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Invoicing best practices
Invoicing best practices

Standard payment time frames and late fees and other general invoicing practices.

Michelle Lee avatar
Written by Michelle Lee
Updated over a week ago

Moxie makes it easy to keep track of your invoices and get paid for your work by generating a professional invoice that includes your logo and information, your client's name and information, and any relevant project details from the selected projects. Create recurring invoices, add expenses, and easily add work you've completed in just a few clicks.

Why is proper professional invoicing important?

Proper, professional invoicing offers the opportunity to build positive and productive client relationships, which are the beating pulse of your freelance business. It also ensures you get paid the correct amount at the expected time so you can:

  • Pay your bills on time

  • Regulate your cash flow

  • Proactively budget for future expenses

The Moxie invoicing toolset leaves no room for ambiguity; it allows you to respectfully communicate when and how you wish to be compensated, thus supporting a positive client relationship. It also empowers you to legally hold your clients accountable for paying the correct amount on time.

If you are new to invoicing, here are a few standard invoicing practices.

Freelance industry best practices: Invoicing

  • Require a deposit

  • Establish milestone payments for longer projects

  • Don’t agree to terms state you get paid only upon the full delivery of the work.

  • Get it all in writing with a contract

  • Establish your own standardized billing cycle that is frequent and predictable. This signals that you value your time and your work.

  • Bill early and often, despite the client's payment schedule.

  • Obtain the name and contact details of the person cutting the check. This way, if there are delays, you have someone to call.

  • Be vigilant. Don't hesitate to be persistent about seeking payment. This is another way to show that your time and work is valuable, and should be compensated accordingly.

It's also recommended to obtain the payment schedules and policies for each client before you do any work. Here are some questions you can ask your client:

  • How does their fiscal year run?

  • How long does it typically take to process invoices?

  • Which day(s) of the week do they cut checks?

  • How do they pay contract workers?

Regardless of your client's processes, it's important that you establish your own standardized billing cycle that is frequent and predictable. This signals to the client that you value your time and your work. You can then collaborate with the client to agree upon (in writing with signatures) the most productive methods of invoicing for your particular business relationship based on mutual needs and procedures.

What is the standard invoicing payment time frame?

Ultimately, this is your business so set the time frame for payment that works for you. The standard invoicing payment timeframe is 30-days, but here are some other questions that can influence your decision.

Is it a milestone payment? If so, we suggest setting your payment time frame to 'On Receipt' because it's recommended you do not start work on the second milestone until the payment goes through.

Is it a new client? Give new clients a more standard experience (30 days). As your professional relationship progresses, it will become possible to have the conversation of whether this time frame can be improved to meet the needs of both parties better.

Is it a retainer? If so, it makes sense to choose a longer time frame.

For longer projects, you may want to establish payment milestones with the client before starting work to guarantee payments over the course of the project. Milestones also improve communication with clients and build that vital, healthy client relationship.

What is a standard late fee?

Typically, late fee charges for unpaid invoices fall between 1.5% and 3% interest per month after the payment due date. These percentages seem small, but they're mighty; they serve as written (and legal) incentives for clients to pay on time.

Make sure any late fee conditions you include within your payment terms are per usury state laws. Familiarize yourself with the maximum annual interest rate in your state and consult a professional if you have questions.

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