Invoicing is a fundamental piece of the business puzzle for all construction companies. However, it can also become one of the most tedious processes, especially for those running a construction business solo. No matter how busy you are, you must not treat invoicing as a last-minute task, after all, you're doing this for the money right? So getting paid should be your priority.
One of the best billing practices to ensure you get paid on time is to generate clear and detailed invoices so your customers fully understand deadlines, penalties, and payment details. It's also important to send the invoice to your client as quickly as possible. The longer you wait, the less time you will have to clear out any doubts and the less likely it is for you to get paid on time. This will ultimately lead to a poor cash flow in your business and affect your finances with a higher debt-ratio.
But how do you achieve this without taking so much valuable time off of your working day? Start by having a comprehensive and reliable construction invoice template. This will save you a lot of time, as all you'll have to do is fill out the client's information and the construction work details. Let's review the basic elements that a bulletproof construction invoice template should include.
What Elements Should Construction Invoice Templates Include?
When billing for construction jobs, it's vital to make sure the invoice template contains all the necessary information and leave no room for mistakes or doubts. Invoice requirements may vary depending on the specific construction project you're working on, however, there are some basic and critical elements to include in your construction invoice template. Let's review them.
Your Business Information
First, you want to make sure your customer knows exactly who they are receiving an invoice from. Your basic construction invoice template should include your name or business name if you registered it differently. Add the registered address, and contact details such as phone number and email.
Invoice Number and Date
This is a simple addition to your construction invoice template, but it can save you time and trouble as some accounts payable departments will not accept your invoice without a unique invoice number. Additionally, including the date helps you determine late fees, due date, and give your client a sense of urgency regarding the payment.
Next, you must include the name and address of the person who you will be working for, or the specific person that needs to receive the invoice. Keep in mind some project owners might be running different jobs at the same time, so it is also a good idea to include a space in your template for the job site address (if it's different than the previously mentioned).
Materials and Labor Costs
It's important to include an itemized list of all the types of materials used. Separate the quantities of each type of material, their unit price and the total cost for each type of material. You may also include the delivery cost of materials and potential waste.
Your construction invoice template should also include a labor breakdown. Make sure to add a separate column for labor description, rate per hour, the number of labor hours, and the total cost. To make your invoice easier to understand, make sure you separate the materials from the labor costs.
Depending on the type of construction job and location, there may be additional expenses that might not fall under the materials section. These can be parking fees, equipment rentals like bulldozers or cranes, permits or temporary office space at the construction site. You can also make these added expenses part of your construction invoice template, including them as an itemized list.
The totals section on your construction invoice template should include the subtotal, tax amount, and the final balance. If you added extra fees (like a late payment penalty from the previous month) or any discounts, make sure to include them after the subtotal, and then add another subtotal amount, subtracting those adjustments before you factor in the taxes. Having a clear breakdown will make things easier for your customer and save them some guesswork.
Construction Invoice Payment Information
Finally, dedicate a section for the payment details, including the payment due date (usually 30 days from invoice date), available payment methods (PayPal, ACH transfer, check, etc...) and account numbers. This is also the place to include any payment terms you might offer such as early payment discounts, or installment options as well as late payment fees.
It's important to clearly lay out the payment guidelines so your customers know exactly when you are expecting the payment as this will help keep the business relationship in good terms.
Use Our Free Invoice Template for Your Construction Business
If you are a small construction business owner and are not entirely sure how to go about developing your own invoice template, save yourself the headache and use Bonsai's fully customizable free construction invoice template.
With just a few tweaks and your personal touch, you will have well-designed and professional invoices to help you get paid on time with minimum effort. Our free construction invoice template will help you save time, reduce billing errors, keep better invoice tracking, and convey a more professional image to your customers.
For even more efficiency in your billing process, use our automated invoicing software to create your next invoice, send payment reminders, add late fees, and ultimately get paid faster. Isn't that the dream? Check out our all-in-one business hub for more tools to bill clients and run your freelance business like a pro.
Last-Minute Tips For Professional Invoicing
Before you go, let's go over some tips for professional invoicing for your construction businesses. These best practices will help you make better use of Bonsai's free invoice templates and maintain a better relationship with your clients.
Personalize Your Contractor Invoice Template
When using our free construction invoice templates, make sure it reflects your company's style. An easy way to do this is by adding a professional logo of your construction company and name, aside from the actual business information section we mentioned before. You can also add lines for a personal or thank you note for your clients at the bottom of the invoice template.
Use Early Payment Incentives
While at first glance it may seem like bad business to voluntarily give up a percentage of your income. However, offering a slight discount on your payment terms can help you have fewer invoices completely overdue. It can also save you any additional expenses and wasted time going after accounts that may be late.
At the same time, you can also establish a late payment policy, including a percentage of interest accumulated for overdue amounts, as well as the costs you incur for collecting such amounts.
If your client is late on a payment and has not given any indication that a payment is on the way, don't hesitate to check in. Most of the time they just need a gentle reminder, and they'll have no problem sending a check over. You could start by sending an email, which will also help you have a timestamp on this follow-up process, and if you don't hear back after a couple of days, try a phone call.
You don't necessarily have to wait until the payment is late, instead, try to maintain an open communication before the due date reminding your clients to make payments in a timely manner.