Why software developers should send professional invoices
As a software developer, your projects can range from creating a single web application to helping maintain large, complex frameworks. You supply extremely specialized knowledge and expertise, so your invoice needs to make that crystal clear so your clients understand exactly what they are being charged for. So while your invoice needs to be simple enough to understand, it needs to detail the skill and technique that went into your software development work.
Your invoices should also look as polished and professional as your work. You do amazing, complicated software development that makes your clients’ lives easier – make sure your invoices reflect your expertise.
- Look through the variety of specialized software development templates we offer in elegant designs and colors
- Download the template you like in your preferred format – Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets. It’s fast and it’s free!
- Add in your business name, phone number, email address, and other contact information. If you specialize in software development for a particular industry, add that in here as well
- Apply your logo, website address, and other great software graphics
- Insert your client’s name and up-to-date contact information
- Generate a unique invoice number and add it in
- Insert the invoice date and the payment due date
- List all the services you provided, such as designing, programming, documenting, and testing, along with descriptions and the cost for each
- Customize the format by adding lines to include any special features you supplied, such as security and bug fixing
- If you are including a special discount, add a line explaining the reason for the discount so your client knows you are giving them extra value
- Calculate the total price of the project, including applicable tax, and insert the total at the bottom
- Include payment terms, including payment methods you accept
- If appropriate, add a personal line at the end. Say “Thank you for the business,” or include a note about how much you enjoyed working with the client. It could help you secure repeat business!
- Save a copy – and send the invoice
When is the right time to send an invoice to your software development clients?
Depending on the scope of your software development work, you could invoice on completion if it’s a smaller project, or request partial or even full payment up front if it’s a long, time-consuming assignment. This isn’t unreasonable, as you are running your own business and need to keep the revenue flowing in while you are working for the client.
One option is to ask for a percentage of the estimated cost up front, with the remainder on completion – or you can offer to send in monthly invoices. Whatever payment cadence you choose, make sure to reflect that on each invoice, and clarify what portion of the final “cost” has been paid to date.
Handy invoicing tips for software developers
Personalize your invoices
It never hurts to add a personal touch to your invoice. Include descriptions or details that the client specifically requested so they know you took care to meet their needs – especially if you’d like to do repeat business with them.
Keep a numbered record
Know how much money you have coming in with an organized, numbered invoicing system. You might also want to give large software development projects a job code or number as well – especially if the job is going to be spread out over a long period of time with several invoices.
Include a ‘payment due’ date
Clearly indicate when you expect payment. It’s a gentle way of bringing the point home without coming off as too aggressive – and it actually works!
Include up-to-date contact information
Great software development involves paying attention to details – don’t let the wrong address or banking information hold up your payment. Make sure your contact information is up-to-date and easy to find.
Accept a variety of payment methods
You are a technology whiz, so make sure you accept the latest electronic payment technology, such as e-Transfers and other online payment methods. Make it easy for the money to come in!