Consultants provide a large range of services depending on the industry. Providing expert knowledge, analysis, and recommendations for businesses, they help streamline processes for organizations. Whether you specialize as a health care, education, or business consultant, your company needs an invoicing solution.
With the proper software, you can expedite your invoicing process, helping you get paid faster. This article was written with consulting firms like yours in mind and will show how you can streamline your invoicing process in seven steps. Plus, we'll explore customization features, ensuring your consultant invoicing template fits your business's unique needs.
How Do Consultants Bill Clients?
In general, consultants have a standard billing rate. The number of hours you've worked on the project and other factors can influence how much you bill clients. In many cases, consultants charge a flat fee for the project. Regardless of how you choose to charge clients, though, you will need to send a professional invoice.
As a small business owner, one of the most important aspects is getting paid on time. In fact, one of the most common reasons for small businesses failing is a lack of working capital or funding. Part of running your small business is dealing with finances, including having enough cash flow to cover day-to-day operations. But what happens when you don't get paid on time? This can put you behind on paying employees and covering other business expenses.
Invoicing helps consultants get paid in a timely manner. An invoice is a document that records the business transaction between the consulting business and the client. A professional invoice includes essential information about your fees and the invoice terms, which include:
- Invoice date
- Payment terms (due date, late fees, payment methods, etc.)
- https://www.skynova.com/software/accountingA description of your consulting services
- https://www.skynova.com/software/accountingPrice of service (amount per project or hourly rate)
- Total amount due
- Any deposits or discounts
- Applicable taxes
A simple invoice includes payment terms, such as the invoice due date and acceptable payment methods. Including this information will help ensure that your client knows when the invoice payment is due and why they were billed however much for your consulting work.
Free Consulting Invoice Template
Skynova offers consulting businesses and freelancers a professional consulting invoice template. Using a template will help you expedite your invoicing process by ensuring that you have payment terms outlined. When you provide clear and detailed invoices to clients, they can understand why they were charged the total amount and when their payment is due. All in all, this decreases the chance of the client requesting an itemized list and increases the chance of getting paid on time.
Aside from making sure that payment terms and an itemized list are included, Skynova's consulting invoice template allows you to create an invoice in a matter of minutes — unlike programs like Microsoft Word and Excel, which can be tedious and hinder productivity.
Our consultant invoice template can be easily edited to fit your business needs. To correctly fill out a professional invoice, follow these steps:
- Include your consulting business information and your client's information. Include your business name, phone number, address, email address, and website. Make sure to include contact information that your client will recognize so they don't send your email to the trash folder. Then, include the client's contact information, their name, email address, phone number, and physical address (if applicable).
- Add an invoice number. Make sure to add a unique invoice number. This is a critical step, as sales invoices are legally required to contain a unique invoice number to be a legal document. Skynova's invoicing system numbers invoices automatically in sequential order.
- Add the invoice date and payment due date. The invoice date is typically the day on which the invoice was sent. The invoice due date is the date on which the payment is due. In most cases, the due date is seven, 15, or 30 days after the invoice date.
- Include an itemized list. The itemized list should include all of the services you provided, with a description. If you charge an hourly rate, you will need to include the number of hours you worked. Ensuring that this step is accurate and clear to the client will help avoid explaining each item in detail later on.
- Include any additional purchases. Make sure to include additional products or services you needed to purchase to complete the project. In some cases, you may have purchased additional materials required for the project or hired freelancers to help. In either scenario, be sure to charge the client.
- Enter discounts. If you offer discounts to clients, it's important to include this on the invoice. Some consulting businesses offer discounts for referrals or to new clients. Not only are discounts a great way to attract business but they can also entice your clients to pay you faster.
- Add a note. The "Notes" section of Skynova's consultant service invoice template will help you elaborate on the descriptions of the line items. Additionally, this section can reiterate in the event that the client received a discount.
How to Create a Custom Consulting Invoice
Not every consulting firm will have the same needs for an invoice, which is why Skynova offers a customizable consultant invoice template. Continue reading to learn how to add a logo, P.O. number, and applicable taxes to your invoice in just a few steps.
Including a company logo can add a level of professionalism to your invoice. Not only does it add a bit of personality but it can also help with brand recognition for customers. Adding a logo to your invoice is incredibly simple. Just select "Show Customization Options" and click "Logo." From there, you will be prompted to add your logo to the document.
A purchase order (P.O.) is a legally binding document that the client sends to the consultant. This document details the items or services purchased, the delivery date, and payment terms. Similar to an invoice number, there are also unique purchase order numbers that help with accounting.
A purchase order comes before the invoice, detailing the number of items, any descriptions, the price of your consulting service, the purchase date, and payment terms. After the purchase order has been approved, the invoice is then sent. Although purchase orders are different from an invoice, invoices often contain the number from the original purchase order.
Adding a purchase order number to your invoice is incredibly easy using the consulting invoice template. To add a P.O. number to your invoice, select "Show Customization Options" at the top of the template and click "P.O. #." Once you've clicked "P.O. #," a new fill-in box will populate beneath the box titled "Invoice #." Simply click the box, type in the number, and you're done.
It's often wise to include any applicable taxes to the invoice so the client doesn't have to determine the added taxes themselves.
To incorporate sales tax into your free consultant invoice template, click "Show Customization Options" at the top of the Skynova invoice. Once you have selected "Sales Tax," you will see the option to factor in the tax between "Quantity" and "Amount." Next, select "New Tax" to add the tax rate. After you add the tax rate(s), the subtotal will include the tax automatically.
Billing Consulting Clients Is Easy With Skynova
Consulting firms assess, train, and teach organizations how to improve processes. As a consultant, you're busy enough streamlining operations, but what about your own?
Skynova's consulting invoice template was developed with small business owners like you in mind. Not everyone was born a finance wiz, but every small business owner needs to consider the financial aspect of their business. Streamlining your invoicing process has never been easier with Skynova's consultant invoice template.
Notice to the Reader
The content within this article is meant to be used as general guidelines on how to use Skynova's consultant invoice template and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with a professional accountant to ensure you're meeting accounting standards and sending invoices out in a timely manner.