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After learning how to get into consulting, you'll know that a consulting business is one of the more popular freelance endeavors.
Compared to more transactional freelance work, however, it’s not as easy to develop a consulting invoice template to enforce what you agreed on with the consulting statement of work template. A freelance writer can charge by the word or page; a freelance graphic designer can develop an invoice based on a design proposal. Consultants often have more nuances to the work they do and what they charge.
A consulting invoice template becomes an important tool for a freelance consultant. Invoices need to capture the relevant information to expedite the objective - getting paid on time.
And while asking for payment may not be the favorite part of running your business, it’s an essential one, and it needs to be done right. Having a template can speed up the process and minimize the hassle.
Consultants need to send a consulting invoice whenever they complete a job or achieve a milestone so that clients can pay them for their service. A consulting invoice example includes detailed information about the service provided, the time spent on the job, and the break down of fees. To learn more about this, check out our guide on how to bill for consulting services.
Invoices primarily are meant to trigger payment after a service is rendered; besides this, the document is also useful in ensuring that consultants receive the full payment of their work. It is also a valuable document for record-keeping and tracking of the financial transactions of an independent consultant.
Let’s look at how to develop a consulting invoice template that makes it easy for clients to understand, and ensures you get paid.
Even with access to an invoicing system, you’ll want to follow our tips.
It’s hard to believe, but there are those who still swear by their paper and postage invoicing system. Switch to an electronic invoicing system that makes it easy to create and send bills, and save money as well.
It also means you can “carry” your office with you, as you can create, send and check invoices from anywhere. You can also automate invoicing with recurring payments and reminders. Some invoicing systems will notify customers, let you know when customers have read and paid the invoice, and allow you to connect invoices with proposals, time tracking and more.
Whether you’re choosing an online service or building an invoice from scratch, a template will allow you to build certain information into a re-usable document that you can use every time you bill a client for work.
Information to add to a basic invoice template includes:
If you save that template, you can use it and update it to send each time you complete work for a client.
You’ll need to include customer information on the invoice. That means the business name, the person to whom the payment request should be directed, the billing and/or mailing address (physical and electronic) and your preferred payment method.
If you’ll be invoicing the same client on a regular basis, like in the situation of a retainer relationship or a project with milestones, you may want to have a consulting invoice template created specifically for that client. You’ll then only need to update the section on the completed work and the payment due date each time you prepare an invoice.
This is where a consulting invoice template can differ from other freelance work. While a graphic designer may be able to invoice for a completed project, and a writer may be able to invoice for a completed blog post, for instance, a consulting invoice needs to explain the services provided and their cost. A consulting invoice template can’t simply have a dollar amount on it.
Your fees may be dependent on the consulting being provided. For instance, it could be an hourly rate for time spent with the client. It could be based on a completed piece of work, or milestones toward completing the project. The consulting invoice should be connected to the proposal and contract that you signed with the client that initiated the work. That makes it easy for the client to see that the work that was agreed to has been completed.
After detailing all the work and the cost for that work, include a section for relevant taxes, and provide information on any discounts, if applicable.
Here’s an example.
If you provide a discount to a regular client based on volume of work, indicate what the full-price cost would have been, and then the discounted cost. That helps the client see the value in the long-term relationship they have with your business.
Then, include a total amount due as well. That makes it easy for the client to know exactly what they owe you.
Having an excellent consulting invoice template isn’t just about creating one-off invoices. It also becomes a record-keeping system, in which you track all the invoices sent and the payments made.
This is especially helpful at tax time, but it’s also important when you’re juggling work with multiple clients, or doing significant work for one client that involves long periods of time and several milestones. You’ll be able to track where you are in each project and with each client.
You should be sending your invoice as soon as the work is completed. This keeps the work fresh in the mind of the client and helps encourage prompt payment. If it has been a long-term project for which partial payment has already been made, include that information as well.
Be sure your payment due date is correct, and be sure the invoice template has late payment terms. Make sure you allow sufficient time for the client to submit payment, but don’t make your terms so long that you don’t have cash flow.
Don’t be afraid to add a personal note to the client at the end of your consulting invoice. After all, you worked hard to gain the work, in part by getting to know the client and creating a personalized proposal. Treat the person who will pay you the same way.
If the work is complete, consider asking the client if they would be comfortable to serve as a reference, or if they would provide a testimonial.
Set up a system whereby you provide a gentle reminder to the client if a certain period of time elapses and you haven’t been paid. For instance, two weeks after sending the invoice, or a week before the due date.
The same is true of late payments. If your late payment time frame elapses, you’ll have to send a new invoice with the late fees added, and a new total amount due.
Aside from your regular consulting work, one of the intimidating tasks you'd have to manage before getting paid is drafting your invoices. Sending an invoice to clients is essential to get paid because the document is the official way of requesting payments from a client. The bill states the amount and the due date, as well as the term and conditions surrounding the payment. More often than not, consultants with busy project schedules often have an editable consulting invoice example or template to avid the stress of drafting the document for every job.
Consulting invoices may be sent to the client on completion of a milestone or at the end of the project. It depends on the agreement between parties (consultants and clients.) In cases where a job has to be completed before sending an invoice, consultants should ensure the consulting invoice example is edited, reviewed, and sent as soon as possible to clients. This way, clients may be reminded to pay on time since job completion is still fresh in memory.
Invoices may range from very simple to complex, depending on the nature of the project they are meant to cover. A professional consulting invoice example must have a combination of the following information.
Both client and consultant form the parties involved in the business relationship. Hence, name, contact address, email, website, and phone number of consultants, and the client must be included in the document.
Invoices often carry a number for easy reference and tracking. There are multiple ways of assigning invoice number to a consulting invoice. A chronological order system can be employed but is wide to break the number into different parts using letters and figures to avoid a one-off series of numbers like #45455656662.
Secondly, the document should include relevant dates like project completion and payment due date.
Include the service you’ve performed in line with the objective of your client when editing or drafting your consulting invoice example.
State your deliverables and break down your charges as you state the fees for each sub-task if applicable. Add the costs and boldened the sum for easy recognition.
State the payment terms and conditions clearly in the document. If you are going to be charing for late payment, add such information to this section and state the fees per hour, week, or month as applicable. Also, you may encourage a quick response by adding a discount clause on your consulting invoice example for clients who service your invoice on time.
For consultants, invoicing is a critical stage in the business process that ensures that income is received and managed efficiently. Invoices work both ways, creating a clear and correct certificate for the amount owed to you by the client, and gives the client a clear report that summarizes the services they are paying for. Thus, having a working invoice template is necessary. When creating a consultant invoice template, Excel is usually preferred by most consultants.
Sending consultant bill formatted in Excel and asking your clients to pay may not be the highlight of every business day for you as a freelancer or consultant; however, it is crucial to the survival of your business. One cannot undermine the place of a professional invoicing system in a business. It helps track the billing and account receivable, which is very important in filing freelancer and consultant taxes.
Now, because of the peculiarity of jobs, consultants may need a unique invoice that makes the process easy for them and their clients. If you are still thinking about how to draft one for your business, a consultant invoice template Excel would be of help if your services involve several things you need to itemize. In this article, we would explain the tips of choosing and adapting a consulting invoice for your requirements.
Download or draft a consultant invoice template Excel that is customizable. Decide the invoicing system, whether manual; or electronic, depending on your budget and plans. If you have chosen a manual invoicing system, there's room to add your requirements, and if automated, electronic software gives room for customization.
They let you create and manage consultant bills formatted in Excel on your mobile and create room for automation.
Once you’ve selected your invoicing system, it is time to customize the consultant invoice template Excel. Start with your business details like name, email address, contact, mailing address, and website. Next is your client information plus billing details. Depending on your work details, create room for hourly payment or fixed-rate payment to avoid repetition whenever you need to send a consulting services invoice template Excel.
Consultants payment terms determine how and when their invoices are paid. State your payment schedule and discuss it with your clients, so they don't see an invoice from now where. It is best you set short payment due date as some choose 15 or 30 days net.
Your invoice speaks volumes to your clients; therefore, you must pay attention to it. If you have much information or services to list, make it clear on your consultant invoice template Excel to avoid confusion and delay in payment. Avoid a lack of professionalism and influenced clients with your consulting services invoice template Excel. Add a logo, use your brand colors, the due date of invoice, and your preferred invoice number.
Some steps to follow if you want to make sure you get paid:
There no rigid rule in business once you understand your client. Start giving a considering the point of customizing your consultant invoice template Excel. If invoices are not paid on time, check if the document was delivered, check the address, and see if the fault was yours and don't lose your cool so soon. Since clients have no obligation to pay invoices until they receive invoices, you may delay your payment if you don’t send your invoice to your client on time.
It is not uncommon for consultants and freelancers to finish their work and forget to send a consulting services invoice template Excel to a client.
One percent discount is not uncommon to encourage your client to pay early. Besides, state your penalty for a late penalty because it is not every client that gets motivated with incentives.
Andy Clarke suggests that people avoid stiff business approaches and carefully craft an mail to explain the situation. After all, he says, the business remains business while people work with people.
Spreadsheets are versatile enough to be used by all audiences. For most beginners, consultant invoice templates in Excel make it easy to perform calculations and prepare invoices. The flexibility makes them preferred for a variety of uses. For example, you can use the consultant invoice template Excel for:
The beauty of a consultant invoice template Excel is that you can customize the look and feel of the invoices to reflect the image of the business. It is possible to outsource design work if you don't want to design the consultant invoice template from scratch. The resultant consultant invoice templates can be customized for individual clients afterward.
Consultant invoice templates in excel use invoice numbers that move chronologically. The figures take precedence over alpha-numeric tags that would otherwise be confusing for bookkeeping. If the books get tangled at any point, you could end up double-billing the client for services offered once. The chances are that the client also uses a bookkeeping system that will notice this issue, making your consultancy seem disorganized. Unique invoice numbers will mitigate this possibility of double-billing.
It is possible that there are changes to the initial task, especially after an invoice has been sent. A consultant invoice template Excel should allow for such a possibility. While some consultants would want to add to the invoice already submitted (thus editing the invoice), a new invoice number is recommended.
A new unique invoice number allows these changes to be captured clearly. This way, you can continue to use the original consultant invoice template to invoice in stages or as agreed before the project.
Using Excel for consultant invoicing makes use of a chronological arrangement of unique invoice numbers. Therefore, when receiving payments, you can track which payments have been received partially and in full. Without such a method, it is possible to miss out on partial payments or even bill a client for a service that has been paid. Checking these anomalies can be time-consuming and may negate the current template (if it doesn't use a chronological arrangement for unique invoice/payment numbers, instead of using "job names").
This method is how you create a consultant invoice template in Excel:
You will then use this template, customizing it for different clients depending on the products and services offered during the consultancy contract.
Freelancing and consulting jobs keep trending by the day. As a service consultant, the right way to be on top of your game is to have a smart and concise consultant invoice template Word. Irrespective of the services you deliver to clients, you want to be sure that you keep a proper record of your business while you receive your full payments.
Such an excellent package of transaction details is what a consultant invoice template Word offers you. For more information on why you need to keep such a record, here is a useful point for you.
As a freelancer, you cannot overemphasize the need to keep an eye on your business. Testimonies from consultants who have been diligent in the use of their invoices show that you can also watch your business grow astronomically, only by putting the right strategies in place. When it comes to creating a business invoice, you need no reason to worry as diverse online software can help you.
So, do you wish to follow this? Yes, we got you covered.
It all starts with a step ahead. Building a consultant invoice template Word requires essential tips that can serve as a guide for you. Listed below are some of them:
Since freelancing is all about meeting a client's needs, which requires your time, then a proper track of your time is vital. An adequately documented time tracker seems to be your very first step and best bet in creating your invoice.
Your business is incomplete without it, and you will run at a loss if your timing is not updated. However, it comes pretty easy to do, so make your time track a priority.
In recent times, businesses have been run much smoother between consultants and their clients through a numbered approach. In your consultant invoice template Word, all you need do is to ensure that a defined system of numbering helps you to keep the details of all consulting services.
You could also simplify this numbering by synchronizing it with the date of each freelance job.
Apart from merely listing different jobs you have done for clients, another critical detail is the inclusion of the sum. It is essential that you include this vital figure and that you make it very conspicuous in the body of your invoice. This way, clients can know exactly how much they need to pay you in total.
Every organization runs with a set of well-defined terms and policies. So also, should your freelance business. To add a spice of professionalism and a touch of excellence, you should consider stating your terms on your consultant invoice template Word.
As you do this, you stand a high chance of avoiding payment itches from clients. Besides, some clients love it when consultants state their policy terms. They regard it to be a sense of security and safety in ensuring the delivery of a perfect job.
It is common to find a few errors in some invoices. However, a professional invoice can steer clear of the following errors:
A consulting invoice is essential because it is useful for tracking financial transactions and also requesting payment from clients. Also, it can create a positive impression to clients if properly used since it is the last contact of a business with a client. Therefore, the document should be detailed and precise about service and the financial obligation of a client.
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Or, download the non-editable PDF version.