Why hourly workers should send professional invoices
You give your clients great service and are committed to doing the job right – so you need to be paid properly for every hour you work.
You need clear, organized invoices that include details of all the great work you have provided, as well as an accurate timesheet that captures your billable hours.
An orderly, well-designed invoice also instills confidence and credibility in your reputation and excellent work. You are a pro at what you do – make sure your invoice reflects your skill and professionalism.
Once you've downloaded your free invoice template, you'll need to customize it to fit your specific business. Here are the 10 key things to include on your invoice:
- Title and Description: Name the project and briefly describe what type of work your client is being invoiced for.
- Company Details: Add your company name, address, phone number, and logo to the top-right corner.
- Customer Details: Under "Bill To", add your customer's name, address, and contact information.
- Invoice Number: Include a unique invoice number to help you track down this invoice in the future. You can format this based on sequence and customer. For example, if you're sending your very first customer their first invoice, the invoice number could be 001-001.
- Dates: Include the date when your invoice has been issued and the date when payment is due.
- Line Item: Add individual line items for each unique good or service you provided. For each line item, include a brief description, quantity, individual unit price, and total price.
- Subtotal: Add up the subtotal of your goods or services, before tax has been applied.
- Tax: Indicate the tax rate applied to the subtotal. This is legally required to provide on invoices, and your rate may differ depending on where you run your business.
- Total: Outline the total amount due from the customer, after tax.
- Notes: Include any additional info your customer should know, including terms of service and payment terms (for example, payments are due 30 days after the invoice has been issued).
- Look through our beautiful selection of hourly invoice templates in different designs and colors, and pick the one you like best in the format you usually use – such as Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets
- Download the invoice template. It’s fast and it’s free!
- Add your business name, address, phone number, email address, and your area of expertise
- Insert your beautifully designed business logo, along with your website address, and any graphics you use to represent your professional work
- Add in your client’s name and up-to-date contact information
- Add a unique invoice number
- Include the date of the invoice, and if applicable, the start and finish work dates – as well as the payment due date
- List the work you’ve done, including the amount of hours and your hourly rate
- Add lines to include any extra charges you incurred that need to be billed apart from your hourly rate
- If you are including a discounted hourly rate for a regular or agency client, add a line explaining the discount so your client knows they are getting an extremely good rate for your expert work
- Calculate your total fee, including applicable tax, and enter the total
- Include your payment terms, such as the methods of payment you accept
- Make sure you add a personal note at the end, such as a thank you, or to tell your client how much you enjoyed working with them. It may lead to many more hours of work!
- Save a copy of the invoice – and send it off!
When is the right time to send an hourly invoice to your clients?
The right time to send an invoice varies with the type of services or work you provide. If it is for a short-term job or project, some hourly workers invoice at completion.
As a self-employed person you need to keep the revenue coming in, so for longer employment periods arrange to send in bi-weekly or monthly invoices to be paid for your hourly work.
Whatever payment time period you choose, make sure it’s clearly noted on each invoice, and clarify what portion of the final ‘cost’ has been paid to date.
Invoicing tips for hourly workers
Add a timesheet
Keeping an up-to-date timesheet can help you accurately track your billable hours. Include your timesheet as an attachment to your invoice so your client can see the amount of work you need to be compensated for.
Keep a record with numbered invoices
Numbered invoices help you keep track of how much money is coming in, which is important for your financial planning. It also shows your clients you have a professional, organized system in place. Include a job or client number if you will be sending invoices at regular intervals for your hourly work.
Always include a ‘payment due’ date
Always clearly indicate when you expect payment. It pays to be polite, but firm.
Don’t be shy about following up
If a payment is late, follow up immediately. Be friendly and polite and your clients should appreciate the reminder. You have provided a valuable hourly service and you deserve to be paid in a timely manner.