Most consulting firms start out as a one-person company; the founding member strikes out on his or her own, offering their service to any and all takers. When the founding member starts out, usually he or she wears all the hats – consultant, secretary, and billing department, among others. One of the first questions a start-up needs to ask is how are you going to bill for your services? Billing a client and processing the payments should be high on the list, and a consulting invoice template is one of the first documents a new firm needs.
A consultant invoice is a document given by the consultant to the client indicating the payable bill for the consultancy services provided. It also includes the description of the consultancy, the number of visits and sessions, and the due date of payment.
How to make a good Consultant Invoice?
A good consultant invoice should have the following format
1. Company logo
This is the consultant company logo. This is the first part of a standard consultant invoice, and it is located at the top part of the document.
2. Company details
This includes the company details and contact information. It is located just below the company logo.
3. Date and invoice number
This is the third part of a consultant invoice and also located at the top of the invoice. It includes the invoice number, the date when the invoice was created, and the due date of payment.
4. Client details
This includes the name of the client, address, phone number, and email address.
5. Consultancy description
This is the body part of the invoice. It includes a detailed description of the consultancy services as well as the consultant role.
It also includes an itemized list of services offered by the consultant together with the payable amount for each service. You can choose to bill either per hour or per service.
Finally under this part, include the subtotal of the itemized list, taxes if any, discounts, pre-payments, and finally the total payable amount.
6. Terms and conditions
Just like any other standard invoice, a consultant invoice consists of the terms and conditions governing the contract. This is the last part of the invoice. It includes terms and conditions like the contract period, method of payment among others.
Consulting Invoice Templates
A consulting invoice template is a fill-in-the-blank document easily tailored to fit multiple needs. One constant is your company’s name, logo, address and contact information. How you layout other fields is up to you; you may want different formats for differing services, instead of a long list of every invoice. A template allows you to configure each document just the way you want it to appear.
Here are five consulting invoice templates to get you started:
Consulting Invoice Template for Excel® :
Consulting Invoice Template for Word:
Sample Consulting Invoice Template:
Using a consulting invoice template allows a company to set up an invoice tailored to each customer, and to save this document in a folder dedicated to the customer’s business. The wise consultant thinks about these things before he or she opens their doors, to facilitate a smooth-running operation. Filing information about a customer is best done in a database, but databases allow you to store links to external documents, so setting up individualized invoicing is a snap, with an invoice created by a consulting invoice template. When the company is small, invoicing customers is done on an individual basis; as the company grows, billing software will need to be purchased, to facilitate operations by an employee hired for the job, instead of the consultants doing it themselves. Using a consulting invoice template allows the company to grow without serious hiccups in the billing.
Before opening a consultant firm, the founding member(s) need to analyze their services and make a business plan detailing all the functions the company needs to handle, and to find free or inexpensive software to get them on their feet.