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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I create a Recurring Invoice?

Creating Recurring Invoices is easy in FreshBooks. These Invoices will be generated automatically based on the schedule you choose, giving you more time to focus on doing what you love. Perfect for those subscription-based Clients with whom you provide ongoing work on a recurring basis - check out our blog post on recurring invoices here.

Creating a Recurring Template:

You'll need to create an Invoice first, which will then give you the option to convert it to a Recurring Template with the below steps:

  1. Go to the Invoices section
  2. Click on the New Invoice button
  3. Under Settings on the right, click on Make Recurring
    Make recurring option on invoice.
  4. Under Recurring Schedule, choose a Next Issue Date for when to generate the first Invoice
  5. In the How Often? field, choose between Weekly, Monthly, Yearly, or Custom (Every x Week, Month, or Year)
  6. In the How Many? field, choose between Infinite (don't stop generating Invoices) or x Remaining (indicate how many Invoices to generate)
  7. Under Delivery Options, choose between Send invoices automatically or Create Draft invoices and send manually 
  8. If you want to accept online payments, then in the Accept Online Payments field, check off the box next to Allow clients to save credit cards to make automatic payments
  9. Click Done
  10. Next, fill out the Invoice details - add a Client, add line items, and feel free to add any Notes, Terms or other information the Client may need like Reminders or Late Fees as needed
  11. When you're done, click on the Save... button to finish. If you've set the Start Date to today, the first Invoice will be created once everything has been saved.


Note: If your Recurring Template is set to generate Invoices on the first of every month, it may take longer to generate as there is a larger queue on this day every month. Changing the generation date to the second of the month or near the end of the month is a good way to avoid this.

Adding Unbilled Time

If you'd like to Invoice for your time tracked on a recurring basis, you can set up your Recurring Template to automatically add any unbilled time for you. This will generate future Invoices with any time tracked during that period for you, automatically.

When setting up your Recurring Template, use these extra steps:

  1. Ensure a Client is selected
  2. Click on the Add a Line button
  3. Click on Import unbilled time entries Import unbilled time entries button.
  4. Choose how you'd like these time entries to be formatted (Detailed, Grouped, or Simple)
  5. Once you're happy with the settings, click on Looks Good to finishFormat time entries options.
  6. You will now have any future time entries automatically imported onto this Recurring Template.  
    Future imported time entries placeholder on template.


Dynamic Variables

Dynamic variables allow you to substitute placeholder text with the appropriate date or time value when the Invoice is generated from your Recurring Template.

The following variables work in the Item Description, the Notes and the Terms fields only:

  • ::month::  (month when invoice is generated)
  • ::year::  (year when invoice is generated)
  • ::quarter::  (quarter when invoice is generated)


  • Hosting for the month of ::month:: = Hosting for the month of June
  • ::year+1:: yearly subscription = 2018 Yearly Subscription
  • Fees for ::quarter+1:: = Fees payment for Q3

Be sure your variables are correctly formatted with no spaces.


Viewing Recurring Templates

You can view Recurring Templates by going to the Invoices section and clicking on the Recurring Templates text above the list.
Recurring template sub-tab.
All Recurring Templates will display the frequency and the number of Invoices left to generate (if applicable).

Clicking on the Recurring Template will bring you to a preview of the generated Invoice. The green banner at the top of the Invoice shows that the Template is Automatically Created or Automatically Sent:
Preview of an active recurring template.

Deactivating Recurring Templates

To stop Recurring Invoices from generating, use these steps:

  1. Go to the Invoices section
  2. Click on the Recurring Templates tab
  3. Click on the Recurring Template you want to stop
  4. Select the More Actions button
  5. Click on Pause Recurring and the template will no longer generate new Invoices.
    Pause recurring button on template.

To restart it, simply repeat the above steps until you get to the last step - select the Restart Recurring button instead.



How come I don't see the option to make my Invoice Recurring? 

Recurring Invoices can only be made from brand new Invoices. If you have saved the Invoice at all, the Make Recurring option is no longer available.

You can copy the Invoice and make it Recurring, then delete the original one with these steps:

  1. Go to the Invoices section
  2. Check the box off next to the Invoice you want to copy
  3. Click on the More Actions button
  4. Select Duplicate
  5. Click on Make Recurring under Settings and continue with making your Recurring Invoice. Don't forget to delete the original Invoice after when you're done!


What do each of the statuses on my Recurring Templates mean? 

  • Auto-Draft - the template will automatically generate Draft Invoices only for you (if you have a card saved, the Client's card will also still be billed automatically)
  • Auto-Sent - the template will automatically generate Invoices and send them for you
  • Auto-Paid - the template will automatically generate Invoices, send them for you, and bill the Client's saved credit card information (if Recurring Payments is enabled)
  • Card Saved - the template will automatically generate Draft Invoices only and bill the Client's saved credit card information (if Recurring Payments is enabled)
  • Inactive - the template is no longer generating any Invoices
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