If you are raising your first invoices, a consulting services invoice template is a useful resource, providing ready-made formatting and a best practice layout to include all the important details.
Consulting work can be varied, so tracking your billable hours and raising an invoice promptly will reduce the likelihood of delays and ensure you are paid on time for all the work completed.
How should you invoice a consulting client? We’ll explain some key requirements for business invoicing documentation and advice to help you get started.
Calculating Billable Hours for a Consulting Invoice
You may decide to charge per hour, day, or project, but having a billing policy established from the beginning of the consultation or included within your initial proposal is advisable.
Progression tracking should be simple, using a systematic record-keeping approach to bill all hours worked, including travel time or meetings with your client.
Designing Your Custom Consultation Invoice
Invoices should have a header at the top of the page stating that the document is an invoice and featuring your business name and logo. Contact details are helpful should your client need to ask any questions, and adding a phone number and email provides flexibility if further communications are necessary.
Our invoice templates include a field for the client’s details. You should verify that the information is accurate, including the point of contact you have been liaising with, the relevant department, and the organization name.
Information to Include in Invoices for Consulting Work
Every invoice should feature the date you created the document; this is auto-populated if you create an invoice from a template. Dates are important since they may affect budget periods or tax returns.
A professional invoice must also show an identifying number or reference, which can be as simple as ‘01’ but can include alphabetical characters if this helps you keep a record of which invoice relates to which client.
Itemizing a Consultation Invoice
The more detail, the better–although invoices don’t have to include lengthy descriptions of the work carried out, explaining what the charge is for can prevent confusion. Each line on your invoice should show what the cost is for, how many hours or days it applies to, and the rate you are charging.
For example, that might look like this:
- ‘Consultation meetings with xxx on xxx: Five hours at $50 per hour: $250’
- ‘Consultation days at xxx: Two days at $300 per day: $600’
These are basic illustrations, but they show the standard format a client would expect to see on a consultation invoice, split into columns for readability. Tables are the norm because setting out the information into columns makes it easier to scroll across and check the hours charged and rates are consistent with the original consultation agreement.
Setting Payment Terms for Consulting Invoices
Payment terms should be displayed on each invoice, particularly if you have specific terms, such as immediate payment or payment due within seven days.
Invoices shouldn’t contain any surprises, and if you can accept more than one payment method, it may help speed up your payment turnaround times. Invoice Ninja provides access to popular payment gateways, which allow clients to follow a secure link to make a remittance through whichever method is most convenient.
Customizing an Invoice Template for Your Consultation Business
Business-specific invoices are more professional than generic or manually typed documents, allowing you to upload your logo and company information to ensure every invoice is consistently formatted and designed. Our consultancy invoice templates are suited to new consultants and established businesses alike and provide customization tools to save you time on your invoicing and capture all applicable billable hours and expenses.
The convenience of auto-recurring invoices, pre-done branding, and a well-laid-out template make it faster and easier to manage your admin workload, create batch invoices where relevant, and ensure your client has all the information they need to process your payment. Some of the most common reasons for payment delays or confusion are simple to resolve by following an invoice template containing every relevant detail that a client might expect.
Invoice templates are as unique as your business, with designs ranging from bright, bold, and colorful designs to plain, simplified documentation and templates created for specific consultation sectors, such as tech, creative industries, and business services.