Invoices are a central component to the SimplePractice billing system. Creating an invoice is the first step for billing your clients. These documents indicate when there is a balance due for a client - outlining the amount they owe for services or products rendered.
This guide covers how invoices will be used for optimized financial management, giving you the tools you need to easily track client balances.
Note: We're currently rolling out a new client billing page for our customers. If this has already been enabled in your account, please see our guide on Billing updates for more information.
Getting started with invoices
- Invoice creation
- Fee adjustment invoices
- Sending past due invoices
- Adding products to an invoice
- Adding appointment descriptions to invoices
- Deleting invoices
- Do I need to use invoices?
- Can I add sales tax to an invoice?
- Can I add a credit card processing fee to an invoice?
- Why don't my client's invoices and appointment fees match?
Note: You can learn more about your billing options in this walkthrough: Setting up your billing and automations.
There are several ways to create invoices. SimplePractice gives you the flexibility to handle these processes automatically or manage them manually as needed.
By default, invoices are set to automatically generate on a daily basis. With this setting, an invoice will be created overnight if a client has been seen for an appointment. As a best practice, we recommend keeping this setting as is so that invoices are generated regularly for your clients - giving you peace of mind that your billing is taken care of.
You also have the option to manually generate invoices or set them to auto-generate on a monthly basis. We advise that these options are only used for practices with complex billing workflows. You can work with one of our Customer Success team to determine if either of these options are needed for your practice.
- Managing your invoice creation settings
- Creating an invoice from the Calendar Fly-out
- Creating an invoice from a client's Overview page
Important: Until an appointment is invoiced, it is considered Uninvoiced. Once an invoice is generated, the Uninvoiced amount transfers to the Client Balance, giving a record of what your client owes.
Managing your invoice creation settings
You can manage your invoice generation settings by going to Settings > Billing and Services. From here you can select the option that is right for your practice:
- Daily: Automatically create invoices at the end of each day. (Recommended)
- Monthly: Automatically create invoices on the first day of each month.
- Manually: Do not automate invoices. (Only recommended for practices with complex billing workflows)
Creating an invoice from the Calendar Fly-out
If you collect payment and record it at the time of an appointment, you will add a payment and generate an invoice at the same time from the Calendar Fly-out.
To do this, select the correct appointment in the calendar. Collect the Uninvoiced Session amount from the client, select the payment type, and record the payment by clicking Add Payment.
The invoice is generated and the payment applied. You'll receive confirmation of this with the PAID invoice indicated on the flyout.
If you'd prefer to view and customize the invoice before applying payment, you can click Edit Invoice instead of Add Payment.
Note: If you manually create invoices for an appointment, the system will not generate another duplicate invoice for that appointment, even with automatic invoicing set up for your practice.
Creating an invoice from a client's Overview page
If you've decided to generate invoices monthly or to manually generate them, you'll want to periodically create an invoice of all uninvoiced appointments to make sure that your client's balance is accurate. If you see either a Client Credit or an Uninvoiced amount reflected when it should not be, this means that you'll want to update their financial records.
To generate an invoice:
- Navigate to the client's Billing page
- Click Uninvoiced
- Select the date(s) of service
- Click Create Invoice
Your invoice will appear with all outstanding appointments listed and you can edit it as needed. Once the client has made the correct payment, the invoice will get marked as Paid. See How are payments allocated to invoices? to learn about how your client's payments are posted to invoices.
Fee adjustment invoices
If your clients have fee adjustment invoices, it means that the appointment fee has been changed for an appointment that was already invoiced. If an appointment fee changes, the system needs to create an adjustment invoice to balance out the change.
Removing fee adjustment invoices
If you want to clean up your client's billing and remove fee adjustment invoices, you'll need to do the following:
- Delete all invoices for the appointment.
- Edit the appointment fee, if you haven't done so already. If you've already edited the appointment fee, skip to the last step.
- Create new invoices for the appointment and make sure to edit the date before saving the invoice. You can edit the date on a newly created invoice by clicking the date on the invoice.
Check out this guide for more information: Changing Appointment Fees
Preventing fee adjustment invoices in the future
To avoid fee adjustment invoices, make sure to edit the appointment fee before the end of the day if you have invoice automation enabled.
Note: We recommend invoice automation because invoices are the basis of billing in SimplePractice. If you disable invoice automation, you will need to manually invoice appointments for each client.
Important: AutoPay will automatically charge a client if a fee adjustment invoice is created and the amount is positive. This can occur when an electronic payment report (ERA) comes in and client's Client Owes field is different than what's listed in their profile, thus creating a fee adjustment invoice.
Sending past due invoices
In your Billing and Services settings, you can indicate when an invoice is considered past due. This will help you stay up to date with your billing and identify which invoices need your attention the most.
Here's how to set this up:
- Navigate to Settings > Billing and Services
- Select the number of days that would trigger a past-due designation on an invoice from the dropdown
- Check the Email clients when an invoice is past due box if you want to send automated emails to your clients that have past due invoices
- Clients will receive weekly past due email notifications for 4 weeks after the invoice has been designated as past due
- Clients will receive weekly past due email notifications for 4 weeks after the invoice has been designated as past due
Note: If you would like to disable the email notification feature, you can uncheck Email clients when an invoice is past due. There isn't a way to prevent the system from indicating invoices after they've been issued for a certain number of days as past due.
Once 30 days have passed since an invoice was created, if it remains unpaid, the status will change to Past Due.
You can preview and customize the past due email template by navigating to Settings > Client Portal > Emails.
Once a payment is applied to a past due invoice, it will update to the Paid status. See Adding a payment to learn how to add a client payment.
Adding products to an invoice
Products are non-appointment items you can add to invoices to charge a client. It can include anything from books, workshops, service charges, an initial balance, etc.
Note: To learn more about setting up your product list, refer to Adding a product.
You can add a product as a line item to any unpaid invoice. The product fee will reflect on the client’s overall balance.
How to add a product to an invoice
- Open the unpaid invoice
- Click Edit
Note: If the invoice is already marked as paid, you can delete it and recreate a new one. New invoices can be edited before they're saved. Refer to Creating invoices to learn more.
- Click + Add Line Item
- Click + Add for the product you want to add. You can add as many as you need. Click the X when you’re done
- After the product has been added to the invoice, you can make edits to the amount or description as needed
- Click Save
The invoice is now ready to be paid. If you need to make any changes, you can click Edit again at the top right corner as long as the invoice is in the unpaid status.
How to create an invoice for Products only
There may be times where you need to create invoices for non-appointment fees only, like for fees related to a book or a workshop you offered. These billable, non-appointment items are called Products in SimplePractice. In these cases, you can create stand-alone invoices to charge your client for Products only.
Note: To learn more about how to add billable Products to your account, see Adding a product.
- Navigate to the client's Billing page
- Click New > Invoice
- Click Create Blank Invoice
Note: You will only see 0 uninvoiced appointments if all existing appointments in the time frame are already invoiced. If all existing appointments are not already invoiced, create invoices for those appointments first. To learn how to create a new invoice for appointments, see Creating invoices.
- Click Add Line Item
- Click + Add for each Product you want to add to the invoice. Click the X when you're done
- After the Product has been added to the invoice, you can make edits to the amount or description as needed
- Click Save
Adding appointment descriptions to invoices
We know it's important for you to have the flexibility you need to run your practice in a way that works for you and for your clients. This is why we've given you multiple options for how services display on invoices. To choose how you would like to display this information by default, follow these steps:
- Go to Settings > Billing and Services
- Under Invoice Settings select either
- Use Professional Services
- Use Appointment Service and Description
By default, invoices will display all appointment types as Professional Services when the invoice is generated.
This general description is used on the invoice billing document to help protect client privacy since more descriptive appointment information is generally required only on superbills.
You can also customize this description to be anything you wish. Here's how:
- If you haven't saved the invoice, just click into the text field and edit as needed
- If you have saved the invoice, click Edit and you will then be able to edit the text field as needed
If you would prefer to have the full service code description display on the invoice, go to Settings > Billing and Services and select Use Appointment Service and Description under Invoice Settings.
Note: You can always edit invoices individually after you generate them.
Invoices can be deleted at any time!
- Click the invoice to view it
- Once the invoice is open, you'll see four icons for: Print, Download, Email, and Delete, as shown below
- Click trash can icon to delete
Important: Deleted invoices and other deleted documents cannot be retrieved. Make sure to download the document as a PDF before deleting if you want to keep it for your records.
Do I need to use invoices?
Important: Invoices are required in order to indicate that you've billed a client, but you don't have to send these invoices to clients. They can remain in the system to indicate you've billed the client. If invoices aren't created for a session, the session fee will not be part of the client's balance and payments will result in a credit balance. Invoices can't be turned off.
Yes, in order to use the billing features of SimplePractice, you'll need to use invoices. But you don't need to send them to clients.
Can I add sales tax or credit card processing fees to invoices?
Many SimplePractice customers would like to add sales tax to their invoices. While this is something that our program cannot currently calculate automatically, you can create a Sales Tax "Product" which can be added to any invoice.
- First, go to Settings > Billing and Services > Products and add a new product for Sales Tax with a description that works for you.
- Here you can enter the price as $0, which can later be adjusted directly on the individual invoice based on the session's fee.
- Now go back to your client's profile and create an Invoice.
- Click Edit to customize the invoice and the Add Line Item button to enter your sales tax line item.
- Click +Add to include the Sales Tax Product you created. Then click X to return to the invoice.
- Next, calculate and enter the appropriate amount of the sales tax based on the fee in the Amount filed and click Save at the top of the invoice. After you hit Save, the Total listed at the bottom of the invoice will adjust based on what you've entered as the sales tax.
Can I add a credit card processing fee to an invoice?
Some customers opt to pass along the credit card processing fees to their clients. In some states this practice is illegal, so verify the laws that govern card acceptance in your state before you add fees to your credit invoices.
Creating a credit card processing fee as a product
Here is how to add the processing fee to a client invoice:
- Go to Settings > Billing and Services > Products.
- Enter a name for the fee such as Credit Card Processing Fee or Credit Card Surcharge.
- Enter a fixed price. (You can easily change the price on the invoice when adding the fee to the invoice - we'll get to that later in the steps. There is not a way to add a percentage.)
- Return to the Client's Billing Page and open the client's invoice (or create a new invoice for the session if one is not already made).
- Click Edit in the upper right corner of the screen. (If you do not see an edit button, check if the invoice has a green Paid stamp displaying on it. If it does, you will need to delete the invoice and create a new invoice.)
- Click Add Line Item just below the session fee on the invoice. A menu will pop up that allows you to select the product to add to the invoice.
- Click the Add button. Once added, you will have the option to edit the fee to adjust it for the fee you want to charge the client.
- Click Save in the upper right corner of the screen.
That's it! Now your invoice includes a credit card processing fee.
Note: SimplePractice has created a Stripe Calculator to help you set your rates and ensure that you are able to properly plan to reach your target income. You can access and make a copy of it from here: SP Stripe Calculator.
Is it legal?
Customers often ask us for advice about the legality of this practice (i.e., passing credit card fees on to clients).
The best way to get an answer to this question is to ask a lawyer. However, we can provide some information that is widely available on this issue.
As of April 2018, surcharges are illegal across the board in these states:
- New York
The legality of these states’ bans could change at any time, so it's up to providers to be aware of their state laws before applying these fees or surcharges to client invoices.
Note: Please note that this is general information only and we do not intend for you to use any of it as legal advice or guidance. Nor do we intend for you to use it in lieu of seeking appropriate legal counsel.
Why don't my client's invoices and appointment fees match?
If you set the client’s appointment fee incorrectly or you decide to change the fee for your client, you may need to delete and recreate invoices for these appointments.
For example: let’s say you have an appointment for $100 and create an invoice for the $100 appointment. The invoice will display $100 due for the appointment.
But, what if you meant to charge the client $80 for this appointment? If you edit the appointment fee and change it to $80, the invoice won’t automatically change to $100.
The system thinks you are making an adjustment so it creates an adjustment invoice with a $20 credit. This way, the system will reflect that the client only owes $80. These additional invoices can be confusing if you didn’t mean to bill that way.
How to fix this:
Let’s walk through the correct steps, which will leave you with a cleaner billing page. For the appointment that isn’t billed correctly you can choose one of two options:
Option 1. You are correcting the invoice because it shows the incorrect fee and you only intend to bill the client $80 (this is the most common scenario):
- Navigate to the client’s billing overview page, and click the invoice listed next to the appointment in the appointment line and click Delete in the top right corner.
- Next, hover over the appointment that you want to change. Click Edit under the appointment fee.
- Update the appointment fee (from $100 to $80). Click Save.
- Then create a new invoice for the client.
Option 2. You want to create an adjustment invoice and you don’t want to delete the original invoice. In this case, you can edit the appointment fee and let the system create the adjustment invoice. You'll see two invoices for the appointment: An initial invoice and an adjustment invoice:
- Navigate to the client’s billing overview page, and hover over the appointment that you want to update. Click Edit under the appointment fee.
- Enter the updated appointment fee and click Save.
- The system will automatically generate an adjustment invoice. If you have invoices set to be created automatically, this adjustment invoice will be generated overnight. Otherwise, you can create it manually by clicking uninvoiced from the upper right corner of the client's profile.
- You will then see the initial invoice and an adjustment invoice in line with the appointment.
Tip: We recommend keeping invoices automation on Daily in order to avoid any billing confusion. Just make sure to make any session fee changes before the end of the day so invoices generate correctly.