Many people hate discussing money. They think it is a rude subject to bring up even when people owe it to them. That is why invoices were created. It helps talk about money without talking about it.
Writing a good construction invoice helps make payment easier and lets the client know exactly what they owe and why. Keep reading to learn how to write a good construction invoice.
What Is a Construction Invoice?
This little document is written out by contractors doing construction work for you. The content itemizes all the work done, the materials used as well as labor and other costs.
This document is sent or given to the customer after work has been performed on the construction project contracted. It creates a payment obligation for the customer and lets them know how much they need to pay the contractor.
It may also include the terms of payment so there are no misunderstandings. The content will differ between companies that use these invoices as there is no one way fits all to write them.
Construction Invoice Templates
Essential Elements of a Construction Invoice
It is important to have the right content included on the construction invoice. That way, you avoid legal hassles and arguments with the customer. Don’t forget to keep a copy for your records to achieve the same objective. Here is what should be included on your construction invoice
- The date – everyone needs to know when it was written
- Business information – this includes the name and address of your company as well as that of the customer
- Itemized list – of all goods used and services performed
- Cost – the price the customer has to pay for those goods and services
- Terms – the customer needs to know how they are to pay and when
Note: Don’t forget to include any applicable taxes and any deposits that are required and have been paid.
Construction Invoice: Quick Guide
These can be handwritten or typed out on a computer, plus they should be signed by the customer acknowledging their receipt of the invoice. Then here are some steps to guide your use of the invoice:
- Assess the job – make sure to get all the facts about what needs to be done
- Be competitive – you do not want to lose the job due to higher fees and costs
- Create your quote – tell the client what it will cost them to have you do the job
- Use your invoice to keep track of payments – this means you may have to write more than one to record all costs and payments made
- Send the final bill or invoice – this will acknowledge pre-payment and lets the customer know what the remaining balance is.
Construction Invoice: Best practices
The way to get all the money owed you after a construction job is to practice good business practices. Here are some suggestions to help you collect what is owed:
- Send the invoices in a timely manner – The longer you wait the harder it is to collect.
- Be concise and to the point – you do not want nor need extraneous information on the invoice. Keep the details clear so there are no misunderstandings or confusion. At the same time, you need to have detailed descriptions
- Keep accurate records – in other words, do not trust your memory but write everything down that needs to be remembered. You need to document all the work done in order to be paid
- Set up quick payment terms – keep the payment due date as short as possible. 30 days is usually standard
How Construction Invoice Can Help You?
These documents record what has transpired on a job. In other words, it is a record of materials used, the time workers spent on a job, as well as keep track of all taxes and fees. Then construction invoices let you know how much has been paid as a deposit or as an installment payment.
What the construction invoice also helps you with is your bookkeeping. It is easier to know what you paid out and what revenue came in when you use a construction invoice.
What to do when invoices remain unpaid?
One of the first steps in this process is to send out more construction invoices. However, if the customer is not responsible or full of integrity, those invoices may end up as wallpaper somewhere.
The next step, if you go unpaid for your work, is to send out a notice called an intent to lien. This is a little more serious and may spark some customers into paying what they owe.
The most powerful tool you have is found in the third step- the mechanic’s lien. This should help you get your money, but it is not always available. If it isn’t, you may have to hire a lawyer and take legal action.
Is Construction Invoice a legal document?
No, they are not. The reason for that is that they are vulnerable to manipulation. What that means is that different construction companies could create fake invoices and serve them on just about anyone. Then force them to pay.
This is why many construction outfits require a customer’s signature on the invoice. That signature protects them from any failure to pay on the customer’s part.
Can You Issue a Construction Invoice Without a Contract?
Technically, it depends on the type of or form of contract that is being recognized. Verbal agreements are often seen as a contract between the construction company and the customer.
It is best to have a written contract drawn up so that if mistakes are made, they can be legally resolved. This will protect you from many issues, including being over-charged.
The key to writing a good construction invoice is to be clear, detailed, and accurate. if you are not in all three areas, there could be some major issues you will have to work out. Those issues may have to be solved by a court and lawyers, which can get expensive.
If you are hiring someone or being hired to do a job make sure to have a written contract spelling out all the details of the work involved. That will protect you from questionable people later on when it is time to be paid or pay for work completed.