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Consulting Invoice Template (& 10 Invoicing Best Practices)

By Michael Zipursky

Do you have a consulting invoice template that enables you to create and send professional invoices quickly?

We see many consultants who are successful and generating good levels of revenue. But on the financial side, they are slow to invoice.

They aren’t on top of their finances. And they don’t treat invoicing with the importance and care it deserves.

Cash is the lifeblood of your business. And your invoices are the “veins.”

If you aren’t getting paid on time and you run out of money, your consulting business will die a slow, painful death.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a simple and effective consulting invoice template to get paid in full and on time — and know the best practices to ensure the financial success of your consulting business.

Let’s take a look at the consulting invoice template first.

Consulting Invoice Template

Here’s a consulting invoice template you can use to send your invoices:

consulting invoice template

It’s simple, effective, and it works.

Let’s break down each part of this consulting invoice template.

  1. Company Logo. Insert your consulting logo here.
  2. Company Details. Insert some basic details about your company: your company name, country you’re located, address (if you have one), phone number, etc.
  3. Client Information. Insert some basic details about your client: their name, email address, address (if they have one), phone number, etc.
  4. Invoice Details. Include the invoice number, date sent, date due, and total amount due.
  5. Items. List what you’re charging the client for. Keep it simple. There should be no surprises — everything here should be what your client is familiar with.
  6. Total Price. Write the total amount due for your client to pay.

That’s it.

Your consulting invoice template doesn’t have to be any more complicated than this.

Consulting Invoicing Tools

  • Wave: Wave Accounting is currently free and provides all the bells and whistles you’d want in a standard accounting program. It is also hosted in the cloud like Freshbooks and Quickbooks.
  • Freshbooks: This application allows you to track the time you spend on projects. It also helps you manage the billing and invoicing of your clients.
  • Quickbooks: This is a full accounting system that lets you track your revenue and expenses. What’s nice about Quickbooks is that you can also instantly create invoices for your clients. And at the end of the year, you simply send your accountant all the information or print it out for them.

What’s more important than your consulting invoice is how you send them.

We’ll talk about some consulting invoice best practices next.

Consulting Invoice Best Practices

Here are some consulting invoice best practices to make invoicing and tracking accounts receivable much easier.

1. Appoint one person to handle invoicing. If you are a one-person show, you will either have to tackle this yourself (possible in the beginning, but not long term) or hire an assistant, or outsource the task.

2. Make sure your consulting fees, costs, and how they are calculated are crystal clear from day one. By including specific terms of sale in your contract, you mitigate the risk of problems later on. You’d rather be too specific than too vague!

3. Keep track of time spent on a project — specifically if there is more than one consultant on a project or if you are being paid per hour. Not charging for billable hours could cost you a lot of money. We don’t recommend hourly fees, but you should still have a sense of how much time you are spending on each project.

4. State which expenses the client is responsible for. Discuss with the client beforehand which expenses — if any — they will cover. Once an agreement is made, document the agreement in your proposal and contract so it’s crystal clear. This way, the client approves of the expenses before the project starts and everyone is on the same page.

5. Invoice as soon as possible. Your clients may have specific payment cycles that delayed invoicing will interfere with. Not to mention that the longer you leave it to invoice, the longer it will be until you get paid.

6. Get paid before you start working. For example, if you’re starting to work in September, ask for payment at the end of August or the first couple of days of September. Ask clients to pay within 7 days of receiving your invoice. If you’re busting your butt to get clients’ results, there is no reason they shouldn’t pay you promptly. Of course, when you’re dealing with larger organizations you may find yourself waiting 30 or 60 days to receive payment. But don’t simply accept that. Have a conversation with your client about getting paid in advance or as quickly as possible. You’re a small business owner and that cash is the lifeblood of your business to survive.

7. Always number your invoices. This simple measure makes the whole process much easier to manage. And maintain consistency in invoicing. Do not use random numbers. Stick to a system.

8. Whenever possible, itemize your invoices. Include as much detail as possible. If necessary, include a cover letter that explaining the various charges.

9. Always follow up to confirm that clients have received the invoice! It sounds simple. But assuming clients have received it can lead to endless problems. To avoid this, do a quick double-check and ensure your clients have received your invoice.

10. Lastly, confirm with your client that everything on the invoice makes sense. This is a great opportunity to clear up any confusion and make sure you and your client are on the same page about your work.

Imperfect Action: Optimize Your Consulting Invoice

First, start following the best practices above.

This will help remove a lot of the stress around your business financials.

Second, next time you send an invoice, record yourself preparing and sending the invoice using screen recording software like Loom.

This way, you can turn the process of sending an invoice into a system. If you have a video of how to send an invoice, you can delegate it to your team.

Sending consulting invoices is one of the first tasks you should delegate if you’re serious about growing your consulting business.

Third, if you want to get paid more, think about how you can raise your consulting fees.

Can you…

  • Can you implement value-based pricing instead of hourly billing or project-based fees?
  • Can you offer consulting retainers and start building a recurring income into your business?
  • Can you implement ROI-based pricing and get paid for the results you create for your client?

All of these consulting fee methods will help you charge and earn higher fees.

Remember, cash is the lifeblood of your consulting business.

Use our consulting invoice template and best practices to get paid quickly and in full.

And always be on the lookout for ways to provide more value to your clients, increase your fees, and increase the amount you earn for every invoice you send.

That’s how you build a thriving, successful consulting business.

If you’d like help with any of the above, give us a shout. We’d be happy to help.

2 thoughts on “Consulting Invoice Template (& 10 Invoicing Best Practices)

  1. Very good post. My company has a set product that varies by customer. I set a price before we start work and require 50% down to start. The other 50% is due before I even send the product. That would be hard for consultants who get paid hourly.

  2. Butler, glad you enjoyed the post. The 50% upfront and 50% upon delivery is a very common model that works well for many consultants.

    Invoicing on a regular basis and staying on top of it is critical. Even if a client needs an extra couple of days or a week to make payment, getting the invoice out on time is a must.

    It really comes down to working out a schedule and program that fits your needs and that of your client.

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