I own a small photography business.

Once the client decides to go with my services, I charge them 50% off the full cost of service, to be paid within 5 days upon agreement. This payment secures their date.

Meanwhile, the remaining 50% is not due until 2 days before their actual event date, which is typically months away.

I'd like to find a software that allows me to have a single "sales order" (the bi picture), but which allows me to invoice the customer off of that order twice, for the corresponding 50% payments.

This would allow me to have independent due dates for the two payments, and have greater accuracy on who owes money, who is on track, and especially, how much money is planned to be coming in during the following months. Suppose a customer has an event in June and I will charge her $1,000. $500 of that amount should be considered for money coming in this month, while another $500 should be assigned to the Money coming in during June category.

All this, wothout having to create two separate, unrelated invoices. I'd love to find something where the two partial invoices are connected to a single sale, and where I can send the second invoice showing the transaction history for the sale, i.e. the amount billed in the first partial invoice, payments received, plus what is being billed now.

I've tried Xero, Kashflow and Zoho Invoice but haven't found a way to do this in any of them. I've seen some articles on QuickBooks describing something like this, but I'm not sure it will have all the Income forecasting features that I've talked about.

I'd love to hear your ideas if anybody else needs to do something similar to this for their invoicing.

Thanks, Carmen

  • This is not a question about personal finance or money but is suitable for another stackexchange site. Please ask the moderators to migrate this question to the Software Recommendations site. – Dilip Sarwate Apr 29 '14 at 16:10

Any accounting software should be able to handle this. When you invoice them, set the invoice date to the date of the event. Then receive a partial payment against that invoice. This will cause your accounting software to display the service income in the correct period as well.

So if you sent them invoice for August 7, 2014 event on May 5th, 2014 and they gave you $500 due, you would see this Income in August ($500 on Cash basis, $1000 on Accrual basis. When you received the other $500 in August, you would see $1000 for both methods). You would not see any income in May, when you created the invoice. This is better for revenue matching with the correct period.

When you send them same invoice (say 30 days before the event), Set the software to show payments already received (it seems that most online accounting software will do this by default). Here is an example in Freshbooks.

This is example in FreshBooks

Here is an example in Xero:

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Seems they both display information on when you can expect payment on the their respective dashboards.

In the Desktop version of Quickbooks (which I use a lot), it will not show the balance of the customer by default on an invoice. You will have to modify the invoice template. There are more details on that here. In Desktop version of Quickbooks, you can look at Cash Flow Forecast report to see the expected amount coming in.

I hope that helps and good luck.

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