As a busy freelancer, you work for a variety of clients. Some jobs are one-off, but others are ongoing, whether on a weekly, monthly or other basis. Invoice Ninja’s Recurring Invoice feature automatically creates invoices for ongoing jobs, and sends the current invoice to the client on a regular, pre-defined basis. For each recurring job, you only need to set up the procedure once. Here’s how it works.
List Recurring Invoices¶
To view the Recurring Invoices list page, go to the Invoices tab on the main sidebar and click to open the Invoices list page. To open the list page for Recurring Invoices, click the gray Recurring button located above the top right side of the invoices table.
The recurring invoices list provides a display of all active recurring invoices.
Here is a description of the columns in the recurring invoices list table, from left to right:
- Frequency: How often the client is billed with this invoice, ie. Weekly, monthly, etc.
- Client name: The client’s name
- Start Date: The date the recurring invoice series started
- Last sent: The date the last invoice was sent for this recurring invoice series
- Amount: The amount due
- Private notes: Comments and notes that you added when creating the recurring invoice. Only you can see them.
- Status: The status of the recurring invoice (ie. Draft, Sent, Viewed, Paid, Overdue)
- Action: Hover your mouse over the Action area of the relevant recurring invoice entry and a gray Select button will appear. Click on the arrow at the right side of the button to open a drop-down list. The drop-down list presents a range of possible actions for you to choose from:
- Edit Invoice: Edit the recurring invoice information on the Edit Invoice page.
- Clone to Invoice: Duplicate the recurring invoice as a new recurring invoice.
- Clone to Quote: Create a quote containing data duplicated from the recurring invoice.
- Archive Recurring Invoice: Click here to archive the recurring invoice. It will be archived and removed from the Recurring Invoices list page.
- Delete Recurring Invoice: Click here to delete the recurring invoice. It will be deleted and removed from the Recurring Invoices list page.
To filter the Recurring Invoices list, enter the filter data in the Filter field, situated at the top right of the page, to the left of the blue New Recurring Invoice + button. Recurring invoices can be filtered according to Frequency or Client name. Enter the data or parts of the data, and the filter function will automatically locate and present the relevant entries.
To archive or delete a recurring invoice, hover over the Action area of the recurring invoice entry row, and open the Action drop-down list. Select Archive recurring invoice or Delete recurring invoice from the list. The Recurring Invoices table will automatically refresh, and archived or deleted recurring invoices will no longer appear in the list. You can also archive or delete one or more recurring invoice via the gray Archive button that appears at the top left side of the Recurring Invoices list page. To archive or delete recurring invoices, check the relevant recurring invoices in the check boxes that appear in the far left column next to the Frequency field. The number of recurring invoices selected for archiving/deleting will automatically update and show on the Archive button. Then click on the Archive button, open the drop-down list and select the desired action.
Want to view archived or deleted recurring invoices? Locate the field just to the right of the Archive button at the top left of the recurring invoices table. The field has a default setting of “Active”, which means that the table is displaying only Active recurring invoices. Click inside the field, and a drop-down list will open. Select Archived and/or Deleted to view the desired invoices. The table will automatically refresh, and will now feature the full list of recurring invoices, including active, archived and deleted recurring invoices. The status of archived or deleted recurring invoices is displayed in the Action column.
- Deleted recurring invoices are displayed with a red Deleted button. To restore deleted recurring invoices, hover on the red Deleted button. A gray Select button will appear. Click on the Select arrow, and select Restore recurring invoice in the drop-down list.
- Archived recurring invoices are displayed with an orange Archived button. To restore or delete the archived recurring invoice, hover on the orange Archived button. A gray Select button will appear. Click on the Select arrow, and choose Restore recurring invoice from the drop-down list. To delete an archived recurring invoice, select Delete recurring invoice from the drop-down list of the Select button.
Create Recurring Invoice¶
When you create a recurring invoice, you are creating a pre-defined frequency for invoicing a particular job and client. The recurring invoice entry as featured in the Recurring Invoices list is not the actual invoice sent. Once an invoice of a recurring invoice series is created, it will appear as a numbered invoice in the Invoices list page.
Recurring invoices are numbered with a prefix before the invoice number. This enables you to identify and keep track of your recurring invoices with ease.
To define your recurring invoices number prefix, go to Advanced Settings > Invoice Settings. In the first box, click on the Options tab. Then, specify your prefix in the Recurring prefix field. Make sure to click the green Save button at the bottom of the page to save your prefix setting.
Now, we’ll explore how to set up a recurring invoice.
To create a new recurring invoice, you’ll need to go to the Invoices list page. Then, click on the arrow at the right side of the gray Recurring button, located at the top right above the Invoices list table. Select New Recurring Invoice from the drop down menu.
Next, you’ll need to complete the invoice details. Let’s go over the fields to get a better understanding:
- Client: Click on the arrow at the right end of the Client field. Select the relevant client from the client list. TIP: You can create a new client while creating a new recurring invoice. Simply click on the Create new client link, situated below the Client field on the Recurring Invoices / Create page. A pop-up window will open, enabling you to complete the new client’s details. Then continue creating the recurring invoice for this new client.
- Frequency: Select the frequency the invoice will be sent to the client. Click on the arrow at the right end of the Frequency field to open the drop-down list of frequency options.
You can create dynamic date variables to include in your invoice emails. Use :MONTH, :QUARTER or :YEAR for date variables, and basic math to modify them. For example, if you enter “:YEAR+1 yearly subscription”, the date will appear as the current year + one, denoting subscription for next year.
- Start Date: The date the recurring invoice series begins
- End Date: The date the recurring invoice series is due to stop
- Due date: The date each recurring invoice is due. This is the default date for all invoices in the recurring invoice series. For example, you may want the client to pay on the 1st of the month for each recurring invoice. If so, select “1st day of month” from the drop-down menu. TIP: You can also choose to define the due date according to the client’s pre-defined terms. If so, select “Use client terms” from the drop-down menu.
- Auto-Bill: Select the applicable option if you want the system to bill the customer automatically at the selected frequency. To disable Auto Bill, select “Off”. To enable Auto-Bill at all times, select “Always”. To give your customers the option to manage their auto billing for the recurring invoice on their client portal, check the “Opt-In” or “Opt-Out” setting.
- PO #: Enter the purchase order number for easy reference.
- Discount: If you wish to apply a discount to the invoice, you can choose one of two methods: a monetary amount, or a percentage of the total amount due.
Complete the rest of the recurring invoice as you would a regular invoice. Enter the item(s), quantities and amounts that you are charging on a recurring basis.