Invoice and Reimbursement Examples

When you should choose between the two different expense types.


Invoices should be used to pay individuals for work completed on behalf of the collective. Unlike reimbursements, a photo or a PDF of an invoice document is not required for invoices to be submitted on the Open Collective platform. However, there are some requirements for how an invoice is opened on the platform itself.

Invoices must meet the following criteria to be paid:

  • Must have a description of the work done, and the amount of time (normally in hours) spent on work or time covered (normally in months).
  • The payee must include their billing address.
  • The payee's name must match the billing contact.
  • For any invoice over $5000USD:
    • the payee can’t be the one who approved the expense (unless they are the sole admin) and;
    • the payee must be a verified user or provide a form of banking integration.
Regarding descriptions: Invoices need a clear description of services rendered and provide sufficient detail to make it clear what the collective is paying for. This is because this description may be checked by our accountant for compliance. That means that someone with no knowledge of your project, and only a limited knowledge of open source, should be able to understand what was done from the description.
To make this easier, we suggest:
  • Using words like "maintenance" or "development", instead of more generic words like "payment" or "work".
  • Adding the link to the relevant GitHub issue or other public code tracker
  • Adding a link to any external documentation that may help make this clear, such as a blog post for awards, a changelog for development work, or similar.
We may mark an invoice incomplete and follow up on invoices which lack sufficient explanation of the work performed. This does not mean we are cancelling your payment, but that we need you to add more detail to the description.


You could include the detail of the work done in the description field of each line item.
Bug bounties can include a link to the fix
Or you can create one invoice for the total and attach your own invoice or time tracker to detail the work done. Here are examples of attachments.
If you use a time tracker report, please include your hourly rate in the invoice


Use reimbursements to pay for purchases, donations, or subscriptions made on behalf of the collective.
Receipts are required so that we can ensure the requested amount matches the purchased amount in order to approve the reimbursement.
A valid receipt contains:
  1. 1.
    Name of the vendor (person or company you paid)
  2. 2.
    Transaction date (when you paid)
  3. 3.
    A detailed description of goods or services purchased (what you bought)
  4. 4.
    Amount paid
  5. 5.
    The currency in question. This is normally clear from the address and the currency symbol.
  6. 6.
    Form of payment (cash, check, or last four digits of the credit card)