2 min read
As a professional freelance architect you want to allocate your time to where it’s most profitable to your business. Whether you’re planning and designing new buildings, or working to restore or conserve properties, your working hours are billable, and contribute to the profitability of your company.
Unfortunately however, as with every business, you’ll need to dedicate unbilled time to admin, and especially to raising and sending out architectural invoices to your customers.
In this post we’ll show you how quick and easy it can be to create an invoice for architectural services, with the aid of a template and architecture invoice software.
Architectural invoices: How are they billed?
As a self-employed architect it’s important that you keep cash coming in in order to stay afloat. Many small businesses fail, not because of a lack of expertise, but because they have a lackadaisical attitude to getting paid. That’s why it’s essential to have an efficient payment system in place, to ensure you get compensated for work completed, and not be left in arrears.
Architects typically bill in three ways:
On a percentage of construction fees basis: The client and architect need to define the services to be provided, approximate budget and nature of work.
A lump sum basis: This works best if the scale of the project is known beforehand. It’s important to set out the parameters of service in terms of time, project size and cost.
Stage payments: This is highly recommended, so that cash flow is maintained, and clients are not presented with a large bill at the end of the work. To help you collect recurring amounts during the course of a project you could consider using direct debit. This ensures you’ll get paid on time, on a date that’s chosen by you beforehand.
Time charged by agreement, or hourly rate: This is the best way to bill where the scope of a project is unknown beforehand. Records of time spent on a project should be available to clients on request.
Fees charged will depend on the scope of the project, the complexities and size of overheads.
Using an architectural services invoice template
In order to ensure you get paid on time it’s essential to present clients with a clear, professional invoice. This is where using an architecture invoice example or template can help. An architect invoice template can help you:
Standardize your invoicing efforts making it easy for anyone in the company to follow
Bill clients by your preferred methods, whether by phase or hourly rate
Keep accurate records of invoices for each project
Client invoice architecture: What to include?
Whether you’re using a template in Word, Excel, PDF, or Google Sheets you should be able to access a free client invoice architecture example online. Once you’ve downloaded your template add:
Your company name and contact details (include your licensing information and qualifications)
Your professional architecture logo and web address
Your client’s name and details
Unique invoice number and job code
Date and payment due date
List of services with descriptions and rate or fixed fee charged
Cost charged to the client with descriptions and costs
Total price including taxes
Payment terms including methods of payment
You may also want to include a thank you note at the bottom of your architectural invoice, to add a touch of professionalism.
Invoicing software can save you time
Billing can be very time-consuming, so to ensure all your time goes into core aspects of running your business, you can opt to use automated architecture invoice software. This can help you to compile timesheets and expenses, allocate resources and track projects.
Automated software can also help you assess the profitability of jobs and price for future projects. By using an accounting software that integrates with your payment provider, for example, GoCardless, you can create and reconcile your invoices with ease, and increase the chances of getting paid promptly.
We can help
GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.