Correct advance invoices — cumulative or fixed?

Lukas Bartels



4 mins

The two types of markdowns

Die VOB (Procurement and Contract Rules for Construction Services) provides for two options for submitting advance invoices. The first variant is supposedly easier: package tees. Option two may sound more complicated, but in the end it's not rocket science either: cumulative (also cumulative) tees.

Important information about advance invoices

Advance invoices are - completely in difference toward Partial invoices - with consummation based on your performance, i.e. a decrease. Similar to a normal invoice, the advance invoice must also have all include relevant information.

In some regions, advance invoices are also called “account” and in the end they all mean the same thing: A down payment of the services to be provided.

An example

You install new flooring in an apartment and issue an advance invoice before you start, for example to have the material paid off. No service has been provided here yet, and therefore no acceptance can take place.

Flat rate reductions

They are supposedly simple because they in principle, in terms of structure and preparation, are similar to normal invoices. They each show an amount at the end and are valid on their own. That is why they are also called Flat rate reductions.

In practice, a “lump sum” of, for example, 50% of material costs is often discounted at the start of the job or, if progress is made, a percentage of the total order.

1. Abschlagsrechnung, stark vereinfachte Variante mit pauschal ausgewiesener Anzahlung
1. Advance invoice, highly simplified version with a lump sum down payment

This is good for your wallet, i.e. your liquidity management. By the way, this applies equally to large and small companies.

It only gets interesting when it comes to the final bill: this forms all positions (services, material, etc.) of Overall contract from and may only be set up after construction approval has been completed.

In her must Previously created deductions can of course be charged - because the discounted lump sums have already been received.

Practical tip: If amounts from deductions are still outstanding, this should be comprehensibly disclosed to the customer in a separate payment statement and claim the final invoice amount minus all payments actually made (“outstanding claim”).

Cumulative reductions

Let's start with the word “cumulative” (often also cumulative). In this case, reductions are cumulative, i.e. based on one another. They are frequently used in practice and many construction companies, architects and builders demand them. Why

Because they show the progress of construction.

This means that each discount shows more services and materials or (larger quantities) than the previous discount. They reflect the current performance status of the order at all times.

They are structured accordingly differently from lump sum reductions. You must already offset previous advance invoices between each other.

Differences in practice

In practice, the first advance calculation is similar to both methods. In principle, it is a normal invoice, as there is still nothing to calculate.

Beispiel eines einfachen Abschlags i.H.v 1.000€ netto, 1.190€ brutto
Example of a simple discount of €1,000 net, €1,190 gross

Starting with the 2nd advance invoice, however, you then receive an invoice statement in a cumulative discount series, which offsets, i.e. deducts, the previous discount. As described above, the cumulative 2nd discount also lists the services already billed (in the example Material 1 and Material 2).

Example of a billing table in the 2nd discount (cumulated)

The final bill

In both variants, the Final invoice At the end, list the total output and compare discounts. This then results in the total amount of the final invoice (in our example gross 5,950.00 EUR) and the deductions made and their payment, the outstanding claim amount still to be paid. In our example, this is after a down payment of:

  • Total amount of the order = amount of the final invoice: 5,950 EUR
  • Discount 1:1,190 EUR
  • Discount 2:595 EUR
  • Outstanding claim: 4,165 EUR
Beispiel einer Schlussrechnung im Handwerk, Verrechnung der Abschlagsrechnungen (Akonto) / Anzahlungen
Example of a final invoice in crafts, settlement of advance invoices (account)/down payments

In Plancraft, you have the option in advance invoices to receive a separate Payment statement Have it added as an extra supplement. This shows in detail which payments your customer made and when (provided that you have entered them properly in Plancraft). Cash discounts or security withholdings are also shown properly.

What do I have to consider when there are cumulative discounts?

If you still want to write and calculate lump sum reductions, you can easily and Do not have to take any further action.

If you want to switch from flat discounts to cumulative discounts, you must note that from now on, you always reject the current order progress. Accordingly, a new discount must show at least the scope of benefits of the previous discount.

If you only add services/material that have been due for the settlement since the last discount, your cumulative advance invoice can Turn out too low (... because your previous deductions are taken into account, i.e. deducted).


It is not difficult to set discounts. You just need to know what you're doing. Here is the most important information:

  • Advance invoices do not necessarily require partial acceptance of your services
  • There are 2 types: lump sum and cumulative deductions
  • Flat-rate deductions are virtually individual invoices that are only settled in the final invoice
  • Cumulative reductions show construction progress, i.e. grow with every discount
  • Cumulative deductions are calculated from the 2nd advance statement
  • Either way, all previous deductions must be taken into account in the final invoice
  • Both variants are permitted in the VOB, but cumulative invoices are often required in practice

And remember: a final invoice always requires your building approval.


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