How do you post an invoice not received in France?

  1. Introduction
  2. What are invoices not received and what are they used for?
  3. When can an invoice be considered as not received?
  4. How do you post invoices not received?
    1. Example invoice not received
    2. Reversal of entries
  5. What is the limitation period for invoices not received?

Invoices not received ("les factures non parvenues" or FNPs in French) – or payments not posted – require special accounting treatment. This article explains what they are, how they affect your business's accounts and how to record your inventory entries correctly. You'll also find an example of how invoices not received are posted and the tools that you need to speed up your inventory entries.

What's in this article?

  • What are invoices not received and what are they used for?
  • When can an invoice be considered as not received?
  • How do you post invoices not received?
  • What is the limitation period for invoices not received?

What are invoices not received and what are they used for?

An invoice is considered not received when a supplier has delivered goods or provided a service to a customer but the customer has not received the invoice by the end of its accounting period.

Posting invoices not received neutralises (or adjusts) the effect of the time lag between the delivery of goods or the rendering of a service and the receipt of the invoice. This is an accounting principle known as "cut-off".

You need to record an invoice not received when the invoice date is later than the end of the accounting period. In this case, you record the invoice as an invoice not received by the end of the accounting period when the inventory entries are recorded.

When can an invoice be considered as not received?

There are two situations where invoices are considered as not received:

  • When goods are delivered or a service is provided and the invoice is neither issued by the supplier nor received by the customer.
  • When a fixed asset is received or a subcontracted service is performed during the month, but the invoice is dated or issued in the following month.

How do you post invoices not received?

Posting invoices not received is key to preparing a correct balance sheet at the end of the business's accounting period. Invoices not received affect a business's accounts in terms of its trade payables and foreseeable expenditure.

To post an invoice not received, you need to:

  • Debit the expense account (class 6) with the purchase amount exclusive of taxes on the goods or service related to the invoice not received.
  • Debit account 44586 "taxes sur le chiffre d'affaires sur factures non parvenues" ("Turnover tax on invoices not received") by the amount of value-added tax (VAT) to be adjusted.
  • Credit account 408 "fournisseurs – factures non parvenues" ("Suppliers – invoices not received") by the amount of the goods or service inclusive of all taxes.

Note that account 408 is broken down as follows:

  • Account 4081 for suppliers of goods and services (or operations)
  • Account 4084 for suppliers of fixed assets
  • Account 4088 for accrued interest due from suppliers (a special account to record late payment penalties due as well as lump sum compensation)

Make sure that you credit the appropriate account.

Example invoice not received

Let's say that your business receives goods worth £1,000 exclusive of taxes on 29 December, two days before your year-end closing (31 December). The vendor does not issue an invoice when the goods are delivered.

To post the invoice not received, you need to:

  • Debit the expense account (class 6) with £1,000 (amount exclusive of taxes).
  • Debit account 44586 "TVA à régulariser" ("VAT to be adjusted") by £196.
  • Credit account 4081 "fournisseurs – factures non parvenues de fournisseurs de biens et services" ("Suppliers – invoices not received from suppliers of goods and services") with £1,196 (amount includes taxes).

Reversal of entries

At the opening of the next accounting period, it is important to reverse the entries of an invoice not received to cancel them. The entries are cancelled so that you don't post the invoice twice. The reversal is done by debiting account 408 by the amount inclusive of all taxes, crediting the expense account with the amount of the purchase exclusive of taxes and crediting account 44586 with the VAT amount.

To return to our example, on 1 January (the opening date of the accounting period), you need to debit account 4081 by £1,196, credit the expense account with £1,000, and credit account 44586 with £196.

Once you've received the invoice, you can post it as usual.

What is the limitation period for invoices not received?

The limitation period for invoices not received is five years from the date of delivery or performance of the service: you must post these invoices as a debt until you receive the relevant invoices. In the event of a dispute, you must retain proof of receipt for the goods or performance of the service.

As a business, you can integrate your accounting solution with Stripe to automate your inventory entries. To learn how to sync your existing tools (such as NetSuite and QuickBooks Desktop) with Stripe, visit Stripe Apps. You can get started using Stripe today to achieve your business goals.

The content in this article is for general information and education purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Stripe does not warrant or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy, or currency of the information in the article. You should seek the advice of a competent attorney or accountant licensed to practice in your jurisdiction for advice on your particular situation.

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