What Is a Recurring Invoice?

A recurring invoice tells Dubsado to automatically create and send a new one-time invoice to the client via email at regular intervals. Multiple invoices will be created, all for the same amount!

Recurring invoices are best used for subscription-type services where payments are ongoing, such as monthly website maintenance, social media management, or monthly coaching services. Your client will also have the option to opt-in to automatic payments on a recurring invoice.

⚠️ Heads up! Not sure if you should be using a recurring invoice or a one-time invoice with a payment plan? Do not miss this article!

How to Set Up a Recurring Invoice

You must do the initial setup for each recurring invoice individually, but once you start it running, it will send out invoices automatically on the schedule you set!

Here's how to set it up: (the numbers in the diagram match the steps below)

  1. Open the project where you'd like to start the recurring invoice.

  2. Go to Invoices >> Recurring Invoices.

  3. Click Add to create a new recurring invoice.

  4. Set your recurring schedule at the top, for example "Send every 1 Month(s)."

  5. Select a Start Date. This is the date that your first invoice will be created and sent.

  6. If you only wish to bill the client for a set time frame, set an End Date 1-2 days after you'd like the final invoice to be sent. Otherwise, leave this blank and the recurrence will continue until you manually stop it.

  7. ⚠️ Add packages or custom line items to your invoice (see below for more info).

  8. ⚠️ Add a payment plan for "x days after applied to invoice - 100% due" to set a due date (see below for more info).

  9. Review the details you have set up for accuracy.

  10. Click Start Recurrence.

Once you click Start Recurrence, the first invoice will be created and sent on the Start Date you selected and repeat from there! You'll see individual invoices show up under the Invoice List tab as they are created and sent.

⚠️ Heads up! There are some important details below on adding line items and a payment plan to your recurring invoice.

Line Items on a Recurring Invoice

When adding line items to your recurring invoice, remember that you will be repeatedly billing the client for that same amount. Here are some examples:

Example #1: A client signs up for a website maintenance service. You set up the recurring invoice to send every 1 Month and add a line item for $100. The client will receive and pay a brand new invoice for $100 every month.

Example #2: A client signs up for 12 months of consulting with you, for a total cost of $12,000. You want to bill them monthly, so you set up a recurring invoice to send every 1 Month (with an End Date set 1-2 days after their final billing date) and add a line item for $1,000. After 12 months, you will have sent the client 12 invoices and they will have paid $1,000 on each invoice.

Here are some tips for line items on recurring invoices:

  • You cannot edit each individual invoice before it sends out, so the same exact line items and price will appear on the invoice each time.

  • If you set up recurring invoices often, create package templates for the common amounts you charge. Make the package total equal to the amount you bill each cycle, NOT the final amount a client will end up paying you after multiple billings.


Setting a Due Date on a Recurring Invoice with a Payment Plan

By default, a recurring invoice will not have a due date. Adding a payment plan will allow you to set a due date so that you can tell if an invoice is overdue (and send reminders if needed).

You must use a relative due date "x days after payment plan applied to invoice" for a payment plan used on a recurring invoice.

Here is the exact payment plan template we recommend creating for use with recurring invoices:

A single due date "x day(s) after payment plan applied to invoice", with 100% due.

This will make each invoice sent by the recurring invoice due in full on the day it is sent. You could also change the due date to "5 days after payment plan applied to invoice" if you wanted each invoice to be due 5 days after the invoice creation/send date.

Adding payment reminders is optional, but they must have a relative send date "x days AFTER due date." Send dates before/after job or before due date will NOT work.

💡Here's a tip... set this up as a payment plan template so that you can easily add it to each recurring invoice you create.

⚠️ Heads up! You CANNOT use a fixed due date (i.e. 4/17/2020), before/after job, or after contract is signed in a payment plan that you are applying to a recurring invoice. This would result in every invoice sent having the same exact due date!

For example, if you a fixed date of 4/17/2020 for your due date, a recurring invoice sent in October 2020 would still have a due date of 4/17/2020.

🚨WARNING! If you have multiple due dates in a payment plan on a recurring invoice, you may be using it incorrectly. Adjust your recurring settings to send more frequently and lower the invoice amount, or review the difference between recurring invoices and payment plans!


How do I edit my recurring invoice?

You will need to end that recurrence in order to edit it.

Where can I see individual invoices created by a recurring invoice?

Open the project and go to Invoices >> Invoice List.

Why can't I click "start recurrence" on my invoice?

Ensure there is a start date, as well as frequency set, for that recurrence.

Can my client change their card information on a recurring invoice?

The User will need to end the recurrence, and begin a new recurrence. When the Client opts in for auto pay on the new invoice, they should be able to enter new card details.

How do I edit the time a recurring invoice is sent?

Currently, you cannot edit the time a recurring invoice is sent. The time that you click Start Recurrence (e.g. 3:00 pm) will be the time that all future invoices from that recurring invoice are sent.

Where do I edit the email sent with my recurring invoice?

You can edit this "send invoice" email under your Templates >> Canned Emails >> Edit Templates.

Can I start a recurring invoice from a workflow?

No, you cannot start a recurring invoice from a workflow.

Can I start a recurring invoice from a proposal?

No, you cannot start a recurring invoice from a package on a proposal. But there is a workaround! Check out the video below:

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