You provide a professional service, and you do it well—shouldn’t your billing method reflect that same professionalism? If you’re in a service-oriented industry, your customers need a service receipt for the money they’ve spent. Our free service invoice templates are the simple solution for your billing needs, providing valuable sample invoices for services ranging from car service to accounting and beyond, customizable to your needs.
How to use this invoice template
Our free professional services invoice template is simple and intuitive to use. Once downloaded, it’s fully customizable to the specifications of your business.
- Most importantly, make sure to add your company logo and contact information at the top.
- If you’re in the type of industry that offers emergency services, up top is a good place to note that too.
- Add and remove lines, formatting the service receipt to include only aspects relevant to your business.
What professional services businesses need to know about invoicing
What should be included on an invoice for professional services
The bill format for professional services varies by the specific service you provide. In general, your receipt for services should include a place for:
- The name of your company
- The name of your customer
- The date the services were provided
- Invoice number
- A description of services rendered
- Quantity of hours spent on services rendered
- The price you’re charging for the services or your hourly rate
- Total amount for services rendered
- Additional amounts such as discounts, taxes, or shipping (if applicable)
- Total amount due
When to send an invoice
Many professionals differ in opinion as to when to send an invoice. Some individuals prefer to send an invoice at the start of the engagement, requesting payment up-front. Others will send an invoice to the customer to be paid as soon as the work is completed. If you’re unsure of how you would answer that question for yourself or business, here are a few scenarios and helpful hints that may help you decide when is the right time to send an invoice.
- Services rendered over an extended period. If your services are being provided over a lengthy period of time, it may be helpful to break down the charges into parts and bill throughout the duration of the project. Divide the duration of your engagement into equal periods and submit an invoice to your clientele at the beginning or end of each interval. (For instance, if you were providing services over a 12-month period, you may want to send clients an invoice once per quarter.)
- Pay now, pay later. If you have a smaller business that’s dependent on more immediate cashflow, it’s possible you’d want to invoice your customer before the services are completed. In that case, to retain the trust between you and the client, you may want to consider splitting the charge to be paid half up-front, and half when the services are completed to satisfaction.
- Set expectations for invoicing and payment dates. Whether you have a history with a client or they’re brand new, you can set the tone for your business relationship moving forward by sending the invoice on a specific date after the services have been provided.They will know when they can anticipate the invoice arriving in their hands after work has been completed, and you can also set expectations as to when you expect the bill for your services to be paid. Your customers will appreciate your professionalism by laying out clear terms.
Invoice like a pro
Invoicing isn’t simply getting paid, although that’s a big part of it. Here are a few tips to ensure prompt payment and the retention of a great working image.
- Make a due date or “pay by” date on your invoice – providing a deadline can be helpful to promote urgency to your customers. It also makes forecasting your company funds easier and more predictable.
- Include a space for recommendations – repeat business is the best kind of business. Providing recommendations for future services helps your customer know from an expert perspective what services may be needed down the line. As the professional, your input is valued and appreciated by clients
- Include a specific invoice number – this should be visible at the top of the invoice. It seems minor, but an invoice number makes the document easier to keep track of while exuding a subtle touch of that professionalism we were talking about.
Invoicing tips from business owners like you
- Effective invoicing – that is, the kind that gets you paid the quickest—has an element of trial and error to it. So, take notes: these tips come from business owners who have learned what works in the real world.
- Automation – this may be the number one tip you see about invoicing, and for good reason. There’s no getting around it—automating the invoicing process saves you time and money (two things we all could use some more of). It eliminates the factor of human error, ensuring invoices are accurate and on time, every time. Plus, it’s more convenient for the customer and for you. Not sure where to start with automation? Sage Business Cloud’s online invoicing can help you there, especially as you grow and are looking for ways to further automate. As a cloud-powered accounting database, Sage Business Cloud Accounting lets you take your work on-the-go… as you grow.
- Shorten your payment terms – if you’re finding your 15-day pay deadline is giving your customers enough time to forget to pay you, then shorten it. Try 10 days. Try a week. With the immediacy of today’s consumer marketplace, people are used to paying for things quicker than they ever have. We pay for things online before they arrive at our houses. Your customers will appreciate having the transaction settled quickly and easily.
- Follow up – this is a great little trick for those who forget to pay you as well as for those who “forget” to pay you. Following up about an unpaid invoice shows the customer you are keeping track, even if they aren’t. And if you’re on board with automation (which you should be), you can have your software take care of that for you as well.
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