You’ve done the work, your client is thrilled (make sure to take time to celebrate!), and now it’s time for the fun part: getting paid. Invoicing for freelancers isn’t as complex as all the apps and other fancy software may have you believe.
Instead proceed directly to your word processor.
In my experience working with freelancers, I’ve noticed a common temptation to over-complicate this step, or even to put it off. In theory, this should be the most exciting part—after all, the invoice is the way we get paid—so avoid that trap and build a good habit. As soon as your client approves the project, create an invoice and send it.
(Of course, if you have ongoing work with a particular client, you may agree to bill monthly. But the advice still applies: as soon as the last day of the month rolls around, make it a habit to create and invoice and sent it so you lessen the chances of delayed payment!)
Invoicing Format for Freelancers
Keep your invoice nice and simple. Begin with a blank document, and type something like “Invoice for [insert the services you provided].”
The next section is the “To” section. Type the name of your client, the company, and the contact information you have for them (phone, email address, mailing address).
Below that, you need a “From” section. Here’s where you list your own name/business name, and your relevant contact information. (Make sure your information is easy to find in case they have questions about your invoice!)
You need a “Project” section next. This should be a short description—up to seven or eight words—that describes the project in general terms. “First quarter accounting,” for example.
The next portion of the invoice goes into a little more detail about the work you did. Your format here will depend on whether you charge by the project, or an hourly rate. If you charge by the project, then you can provide specifics of the project in the left-hand column, and the price in the right.
If you charge by the hour, you can use this space to list the work done and the hourly rate in the left column, create a center column for the number of hours, and then in the right column total the cost for that item.
The final section includes the “Total Due” and a short sentence letting them know how soon you expect to be paid. You might say, “Payable upon receipt. Thank you!” This will communicate that you expect to be paid right away, in a friendly way.
It’s really that simple.
Example Freelancing Invoice
Here’s what an invoice billed by the hour might look like to get you started:
Invoice for Accounting Services
To: Suzanne Someone, S&S Company
Invoice #: 7
Date: October 10, 2020
From: Patricia Spreadsheet, A Great Accountant LLC
123 Center St
Anytown, IA 50000
S&S Company 3rd Quarter Accounting
Services Rendered: Hours: Payment Due:
Bank Account transaction entry and reconciliation 10 $500.00
Review & preparation of Income Statement and
Balance Sheet 4.5 $225.00
Consultation with Account Manager to review
financials and business position 2.25 $112.50
Total Due: $837.50
Payment due upon receipt. Thank you!
Your turn! Do you have a different invoice layout? Let us know in the comments below!