News Details

File Naming Standards - Saving the environment - by NOT printing invoices
Ref: 154

Date: Tue 03/Mar/2020, 12:09

Update 29/Oct/2020: These standards have been submitted to the International Standards Organizationwww.iso.org, with a further update on the 05/Sep/2021.

In light of the fact that there is a big worldwide push to go green and save the environment every which way we can, we, like many other companies, no longer print invoices. We and many other companies sending invoices now have the name of the PDF file appropriate to the invoice in question so this can be done easily and efficiently.

Invoices from suppliers with a name like "invoice.pdf" or similar is of not much use to us and other companies trying to save the environment by going green because we have to rename each invoice we receive for it to be able to be stored in the same folder of incoming invoices, otherwise later invoice files would overwrite previous invoice files. Time is money, and receiving invoices in the right format would save a lot of time over the year, every year.

We therefore request that all suppliers change the names of their invoice files to the following format:

SupplierName_ClientName_Type_2020-03-24_InvoiceNumber_£23.94.pdf

The details of which are:

SupplierName - the Supplier name and therefore all kept together in the folder.

ClientName - the Client name, in this case EdgeImpact. This is very handy for people handling the accounts of multiple businesses, like admin people and accountants for example, because they know immediately which business it refers to and avoids mistakes.

Type - the type of document, this can be Invoice, Statement, Receipt, Cash Sale, Telephone Call logs, and other documents as well. Distinguishing which document it is, is important.

2020-03-24 - The date in International Date Format, YYYY-MM-DD, which results in the files being chronologically sorted within the "Incoming_Invoices" folder and results in no confusion as to whether it is UK type date formats or USA type date formats. Which also means if there is a regular monthly invoice missing it is immediately obvious, and is only one folder is used for these then all the files pertaining to a year are blocked together, as they are for each month.

InvoiceNumber - the Invoice number so that two invoices coming from the same supplier in the same day do not cause a problem when saving a file, and if there is an invoice number in question then it can be found easily and quickly.

£23.94 - the amount of the invoice so that a relevant invoice can be found easily and quickly.

The "_" between the different sections is used for division so it makes for easy reading and doesn't get confusing when for example we have had "2021-09-05-2181-31-9076" and it turns out that "2181-31-9076" is the invoice number. How much easier is it to see "2021-09-05_2181-31-9076".

If incoming documents are named in this format then they can be simply moved to annual accounting folders named in the following format, for example: "Accounts_2019-08_2020-07\Invoices_Incoming".

Thank you for helping the environment and please encourage your suppliers and customers to not print invoices, statements and other documents.

To the UK Government, other governments around the world, and the International Standards Organisation (ISO), please introduce these standards and regulations to encourage suppliers to conform to this naming format.

Ken Good
Managing Director


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