Subscription Billing - Free Text Invoice or Sales Order?

When setting up Subscription billing, there are two options for setting up the Recurring contract billing Invoice transaction type - Sales order or Free text invoice. 

Sales order vs Free text invoice


Within the Recurring contract billing parameters, you can specify which Invoice transaction type you'd like the Recurring contract billing to be. This will be the default whenever you create a new Recurring billing contract unless you modify it at the header level. 

Parameters page with Invoice transaction type dropdown set to Sales order
Invoice transaction type setting in the Recurring contract billing parameters

So, what should you choose? 

Free text invoice

The benefits of using Free text invoice include:

  • No need for items, just type in the description
  • Can set the pricing to whatever you want (automatically defaults the line to Flat pricing method)
  • Specify Main account per line, or set up in Deferral defaults

The drawbacks of using Free text invoice include:

  • Cannot use trade agreements for pricing, as there are no items

Sales order

The benefits of using Sales order include:

  • Flexibility with pricing
  • Can use Tier and Flat tier pricing methods using trade agreements
  • Can automatically set deferrals on specific items and item groups that cannot be done at the Free text invoice level

The drawbacks of using Sales order include:

  • You have to set up items (some people find this tedious 😉)


If you have a simple, straightforward approach to billing subscriptions and don't mind a little bit of manual entry, then the Free text invoice is a clear winner. 

If you have complex pricing, prefer to use items, and want to set it and forget it, Sales order invoice is the clear winner for you!

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