I reached out to conference for invoice of conference registration. However, I was told that they only issue a receipt. There is not way to issue an invoice of my registration. I was little confused about the response of an international conference. I wonder if this is common to accept as it is or I can further discuss conference organizer about it.

  • Could you elaborate on why you think you need an invoice? – mmeent Oct 28 at 10:42
  • @mmeent: See the first comment from the OP below the accepted answer: "...because my administer rejected my reimbursement request due to lack of invoice." – Heinzi Oct 28 at 10:45
  • @Heinzi Yes, but comments are not the place to clarify a question. – mmeent Oct 28 at 10:46
  • @mmeent: I agree. I just wanted to give you the information you were looking for. If your comment was not meant as a request for information, but rather as a suggestion for the OP to improve their question, I apologize for misunderstanding it as the former. – Heinzi Oct 28 at 11:32

I have organized conferences. The majority of participants will be served well by the conference's standard operating procedure. But there will be a minority which may not be so small, who require special help. For instance: invitation letters, participation certificates, receipts and invoices that need to be formulated in a specific way or need to mention project names or numbers. A good conference organizer will try to accommodate as many of these requests as possible. After all, many of these requests will stem from problems that the participant would otherwise have with getting reimbursed, or attending the conference; nobody benefits from that.

The tricky bit is that many of these requests come in the middle of a very busy time for the conference organizers. They are organizing a conference, after all. Especially for the bigger, international conferences, attendees can number in the thousands, and the number of things to do can explode when the conference comes nearer even without accommodating individual requests. I can imagine that organizers of such conferences decide on a blanket ban on non-standard procedures. It isn't nice, but I can understand it.

Ask yourself: do you really need an invoice and a receipt, or will one of the two do? Are you in a hurry with this, or can it also wait for a week or two (maybe the organizers will have more time then), or even until after the conference? If the invoice and the timing is of critical importance to you, you might consider insisting in a further email. But ask yourself whether it is worth it.

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    I cannot speak for all conference organizers, but if I were to receive a message from a participant saying that they are not getting reimbursed because their departmental policies require an invoice, I would write out an invoice. If you write them again (with which I would not wait, given that the conference is in the past), please stress that point: their refusal is preventing you from getting your money back. – Wetenschaap Oct 27 at 22:28
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    @AcerDC If it were me I would probably start with more pressure on the administrator rather than the conference organizer. An invoice tells you what you need to pay. A receipt shows that you've paid something. If you've already paid, then an invoice doesn't really make much sense. Perhaps there is some other feature the administrator needs the documentation to provide (such as what exactly is included in the fees) and not really an invoice. – Bryan Krause Oct 27 at 22:37
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    @BryanKrause Every university and every country is different in this respect. My experience in the countries in which I've worked, is that once a financial department has a reimbursement policy, it is next to impossible to get them to deviate from that policy. Of course, your mileage, and therefore also the mileage of the OP, may vary. – Wetenschaap Oct 27 at 22:42
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    @BryanKrause "An invoice tells you what you need to pay. A receipt shows that you've paid something." In the United States, yes, but in some other countries an invoice shows what you paid. – Anonymous Physicist Oct 28 at 2:17
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    In some countries (such as mine, Austria), an invoice needs to contain certain formal characteristics (e.g. invoice number, applicable taxes, VAT ID number) that receipts can lack. – Heinzi Oct 28 at 9:21

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