How to Create a Consolidated Invoice for Faster Payments

For freelancers and small business owners, time truly is money. Unfortunately, there are some aspects of working for yourself that take up time but don’t directly generate income, such as creating invoices, keeping track of payments and generating receipts. Finding ways to save yourself time on these tasks enables you to focus on work your clients will actually pay you for.

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Using consolidated invoices is a smart way to simplify and speed up the invoicing process. Sending just one invoice encompassing all the work done for a client during a set period can help you stay organized and increase your efficiency. What’s more, the process of creating a consolidated invoice is simple, and implementing it into your freelance or small business projects couldn’t be easier.

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With Hiveage you can send elegant invoices to your customers, accept online payments, and manage your team — all in one place.

In this article, we’ll explain what consolidated invoices are, why they can be helpful, and how to create them with Hiveage. Let’s get to it!

An Introduction to Consolidated Invoicing (And Why You Should Use Them)

A consolidated invoice is when you bill a client for all the work completed over a predetermined period of time. For example, a freelance writer might send one invoice to a client for all the articles they wrote during the span of one month, instead of sending a separate invoice for each individual article. Regardless of whether the writer completed two articles that month or twelve, they would still just send a single bill.

You might find consolidated invoices particularly helpful if you or your business are frequently in the following situations:

  • You have repeat clients who place orders for several products or services on a regular basis.
  • You often work on long-term projects for clients, which contain several stages that should each be billed as individual services or products.
  • You are providing an ongoing service and charge your clients per hour, and you want to bill them for all the hours you’ve worked over a certain period of time.

As you can probably imagine, using consolidated billing helps to simplify the process of billing your clients and improves your efficiency. You’ll save time spent on creating individual invoices, as you’ll have to put them together less often. Having fewer files to keep track of will also help with organization and file management. Should you ever need to retrieve an invoice, you’ll have fewer files to sort through.

Perhaps the most significant benefit of consolidated invoices, however, is their potential for streamlining the payment process. Sending a lot of invoices to a client in a short period of time can be a recipe for lost bills and missed payments.

On the other hand, clients are less likely to lose track of a single invoice, which means you shouldn’t have to spend time tracking clients down to secure missing payments. This also helps your clients avoid overdue bills and stay organized—there is only a single billing date to keep track of, and a fixed billing cycle—which will likely leave them with a good impression of what it’s like to work with your business.

How to Create a Consolidated Invoice (In 3 Steps)

Fortunately, creating a consolidated invoice is fairly simple. What’s more, Hiveage offers several tools that can help you along the way. Let’s break down what you’ll need to consider when setting up your first consolidated invoice.

Step 1: Determine the Invoice Billing Cycle

When working with repeat clients or on long ongoing projects, it’s important to determine the billing cycle you’ll use for your consolidated invoices ahead of time. It will be helpful for your clients to know when you will be expecting their payments. Plus, having a defined billing cycle ensures that you’re not waiting several months before you see your first paycheck.

The billing cycles you settle on will need to make sense for you, your clients, and your business. Monthly and 30-day cycles are common, however, and can be easy for you and your clients to keep track of. It’s best not to make your cycles too long, as this will affect the steady inflow of revenue to your business.

Step 2: Keep Detailed Records for Invoices

It’s extremely important to keep comprehensive and clear records of the time you spend working on each project, along with any services or products you may provide for your clients during each billing cycle. You will need this information when you create your consolidated invoices.

A simple solution is to track your hours in a spreadsheet or on a calendar. If you want to truly streamline this process, however, you can also take advantage of Hiveage’s convenient tracking features. Among other things, Hiveages enable you to pause and start the clock when you take breaks from work, and save templates for tasks you tackle on a regular basis (for easy record keeping).

Step 3: Write Up Your Invoice (Instead of Multiple Invoices)

Once all the necessary information is collected and the end of a billing cycle has been reached, you can input your times, services, and products into an invoice and send it off to your client. Make sure to include:

  • The billing cycle dates
  • An itemized list of what you’re charging the client for
  • How much you’re charging the client for each line item
  • The invoice total (including any relevant taxes and fees)

If you’re worried about forgetting something, consider using Hiveage’s invoice generator, which includes fields for all the information you’ll need to provide for your clients. Plus, if you tracked your time with Hiveage, you can simply convert your records into an invoice, making the process fast and easy.

Conclusion: How to Use Consolidated Invoices

Running your business should be about making money, not managing paperwork. Using consolidated invoices gives you more time to spend on the aspects of your business that are most important to you, rather than on the billing process. Plus, it’s a simpler system that’s more convenient for both you and your clients.

Best of all, you can consolidate invoices in just three steps:

  1. Determine the invoice billing period
  2. Keep detailed records
  3. Write up your invoice

Do you have any questions about how to use consolidated invoices effectively? Let us know in the comments section below!

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