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Attorney invoices are essential accounting documents needed for a successful legal practice. Attorneys used invoices to bill clients officially for their services. After carrying out a legal service, an attorney needs to create a detailed invoice that itemizes all the services provided plus the total amount due for the client.  An attorney invoice should include the number of hours billed plus tax and other details that would affect the total amount. 

Administrative tasks like billing and invoicing may demand so much time if you don’t adopt a flexible solution to hand it. You can streamline the process to reduce the time spent on creating and sending your attorney invoice to clients by choosing an electronic invoicing solution

Bonsai makes tracking and entering billable time easy for attorneys with intuitive solutions that save and make them concentrate on their core legal services. If this sounds good to you, browse through the templates available to choose a fast invoicing solution.

Image credits: bill4time.com

If you are still wondering how to customize your attorney invoice, see the next section of this article. 

The anatomy of an attorney invoice

What should your attorney invoice include? Attorney invoices could take any form; basically, the bill should cover the following categories: 

1. Basic data

The first part of your invoice should cover the essential details that your client needs to clear your invoice. Below is the basic minimum date required, especially if you want to edit an attorney invoice online or you are working with time.

The invoice should clarify the following:

  • Your personal information- chamber name, email address, and phone contact 
  • Information of client responsible for the payment (name, contact address, contact, and phone number)
  • Amount due
  • Due date of payment
  • Acceptable terms & method
  • Where to send payment

Note that you are in business, and you are sending your attorney invoice to get paid; hence, make it simple to improve the client's response time.

2. The obvious details

Keep in mind the below details when writing your attorney invoice template:

2.1. Previous payment

Adding this information to help clients see their payment tally posted to their account. Usually, a client may not be eager to check this section if your invoice except there’s a disagreement or balance dispute drawn from their retainer. If applicable, your record will serve as a positive reinforcement to that effect.

2.2. Fees per hour break down

A transparent record of your charges per hour gives the client a sense of your performance and accountability. The client would see if you accidentally bill for paralegals at the rate of a senior attorney. It's easy to make such a mistake, but it's not an idea you want a client to have about you.

Remember, clients often hire attorneys based on trust.

2.3. Billing date

Add the date you created the attorney invoice. It would matter when a client who pays late complains about the last payment not reflecting in the invoice. 

Image Credits: invoicingtemplate.com

2.4. Discount and late payment

If you decide to offer client discounts for early payment, add the rate and penalty for a delayed response. Deal with care here, but the policy may help set some clear boundaries for payment. 

3. Hidden details 

Outline service against performance -list what you've done against the promised deliverables. Also, let the client know what you gave as discounts if applicable. It is worthless to you and the client if it's not seen. Beware of bringing up a discount after sending your attorney invoice; the client may assume you are utilizing the tool to take advantage of them. 

Work schedule date - it’s not common to find work completion date for each service completed on invoices in the legal industry. Nonetheless, it will help minimize disputes when it comes to payment. A detailed work scheduled with dates communicates to the client your consistency to clients. Besides, they can deduce if the time allotted is reasonable and appropriate.

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