After learning how to create an invoice for different industries, it’s important to know how to create a proper invoice for consulting work that’s been completed. When billing for consulting services, you’ll need to pay attention to the contract that was agreed upon before the job began. The consulting invoice should reflect anything outlined in the contract, or any other agreements you may have made.

For example, if you agreed to bill as you go, or as you reach certain goals within the project, then each invoice should reflect that schedule. Perhaps you’ve agreed to bill by the hour and send an invoice at the end of each month that includes the hours and any additional fees – the invoice should reflect that agreement.

Consulting invoices can be tricky, as they are usually used for freelance projects, or other work that may have a less-pronounced scope. One way to handle consulting invoices is to front-load your invoicing, so that any fees or advanced pay can come at the beginning at the project. This type of payment schedule is in your best interest in case you have to buy items in order to complete the project, or if your client falls into a lay payment schedule as the project continues.

Consulting invoice basics

Payment schedule

When you are trying to figure out a payment schedule, see if you can agree to anything closer together than once per month. The more often you get paid, the better your cash flows.

No matter what payment schedule you’re on, send the invoice immediately. The sooner you send the invoice, the sooner your client will get it, the sooner they will pay it (hopefully), and the better off your business will be, financially.

Send your invoice via email

If possible, send your invoice via email, and offer electronic payment options for your clients. Not only will the invoice arrive much faster (within seconds) to your client, by sending it via email, you will save money on ink, postage, paper, and envelopes, and you will get paid faster. It’s a complete win!

How to get paid early

Consider offering your clients a discount for paying early. The discount could be one percent off the total amount owed if they pay within 10 days of receiving the invoice. Sure, you may lose a little bit of money by offering this benefit, but you’d be surprised how many clients don’t pay on time, and this can really hurt your financial situation.

Monitor your invoices

Finally, it’s really important to monitor and keep track of all of the invoices you send out and when they are due. If the due dates for payments are approaching, keep an eye on your client to ensure you get your payment. If you do not receive your payment, be prompt and persistent about your collection efforts. 

What to include in a consulting invoice?

As for the format of a consulting invoice, it looks very similar to a standard invoice. You can use a template and use it each time you need to send an invoice for consulting work.

If you create a consulting invoice on your own, it should include a professional header with your own name, or the name of your company, in a large, professional font at the top of the document. Then, put the contact information for your client, including name, street address, email address, and phone number, along with the unique invoice number and the date the invoice was created.

Below that is where you will include a detailed list of the services you’ve completed, the date they were each completed, the number of hours (if necessary), and the dollar amount due for each line item. Finally, total these lines for a subtotal. Add any taxes or fees, and add for the final total amount owed.