What is Reserves (Invoice)?

In the context of an invoice, the term “reserve” typically refers to a portion of the total amount owed by the buyer that is withheld or set aside for a specific purpose. Reserves on an invoice are often used in transactions where there may be uncertainties or disputes regarding the final payment amount. Here’s how reserves on an invoice might work:


  1. Reason for Reserves: Reserves on an invoice may be established for various reasons, such as pending completion of certain tasks, unresolved issues, potential defects in goods or services provided, or to cover potential adjustments or claims.
  2. Amount of Reserve: The invoice will specify the total amount owed by the buyer, as well as the specific amount being reserved. This reserved amount is typically deducted from the total payment due.
  3. Purpose of Reserve: The invoice should clearly state the reason for the reserve and any conditions that need to be met before the reserved amount is released or adjusted. This could include completing additional work, resolving disputes, or confirming the quality of goods or services.
  4. Release of Reserve: Once the conditions for releasing the reserve are met, the seller may issue a credit note or amend the invoice to adjust the total payment amount accordingly. Alternatively, if the reserved amount is no longer needed, it may be released back to the buyer.
  5. Documentation: It’s important for both parties to maintain proper documentation regarding the reserves on the invoice, including any correspondence, agreements, or evidence related to the reasons for establishing the reserve and the eventual release or adjustment of the reserved amount.


Overall, reserves on an invoice provide a mechanism for managing uncertainties or disputes in transactions, ensuring that both parties have a clear understanding of their financial obligations and any contingencies that may affect the final payment amount.