Invoicing a Customer Before You Deliver the Goods

In the world of business, invoicing a customer before delivering the goods refers to the practice of issuing an invoice to a customer for a product or service that has not yet been provided. It is a strategic approach that allows businesses to secure their payments upfront and establish financial stability before fulfilling the customer’s order.


Invoicing a customer before delivering the goods has become fairly common in various industries, including information technology. This practice offers multiple benefits to both businesses and customers, such as improved cash flow management, risk mitigation, and streamlined operations. By understanding the advantages and applications of this invoicing method, IT professionals can make informed decisions that contribute to the overall success of their ventures.


1) Enhanced Cash Flow Management:

One of the key advantages of invoicing a customer before delivering the goods is the ability to manage cash flow effectively. By invoicing upfront, businesses can secure a portion or the full payment before expending resources to fulfill the customer’s order. This helps in maintaining steady cash flow and provides the necessary financial stability to cover operational costs and invest in future growth opportunities.

2) Risk Mitigation:

Invoicing before delivering the goods helps mitigate the risk of non-payment or delayed payments. By ensuring upfront payment, businesses reduce the chances of facing financial losses due to non-payment issues. This practice becomes crucial, especially when dealing with new or unknown customers, where trust and creditworthiness may be uncertain. It safeguards the business’s financial interests and allows for a smooth transaction process.

3) Streamlined Operations:

Invoicing before delivering the goods promotes operational efficiency. By completing the invoicing process upfront, businesses can initiate the procurement or manufacturing process promptly, without any delays caused by payment-related issues. This enables a seamless workflow, leading to improved productivity and customer satisfaction. Additionally, businesses can allocate resources and prioritize tasks based on confirmed orders, optimizing their operational efficiency.


1) Software Development:

Invoicing a customer before delivering the software solution is common in the IT sector. Software development projects often involve substantial upfront costs, such as analysis, design, and development efforts. By invoicing the customer beforehand, software development companies can secure the necessary funding to initiate the project and ensure smooth progress without financial constraints.

2) IT Consultancy Services:

IT consultancy firms frequently adopt the practice of invoicing before delivering the goods. As consultants provide expertise and advice to businesses, invoicing upfront allows them to secure payment for their valuable insights and recommendations. This arrangement ensures that the consultants’ efforts and time are adequately compensated before any further steps are taken.

3) Custom Software Development:

Custom software development companies often engage in projects that require significant resources and investments. By invoicing the customer before delivering the goods, these businesses can mitigate the risk of unpaid services and safeguard their financial interests. This approach ensures that the dedicated efforts of the development team are valued and remunerated appropriately.


Invoicing a customer before delivering the goods is a strategic approach adopted by businesses in the information technology sector and beyond. It provides multiple benefits, including enhanced cash flow management, risk mitigation, and streamlined operations. By employing this invoicing method, businesses can secure payments upfront, ensuring financial stability and allowing for efficient resource allocation. As the IT industry continues to evolve, understanding and implementing effective invoicing practices will remain crucial for sustainable growth and success.

This glossary is made for freelancers and owners of small businesses. If you are looking for exact definitions you can find them in accounting textbooks.

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