If you're a consultant, you know that providing a clear, accurate, and detailed invoice to your clients is necessary for a large or small business. Your job is to give expert advice to your clients, so your invoice should like it came from an expert as well. You can use Skynova's invoice template to create and customize professional invoices in just minutes.

Microsoft Excel or Word templates can be time-consuming to create and download, but our consultant invoice template can be easily edited and sent directly to your client onsite. The invoice can also be downloaded as a PDF, printed, or shared via email attachment. If you're a consultant, check out the template we've made below just for your business:

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How to Create a Consulting Invoice

Whether you're a new business consultant or a seasoned professional, creating a system to make invoices for your clients is a crucial part of running your business. With Skynova's invoicing software, you can have customized and professional invoices and an easy way to track your income. Keeping track of your earnings can help you gauge which of your services are in demand and profitable.

  1. Add Your Business Information and Your Client's Information

    To create your invoice, include your consulting firm's name, phone number, address, email address, and website at the top of the invoice. You can also customize Skynova's invoice template with your company logo. Your invoice should also list your client's contact information, name, email address, phone number, and physical address if available.

    Remember to include the contact information that your client will recognize. You don't want them to have to double-check where the invoice came from. Furthermore, you should also make sure that you input the right address for your clients. You may also opt to use your domain name and email address instead of a physical address, especially if your interactions are mostly done online.

  2. Add Your Invoice Number

    An invoice number is an important aspect of your sales invoices because it documents and records your income for accounting and tax purposes. All sales invoices that you issue must contain a unique invoice number to be considered a legal document.

    Generally, you can use any number system as long as it's sequential. A common way to assign invoice numbers is to add the date and month to create a longer, more categorical invoice number. For example, if you're sending out a payment request to a new client for services you rendered in August of 2020. You can use "#0820-0001" as your invoice number.

    Our invoice template system will automatically number your invoices for you, helping you to have a structured invoicing system for your consulting business. Automatic invoice numbering will help make it easier for you to track if your clients are paying on time.

  3. Add Your Invoice Date and Due Date

    Generally, the invoice date is the day you send the invoice unless your consulting business has a different policy that you and your client agreed on. To account for international differences between date formats, it's recommended that you spell out the month on your invoices. For example, it will be clearer for all parties if the date is written as "Sep/Sept/September 4, 2020."

    The due date in your invoice will also depend on the terms of your contract. These terms are best discussed with your client and included in the contract before you begin a project. Whether you are the business owner, a freelancer, or an independent consultant, you can negotiate the terms of how you'll get paid.

    You may choose to be paid in advance, ask that payment is due when they receive your invoice or set up NET 15 or 30 payment terms. As NET 15 or 30 payment terms give the client 15/30 days from the invoice date to settle their account, the due date on your invoice should also reflect that.

  4. Calculate and Enter the Cost of Your Services

    Even a simple invoice needs to be clear, detailed, and accurate. Be sure to itemize the list of services you provided with a description for each. You can add a date for every task if you have that on record, as well. This saves you from having to clarify every item in case your client has questions.

    For example, if you're a personal branding consultant, your list may include:

    • A website design consultation with the developer
    • A consultation meeting with the copywriter
    • Interviewing applicants for a social media manager position
    • Market research

    If you offer your initial consultation with the client free of charge, you should still include it in the list for accuracy and transparency. It will also make your clients feel that they're getting more than what they're paying for.

    Depending on the consulting services you offer and your agreement with clients regarding your scope of work, you'll probably bill by the hour, per project, or charge a monthly retainer. With Skynova's basic invoice template, you can easily create an invoice whether you need to include hourly rates and hours worked or an itemized list of tasks with corresponding amounts.

    If you're sending out payment requests for international clients, you should also specify the currency you're using and applicable taxes that need to be included in the total amount. Once your invoice is saved, sales tax can be added to the total cost for the appropriate county, city, or state using the accounting module of our invoice generator.

  5. Include Services or Products You Bought for the Project

    To complete a project or a task, you may need to buy products or hire the expertise of other professionals. Depending on the agreement you made with your client, you might have these items included in your project fee already.

    But if you haven't, and you need to include them in your invoice, Skynova's free consulting invoice template will allow you to add as many items to the list. Of course, your client may also ask for copies of receipts for the products and services. So, make sure you keep those and send copies with your invoice.

  6. Enter Any Discounts Provided to the Client

    Discounts are a great way to entice your clients to use your services, pay faster, or contract a huge project with you. As a consulting business, you may even offer discounts to new clients or give current clients a referral discount.

    To add a discount using Skynova's invoicing template, select it from the drop-down menu, and it will be added as a line item. For example, say you bill by the hour, and you've decided to give your client five hours as a discount. Select "Discount" from the drop-down menu and add your hourly rate in the slot for unit price and five hours as quantity. The amount will be automatically calculated. It will also be indicated as a discount and deducted from the subtotal.

  7. Add a Note for Any Additional Information

    You can use the "Notes" section of the free consulting invoice template to provide more information about the line items you've entered above. You can also point out which discounts were applied or explain why you've included a particular product or service.

    If your line items are easily understandable, and you don't have to explain any charges, you can also use the notes section to personalize your invoice. A simple "Thank you for your business" can create goodwill between you and your client and may even inspire loyalty. Take advantage of every opportunity to make your clients feel special.

Invoicing Tips and Best Practices for Consulting Businesses

As the owner of a consulting business, you'll have to wear many hats. You have to be your own marketer and bookkeeper. And you'll need an effective system for invoicing to be sure you are getting paid on time and with the right amount. Follow these best invoicing practices to help save you time and effort, so you can focus on growing your consulting business.

  • Send Your Invoices in a Timely Manner

    Send your invoices as soon as you complete a task or meet a project milestone. If you're involved in a large project, and you made an agreement to send your invoices on the 15th or 30th day of the month, make sure you do so promptly. Late invoices can be buried in the shuffle of business operations, causing confusion and delaying your payments.

  • Ensure Your Invoices Are Clear and Complete

    Your invoices must clearly describe what products or services were provided. You should include as much detail as possible to ensure your client knows what they're being billed for. Your invoice should also cover a complete breakdown of any products or services you purchased for the job. Add the dates when the services and products were completed, as well.

    Before you send your invoice, double-check to see that the rates, services, and hours are correct. Take advantage of Skynova's free consultant invoice template to create detailed, professional-looking invoices customized to represent your consulting business. It will reflect greatly on your consulting business if you can provide your clients with an accurate and professional-looking invoice.

  • Include Any Information Needed to Process Your Invoice

    Some clients may need you to obtain a purchase order (PO), a job order, or any supporting documents, such as proof of delivery or timesheets from their accounting department, to process payment. You may also need to have a detailed record of your billable hours. So, ensure you have these documents to send with your invoices.

    Sign up with Skynova to keep track of your billable hours and invoices and have them all in one place. You will gain access to a free service invoice template that can help you get organized and paid faster.

  • Include Clear Payment Terms

    Even if you've already negotiated your payment terms before you started a project, and you have the agreement on a contract, it's still good practice to attach the payment terms to your invoices. Often, the person you arranged the terms with may not be the same person processing the payment. Including the payment terms will make it easier for anyone to handle your invoices.

    To avoid unnecessary conflict with your clients over unpaid invoices, be cordial but assertive in pursuing payment. Aside from your payment terms, you may also want to include your policy for late fees as part of the invoice. It's highly recommended to have an attorney review your late fee policy to ensure you're following state regulations.

Skynova Helps You Turn Your Consulting Services Into Income

Sign up with Skynova to take advantage of a free consulting invoice template. Create detailed, personalized invoices for your consulting business that will help you track your earnings, get organized, and get paid faster.

You also gain access to Skynova's quote template, accounting solution, and work order, all of which are designed to simplify the process of getting paid for your hard work. Take advantage of Skynova's products and features. These solutions will help you establish an invoicing system with less paperwork, which will allow you to focus on turning a profit and growing your consulting business.

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