As an architect, your goal is to take abstract ideas and turn them into inspiring designs. Whether you're tasked to design a condo, trendy co-working spaces, a new school, or a single-family home, you'll want to make sure you get paid in a timely manner.

A professional architecture firm or freelance architect must include specific information on an invoice. An architect invoice must include contact information for your business and the client, an invoice number, a payment due date, the cost of the service, and any other applicable details. Even though you need to include certain information, using a professional invoice template can help you avoid the time-consuming nature of invoicing.

In this guide, learn how to simplify invoicing using a free invoice template designed to streamline the entire process.

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What Is an Architecture Invoice?

In architecture, invoices are essential business records that document the transaction between a client and the architect. The invoice serves as proof of debt, affirming the client's responsibility to pay you for your services and creates an accounts receivable for you. An architect invoice should include the service provided, amount due, payment methods and terms, payment due date, and additional details.

As a small business owner, the success of your business largely relies on your ability to be paid on time. In fact, most small businesses that fail do so because they are having trouble covering mandatory expenses, not for lack of income. The trouble is, they're not getting paid on time.

By creating a comprehensive and accurate architect invoice, you're improving the odds of getting paid in a timely manner. When invoices are sent incorrectly, clients can become confused and may not pay you quickly. Alternatively, you might struggle with getting professional invoices sent out in a timely manner, which can also delay payments. Using a free invoicing template, send invoices out faster without sacrificing a professional template.

How to Make a Simple Architecture Invoice

Every client you work with has specific needs and project requirements. Talking to clients, deciphering needs, rendering designs, and preparing presentations all take time — which you should be compensated for.

As a small business or freelance architect, your time is invaluable. The hours you put toward a single design or construction project are enough; you won't want to be weighed down by administrative work. Avoid the time-consuming nature of manual invoicing and follow these steps:

1. Add Contact Information

As the first step to creating a professional invoice, you will need to add contact information for you and the client. You'll add the name of your architecture firm or your own name if you're a freelancer. The most important thing to keep in mind in this step is to include contact information that won't confuse your client. For example, if you have a name for your firm, you may not want to include your own name in the "Your Name" field since the client is expecting to pay your business. Additionally, you will need to include your physical address, phone number, email, website, and any additional contact information.

Once you've included your contact information, you will need to add the client's name in the "Customer Name" field of our professional invoice template. Then, add their address, phone number, email, etc.

2. Include a Unique Invoice Number

After including accurate contact information, it's time to include a unique invoice number. When invoicing, it's very important to include a unique invoicing number because it makes it easy to find in the future. Using a unique invoice number makes it easily distinguishable from other invoices.

As a small business owner or freelance architect, you might not have a large list of past clients and projects just yet. Although you could start your invoice number at #001, choosing a number that makes it less obvious that this is your first project can be helpful. Instead, aim for an invoice number that starts a little higher, like #201.

3. Add the Invoice Date and Payment Due Date

Make sure to include an invoice date and payment terms. Begin by adding the "Invoice Date," which is the date the invoice was created. If you finished the project on a Wednesday but didn't manage to send the invoice until that Friday, you will need to include Friday's date as the "Invoice Date."

Once you've included this, you will need to add the payment due date. Oftentimes, the due date is 30 days after the invoice date. However, you can talk with your client to determine another payment due date. For example, some business invoices have a payment due date 15 days after the invoice date, while others may have a payment due date 60 days after the invoice date.

4. Calculate the Cost of Services

Both freelancers and firms alike use architect invoices to get paid for their time and designs. While some businesses choose to charge a fixed fee for the project, others choose to charge an hourly rate. Luckily, Skynova's free invoice template allows you to invoice your client however you choose to charge.

In this example, let's suppose you charge per hour for a design consultant fee. To begin, select "Hours" under the "Item" drop-down. Then, add your hourly rate to the "Unit Price" box. The "Quantity" represents the number of hours you worked on the project. Afterward, the total amount will automatically populate in the "Amount" box.

With our architect invoice template, you can add additional line items (e.g., Service, Days, and Product). You might charge an hourly rate for a consultant fee, a fixed fee for the project, or charge the client for transportation.

However you charge clients, make sure to include a description next to the line item. Based on the above example, the architect would add a description to the "Hours" item that might state "Hourly rate for design consultation."

5. Enter Discounts and Add Notes

Next, you can add any discounts you might offer. To do so, simply click "Discount" in the "Item" drop-down menu. Then, include the "Unit Price" and "Quantity." Once those details are included, the amount will populate. Discounts will impact the subtotal of the invoice, which is located beneath the "Notes" section.

Adding personalized notes can help your business. While you might choose to include additional details or reiterate what you wrote in the item's description, you can also include a personal note. Personal notes help ensure that clients know they are valued and may make them more likely to recommend your firm.

Additionally, the "Notes" section serves as an invaluable space to reiterate payment terms. Though you may have spoken to the client about payment terms when you gave them their estimate, including this information in your invoice may prevent late payments. Laying out acceptable payment methods, late payment terms, and pricing in your architect invoice can help ensure that your client fully understands their financial responsibilities. By detailing this information in your invoice, clients are less likely to be confused and ask you questions, which can be time-consuming. Moreover, you will be more likely to be paid on time, avoiding (potentially) disastrous cash flow issues.

How to Customize Your Architect Invoice

As an architect, making sure your work is presentable is important in cementing your firm's image of design expertise — even with the invoicing process. While Microsoft Word, Excel, and Google Docs allow you to type words and numbers, little can be said for their design capabilities.

Our sleek and professional invoice template is presentable at face value, but it doesn't stop there. Click "Show Customization Options" at the top of the free invoice template to add a logo, purchase order number, and sales tax. By choosing to add a logo, you are further establishing your brand image, which portrays a professional and unique business.

Manage Architecture Invoices With Skynova

After you've created the architect invoice, it's time to send it to the client. With our architecture invoice template, you can send invoices directly from the software or download them to send via email. Once you've sent the architect invoice, you'll want to make sure you're on top of managing the invoice. With Skynova's accounting software, you can view a financial report, which gives you accurate insights into your cash flow, income, and whether your invoice has been viewed and/or paid.

Our free invoice template allows you to cut back on the time you spend conducting administrative tasks. Combined with Skynova's account software, manage and track accurate records of your business income, expenses, sales tax, payments, and invoices. Visit our website to start a free trial of Skynova's accounting software. Use our free invoice template to create a professional invoice for your architecture firm.

Notice to the Reader

The content within this article is meant to be used as general guidelines for architect invoices and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with a professional accountant to ensure that you're meeting accounting standards.

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