Normally, your clients would expect to receive an invoice from you when you complete a project. Many times, however, you will get clients with whom you sign a different kind of contract. The contract may state that you only send an invoice for hours worked. This has its benefits. It also comes with a few risks. It’s important for you to familiarize yourself with this kind of arrangement to get the most benefit from it.
The first thing you have to do is to find a reliable tool for tracking time spent on each project. That’s your best bet for converting the hourly rates into the invoice that you need to send to the client. Find such tools on the Internet. In the event that you can’t find the tools, you can always record everything down on a piece of paper manually. Alternatively, you can always rely on an Excel spreadsheet to help you keep accurate records.
It’s also important to know how to calculate billable hours. This requires that you understand the value of your time. Otherwise, you may end up leaving some hours unbilled, which would then impact your earnings negatively. A billable hour refers to the time you set aside, dedicate and spend on the project, which you then intend to bill clients for. Obviously, the rate can never be outside of the one that appears on the agreement you signed with the client.
It can be difficult for you to prepare the invoice for hours worked, especially if it’s your first time. However, you can take a few measures to make the task much easier and simpler for you. First, you must track the hours spent on the client’s project. Separate these from the time you spend on other tasks. For example, don’t bill the clients whenever you call them to ask for a clarification. Bill only for the time you spend on the actual work.
It would also be crucial for you to determine how you intend to charge the client. Again, the contract the two of you signed should be clear on this issue to avoid misunderstandings, confusion, and frustrations with one another. Your options include charging per hour. The other option is to charge per project. Some projects are best charged on an hourly basis. Charge other projects only once you complete them to the client’s satisfaction.
Now that you’re preparing an invoice for hours worked, it would also be prudent to know what to do with the non-billable hours. Before you decide what to do, it would be good to understand that your company needs to continue providing similar or better services to clients today and in the future. For that to happen, you would have to make money. Therefore, you may need to include a small fraction of the non-billed work in the invoice.
Find as many templates of the invoice for hours worked as you can get. Study them. Familiarize yourself with the contents of this type of invoice. Search the Internet to see if you can find free templates in case you’re unable to afford the premium ones. Do you remember the point regarding time tracking? Make your work easier by automating this process to avoid making mistakes associated with recording the hours manually.
Learn to prepare an invoice for hours worked, as they can sustain and grow your business.