a document containing information about goods sold or purchased (a) debit note (b) invoice (c) sales document (d) day book
  4. ———— is the letter written to state the needs of different department in an organization (a) letter of enquiry (b) requisition (c) debit note (d) credit note
  5. A note sent to the seller to a buyer to indicate an increase in the amount the buyer owes is called (a) credit note (b) debit note (c) dispatch note (d) order

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