How to create an invoice for consulting work

Learn to invoice for professional services like a pro consultant, with tasty onigiri examples

How to create an invoice for consulting work
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Hey there, friends!
Let's chat about something crucial for our consulting gigs - creating invoices. It's about showing the value we bring, not just collecting payments.
Whether you're just starting out or have been in the game for a while, mastering invoicing is essential. In this guide, we'll make invoicing easy for you.

Understanding the invoice for professional services

An invoice is a document sent by a provider of goods or services to their clients, requesting payment for the products or services provided. In the consulting industry, a professional services invoice serves as a formal record of the services rendered, the agreed-upon rates, and the total amount due. It is an important part of managing a consulting business, as it helps ensure that consultants are compensated for their work on time.
The key components of an invoice for consulting work include:
  • Client information This includes the client's name, address, and contact information.
  • Consultant information The consultant's name, business address, and contact details.
  • Invoice number and date Each invoice should have a unique identifier and include the date it was issued.
  • Description of services A detailed description of the services provided, including the date of service, the number of hours worked (if applicable), and the rate charged per hour or project.
  • Total amount due The total amount owed by the client, including any taxes or additional charges.
  • Payment terms The payment terms specify when the payment is due and any penalties for late payment.
  • Payment methods The invoice should include instructions on how the client can make payment, such as bank transfer, credit card, or online payment platforms.

How to invoice as a consultant

Invoicing for consultants is a crucial part of managing a successful consulting business. Before starting any project, it's essential to set clear terms and conditions. This includes defining the scope of work, outlining deliverables, and specifying payment terms. A written agreement or contract can help ensure that both you and your client are on the same page, reducing the risk of misunderstandings.
Determining the billing rate and structure for your consulting services is another important step. Start by researching industry standards and evaluating your expertise and experience. Consider the complexity and duration of the project, as well as the value you provide to your client. Your billing rate should reflect your skills and the market rate for similar services.
When it comes to structuring your billing, you have several options. You can charge hourly, daily, or project-based rates, depending on the nature of the project. Hourly rates are suitable for short-term or uncertain projects, while daily rates work well for longer-term projects with a defined scope. Project-based rates offer a fixed price for the entire project, which can be beneficial for both you and your client if the scope is well-defined.
By setting clear terms and conditions and determining the right billing rate and structure for your consulting services, you can ensure that your invoicing process is smooth and efficient, leading to successful consulting engagements.

Creating the invoice

Creating detailed and transparent invoices is key to understanding how to bill as a consultant. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to create an invoice for your consulting work:
  1. Use a professional template Start with a professional invoice template that includes your business name, contact information, and logo.
  1. Include client information Add your client's name, address, and contact details at the top of the invoice.
  1. Add invoice details Include an invoice number, invoice date, and payment due date to track and manage your invoices efficiently.
  1. List services rendered Describe the services you provided, including dates, hours worked (if applicable), and rates.
  1. Calculate total amount due Calculate the total amount due based on the services provided and any additional charges.
  1. Include payment terms Specify the payment terms, including accepted payment methods and any late fees.
  1. Add notes (if necessary) Include any additional information or special instructions relevant to the invoice.
  1. Review and send
Double-check the invoice for accuracy and professionalism before sending it to your client.
Also, we've got a whole article about creating professional invoices, check it out if you want to dive deeper into this topic!
In addition to these steps, consider the following tips:
  • Format professionally. Use a clear, easy-to-read format and font to make your invoice professional.
  • Itemize services. Break down your services into individual line items to make it easier for clients to understand.
  • Include relevant details.
Add any relevant details, such as project milestones or terms and conditions, to avoid confusion.
By following these steps and tips, you can create a professional invoice for your consulting work that helps you get paid accurately and on time.
Also, if you want to make your life easier, consider automating the invoice creation process with

Best practices for consultant billing

Ensuring accuracy and professionalism in your consultant billing is crucial for maintaining a positive relationship with your clients and getting paid on time. Here are some tips to help you create effective invoices:
  1. Use a consistent format Use the same format for all your invoices to maintain consistency and make it easier for clients to understand.
  1. Include detailed descriptions Clearly describe the services provided, including the date, duration, and any additional notes or comments.
  1. Double-check for errors Before sending an invoice, double-check it for any errors or omissions to ensure accuracy.
  1. Set clear payment terms Clearly specify the payment terms, including the due date and any late fees, to avoid confusion.
  1. Send invoices promptly Send your invoices promptly after completing the work to avoid delays in payment.
  1. Follow up on overdue payments If a payment is overdue, send a polite reminder to your client and follow up regularly until the payment is received.
  1. Keep detailed records.
Maintain detailed records of all your invoices and payments for accounting and tax purposes.
By following these best practices for consultant billing, you can ensure that your billing process is efficient, accurate, and professional, leading to better relationships with your clients and timely payments for your services.

Tools for invoicing as a consultant

Streamlining the invoicing process can save you time and ensure that your consulting services invoices are accurate and professional. Here are some software and tools that can help:


Onigiri is a comprehensive invoicing tool designed specifically for consultants. It allows you to create professional invoices quickly and easily, and manage your clients and projects efficiently.
With Onigiri, you can automate recurring invoices, set up payment reminders, and generate detailed reports to track your finances. It's a great tool for consultants looking to streamline their invoicing process and improve their cash flow.


Xero is a cloud-based accounting software that offers invoicing, expense tracking, and financial reporting features. It's suitable for consultants who need a comprehensive accounting solution with advanced features.


QuickBooks is another widely used accounting software that offers invoicing, expense tracking, and reporting features. It's a comprehensive tool that is suitable for consultants who need more advanced accounting capabilities.


Wave is a free accounting software that offers features such as invoicing, expense tracking, and receipt scanning. It's a great option for consultants looking for a cost-effective accounting solution.


Invoicing doesn't have to be daunting. By implementing a few best practices, like using invoicing software and setting clear payment terms, consultants can make the process smoother and more efficient. Remember, invoicing is an opportunity to showcase your professionalism and value to your clients.
Why did the consultant wear a suit while invoicing? Because they wanted to "suit" their clients' needs!
I hope this joke brings a grin to your face! Remember to be yourself, even when invoicing. Thanks for reading, and may your invoices always be as professional as your services!