Do you bill for invoicing time?

When you’re setting your consulting fees, do you consider invoicing to be billable or non-billable time? Depending on how you set up your fees and contracts, you might designate time spent invoicing as administrative work — the cost of doing business. Or you might consider invoicing part of client and project management — and bill for it.

I’m curious about how my readers handle invoicing. Really, all paths may lead to the same place. If you put invoicing under administrative time, it will be absorbed into your fees. If you put it under project management, your project fees will be higher. What do you do?

Tony says:

I’m with Harold in that it doesn’t take that long. I offer a discount for advance payment as well. It’s simple economics: a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow. Also, advance payment alleviates the possibility of non-payment or past due headaches.

When possible, I always prefer to bill based on value and total-project versus hourly billing. I can’t imagine submitting an itemized invoice (if asked) with an entry for admin type work.

Laura says:

It’s a good question, but I’m like Harold. They don’t take very long to do. Usually, it’s less than 1/2 hour.

Generally, I bill by the project and not hourly. I do record the time that I spend creating the invoice for my own information.

Andrea says:

I usually bill by the project, but sometimes I go with hourly if I know the client and I’m unsure how long it’s going to take. But I prefer to bill by the project so that everyone has their cards on the table.

Creating an invoice doesn’t take much time, but chasing after one sure does. Fortunately, most of my clients pay within a week or so.

My invoices don’t take very long to do, so invoicing is non-billable. Chasing after invoices is another issue. I offer a discount to clients who pay in advance; it’s worth it.