Individual and even businesses who provide services rather than physical goods are often looking for easy to use alternatives to sophisticated billing software. Whichever invoicing method you choose, it is essential your invoice remain professional. Invoices are not just meant for requesting payment; they may speak volumes about your business if you utilize them adequately.
Freelancers and consultants need a professional service invoice template to request payment and get responses from clients. A comprehensive and yet seamless invoice reduces the chances of questioning from clients. It also enhances quick responses, especially when a client receives it not long after project completion.
It is also important your invoice addresses every relevant detail of the service so that your client can understand the document with ease. It makes your clients breathe easier when they know the service they are paying for.
There are other benefits of using a professional service invoice template, which may not seem pronounced. Below are a few of them:
Depending on the nature of the consulting service, a professional service invoice template may take a simple structure, while others may contain a bit detailed information. A typical invoice template would contain the following sections:
Provide your business name, address, email, and phone number. Also, include the client's information and let the document state it is an invoice.
Describe the service; give a break down of what you’ve done.
Add the fees for each service and cover your payment terms and conditions. Avoid a long tally of fees as that may scare clients.
Include invoicing, sending and payment due date.
Sometimes, the payer may be different from the client/organization that received the service. Include the bill to party if applicable.
State tax details depending on your agreement.
Let the document include your discount rate if you offer one for a quick response to an invoice.
This section takes care of appreciation or any other message you need to pass across to the client.
It is possible you already got a solid professional service invoice template, and you are set to edit for a project. An important question to answer here is, "when should you send the invoice?” Service professionals differ in their opinion on when to send an invoice.
Some prefer sending their invoice at the start of engagement while others may send when they have completed the project. If you are unsure of when to send your invoice, see the following scenarios to give you a hint.
If the service is for an extended period may be lasting more than a year, you might consider breaking your charges into parts. You may consider spreading your charges over the required number of months for which your consulting service would last. Another option is to divide the duration into equal parts other than monthly and then submit your professional service invoice template to clientele at the end of each interval.
For jobs that do not last longer than a month, some consultants may decide to send an invoice after completing the service. But if you run a small business, which depends on cash flow, you may send a partial invoice for up-front payment after agreeing with your client. Either way, consultants should be flexible with their invoicing system and always reach an agreement with clients on the method to adopt.