Invoice and Reimbursements

When to use "invoice" vs. "reimbursement" and what is required on each


Invoices are used to pay people for labor or work done on behalf of the collective. Unlike reimbursements, you don't need to include a picture or PDF of an invoice to submit on Open Collective. However, invoices must meet specific criteria and include certain information:

Invoices Must Meet the Following Criteria:

  1. The "pay to" name (the payee) must match the name under "payout method"

  2. The "pay to" name (the payee) must include their billing address, which the payee will be prompted for when submitting the invoice

  3. Invoices can only be processed for work done during your tenure with Open Source Collective; we cannot process any invoices for work completed prior to becoming hosted by OSC

  4. For any invoice over $5,000 USD:

    • the payee can’t be the one who approved the expense (unless they are the sole admin), and;

    • payments must be made by electronic bank transfer via Wise, not PayPal

  5. If attaching a .pdf invoice that requires an address, the invoice should be made out to OSC:

Open Source Collective

440 N. Barranca Ave #3939

Covina, CA 91723

Invoices Must Include the Following Detail:

  1. A clear and detailed description of the work completed

    • This part is very important. Our accountants and auditors perform audits to ensure compliance. Make your descriptions simple, clear, and informative. Instead of writing "maintenance" or "support", specify what you're maintaining or supporting. A good rule of thumb when submitting an invoice: Explain it like I'm 5!

    • Whenever possible, please include links to the relevant changelogs, repositories, or blog posts to support your invoices. Providing links and other supporting documentation fosters transparency and expedites invoicing processing, allowing you to get paid quicker.

    • Do not solely use words like "work" or "payment"; those words do not describe the work completed.

  2. A time-frame of when the work was completed. Typically, this is specified by month and year or quarter. You may also share the hours worked, but please also specify the month as well.

    1. Eg: "February 2023", "q1 2023", or "5 hours in September 2023"

We might mark an invoice "incomplete" that lacks sufficient explanation of the work performed or is missing other important information. This does not mean we are canceling your payment, but we need you to add more detail to the description. In the event that your invoice is marked "incomplete", a collective admin will need to re-approve it after you have made the necessary revisions.

Invoice Examples

You can include the detail of the work done in the description field of each line item.

You can create one invoice for the total and attach your own invoice or time tracker to detail the work done. You do not need to attach your own invoice or time tracker for OSC, unless your collective requires it.

Another thing you could do is note something like: "Maintenance on core for the month of April, 2023." Here are examples of attachments:

Grants, Awards or Donations

Grants, awards, and donations should be used to reflect "gifts". Gifts can be given when there is no expectation of work to be performed on the project. However, we need an example of how this gift benefits the community. A URL to the award announcement or link to a discussion on your forums/discord is sufficient.

Example: 'Aosus writing contest' award announcement

If you are sending money to someone for contributions made to the project (code, documentation, design, community), please do not use these terms: "grant", "award", or "donation". You should instead use terms like 'supporting...', 'time spent on...', or 'maintenance on....'


Reimbursements are used to re-pay someone for expenses and costs for goods that have already been incurred on behalf of the collective.

Receipts are required so that we can ensure the requested amount matches the purchased amount to approve the reimbursement.

Do not use reimbursements to pay someone for services rendered to the collective. If someone needs to receive payment for work completed, please ask that person to file an invoice.

A valid receipt needs to be issued by the vendor and contains:

  1. The name of the vendor (person or company you paid)

  2. Transaction date (when you paid)

  3. A detailed description of goods or services purchased (what you bought)

  4. Amount paid

  5. The currency in question. This is usually clear from the address and the currency symbol.

  6. Form of payment (cash, check, or last four digits of the credit card)

When uploading the receipt into Open Collective, the date, currency, and amount given must match the receipt exactly. The name of the vendor or detailed description should also be generally clear.

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