Why consultants should send professional invoices
Whether you are consulting on a continuing basis for a company, or completing one-off consulting projects – you need an invoice that clearly details the services you’ve provided.
That means a cookie-cutter invoice won’t do, as your consulting clients can have wildly different needs and challenges. Your invoice needs to be flexible enough to capture the unique work you have done for them.
Besides being clear and understandable, your invoice needs to be polished and professional. Every point of contact with your client reflects on you and the quality of the consulting you provide – so make sure your invoice adds to your stellar reputation.
Once you've downloaded your free invoice template, you'll need to customize it to fit your specific business. Here are the 10 key things to include on your invoice:
- Title and Description: Name the project and briefly describe what type of work your client is being invoiced for.
- Company Details: Add your company name, address, phone number, and logo to the top-right corner.
- Customer Details: Under "Bill To", add your customer's name, address, and contact information.
- Invoice Number: Include a unique invoice number to help you track down this invoice in the future. You can format this based on sequence and customer. For example, if you're sending your very first customer their first invoice, the invoice number could be 001-001.
- Dates: Include the date when your invoice has been issued and the date when payment is due.
- Line Item: Add individual line items for each unique good or service you provided. For each line item, include a brief description, quantity, individual unit price, and total price.
- Subtotal: Add up the subtotal of your goods or services, before tax has been applied.
- Tax: Indicate the tax rate applied to the subtotal. This is legally required to provide on invoices, and your rate may differ depending on where you run your business.
- Total: Outline the total amount due from the customer, after tax.
- Notes: Include any additional info your customer should know, including terms of service and payment terms (for example, payments are due 30 days after the invoice has been issued).
- Look through the variety of consulting invoice templates we offer in different designs and colors, and select the one you want in your preferred format – Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets.
- Download the template for free!
- Insert your business name, phone number, email address, and other contact information
- Also insert your logo, website address, and any other graphics or promotional images
- Put in your client’s name and contact information
- Add a unique invoice number
- Add in the date of the invoice and the payment due date
- Include a detailed list of the consulting services you provided along with a description of each service and the billable hours or flat rate
- Include a list of miscellaneous products or services you used for your work that are billed to the client
- Add or subtract lines to ensure you include all the pertinent details. The template is easily customized to make sure your clients know exactly what they are paying for
- If you are including a discount for a high volume of work, or to woo a first-time client, make sure you add a line explaining the discount so your client knows they are getting a great deal for your consulting expertise
- Calculate the total price, including all applicable taxes, and list the total prominently at the bottom of the invoice
- Include your payment terms, such as the methods of payment you accept
- As a consultant, you’ve likely formed a close relationship with your client, so add a special line at the end to say how much you enjoyed working with them, and thank them for their business
- Make sure you save a copy – and then send the invoice to your client!
When is the right time to send an invoice to your consulting clients?
Send your invoice as soon as you finish a consulting project. If you have been retained for an extended period of time, discuss the option of invoicing monthly, or at certain significant milestones in the project.
As an independent consultant, you need to keep the revenue coming in, so you might even want to ask for a percentage of the estimated cost up front, with the remainder upon completion of the project.
If you are in sales, send your customers a beautifully designed sales invoice.