I have a supplier that sends me invoices in advance, with so many days to pay. I want to enter these invoices into my accounting software as soon as they arrive, so I know what my commitment is for the upcoming month. When I pay the invoice (online) the invoice number changes, so it no longer matches what I have in my accounting software.
I found this very confusing and difficult to deal with. I asked the company about it and they said that the unpaid invoice was a 'proforma' and when it gets paid, then it becomes an invoice and the number changes, because its a new document.
To my mind, that's an odd way of doing things - but they are unlikely to change it and I need to work out how best to deal with it.
I use Office Accounting 2009 - which is actually a really nice bit of software but regrettably no longer available. OA doesn't support proforma invoices directly. If I wanted to issue a proforma myself, then I would create it as a sales order, then print it out using the proforma template - but internally it is a sales order document.
But I'm not issuing the proforma, I'm receiving it. Inferring from the reverse process, it seems likely that one way to model this would be to enter a purchase order to represent the received proforma, then convert it to an invoice when the bill is paid. Unfortunately that then means there has to be an intermediate step of a Goods Received Note (GRN) which is wierd (there are no goods, its a service) and it makes the whole process very tedious.
So, lets get to the questions.
Pro-forma invoice from an abroad company is akin to a sales estimate here in the United States. Given that it sounds as though your vendor won't issue you an actual invoice - and if you are on accrual accounting, and if you plan on paying an invoice in X days, then just book the pro-forma invoice in to your accounts payable when you receive it. Then pay it later, as you normally would. This will cause the expense to be booked on your income statement and the accounts payable on your balance sheet to increase. When you pay, the accounts payable will reduce and your cash will reduce.