Learning how to invoice a client isn’t the most exciting part of starting a business, but it’s one of the most necessary. Invoicing is what gets you paid. And while your work may be personally rewarding, the financial reward is important, too.
If you run your own small business or work as a freelancer or independent contractor, you may face new tasks that weren’t covered in school. Unless you also have a degree in accounting, you might not have learned how to make professional invoices.
The good news is that invoicing is straightforward. With various tools and templates, you’ll bill your clients in the most organized, efficient way possible in no time. Learn all about how to create a professional client invoice template. We’ve also included a free template to help you get started.
Why you need to invoice your clients
Apart from the obvious — that invoices are how you get paid — you’ll need to keep records of your payments for accounting purposes.
They’re formal documents that show your client how much they owe and when, where, and how to pay. Organizing your invoices helps track what taxes you owe, compare your revenue across months, and monitor client retention based on repeat invoices.
Once you know what to include in your invoices, you can use a template to streamline the process.
Types of invoices
Your calling was to become a coach, and you probably aren’t as informed about invoices as an accounting student. So here’s a bit of Invoicing 101 so you can bill clients correctly.
- Final invoice: As the name implies, businesses invoice clients after delivering a product or performing a service. If you offer recurring services, like coaching sessions, you’ll provide a final invoice at the end of the program, not after each meeting. It will request the balance owed.
- Proforma invoice: A proforma invoice is a price quote that projects how much services will cost so that a client knows what to expect.
- Interim invoice: Interim invoices break the total cost of a project into smaller bites. These invoices are best when the total cost is high and could overwhelm a client financially. Writing several bills for payments makes the service more affordable.
- Recurring invoice: A recurring invoice covers repeated services. This may be the best way to make invoices if you’re a coach who offers several sessions at set intervals and at the same rate.
- Collective invoice: Businesses put several services on one invoice, allowing their clients to pay for multiple expenses at once.
Save each template as a PDF or spreadsheet so you can create copies and fill out the necessary information for each client. For guidance, our free client invoice template is an excellent example of an electronic format.
What your invoice should include
Even the most basic invoices should tell clients how much they need to pay, where, and when. That may sound simple enough, but if you follow these steps, you’re sure to do it right. Use the following checklist to ensure you include all the essentials in your invoice.
- Invoice number: This will help you and your clients track how many invoices you’ve issued and paid over time.
- Business name: Help your clients identify your invoice among other bills. Including your business name reminds them how to spell it correctly on transfers and checks.
- Logo: Make your invoice look professional and polished by adding your business’ logo.
- Contact information: Include your business’ email address, helping clients quickly reach out to you if they have questions or need clarification.
- Customer’s contact information: Include your client’s name, email address, and mailing address. You could keep the mailing address info optional, as some clients may not be comfortable sharing it. This will help you tell your invoices apart and add a level of formality. Having their information attached to the invoice could also help down the road if you need to take legal action on an unpaid bill.
- Payment due date: Encourage your clients to pay on time by including the payment due date on the invoice. Be sure to use a realistic date (which could be a week or a month from the invoice’s date), as clients may need time to make payments comfortably. Include the issue date so that both parties can track how much time has passed between the issue of the invoice and payment.
- Description of services and rates: Include an itemized list of services you provided so the description is crystal clear. You can add a quantity column if you provide the same service several times — just multiply the rate for each service by the number of times offered.
- Taxes: Calculate any applicable sales tax for your client so they can include it in their payment. If their coaching sessions are tax deductible, they’ll appreciate having that number in front of them.
- Total due: This indicates the final amount due, which lets the customer know their balance.
- An easy-to-understand format: Remember to keep your invoice design as clean and organized as possible so that clients have no trouble finding the information they need. Limit your colors and use easy-to-read fonts. Use tables for information like service descriptions, unit prices, quantities, and total amounts. And try to keep everything on one page.
If you’re still unsure about how to organize all the details on an invoice, our free client invoice template will point you in the right direction.
Want a little help? We’d be happy to provide it. Using Practice’s app, you can easily invoice your clients and receive secure payments via credit card and other online payment options. You don’t even have to go through the work of making a custom invoice template. We’ll provide the form — you just plug in the data. We also offer flexible package payment plans that allow your clients to pay in installments. You can customize plans to suit your business, including choosing how to break up remittances and when they’re due. We handle the rest by automatically sending out invoices when the time comes.
Want more business guidance?
At Practice, we want you to succeed while helping others do the same. We created a business around ensuring your success and making your day-to-take tasks easier. We don’t just offer easy invoicing; we offer scheduling tools, helpful templates, and more content like this to help keep your business running smoothly. If that sounds like something your business needs, let us start saving you time. Get started today.