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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:

  1. Head to the Invoices section and create a New Invoice. You'll see the Make Recurring option in the Settings pane to the right:Make recurring option on invoice.
  2. Clicking on this will display a couple of the benefits surrounding Recurring Invoices - saving time, customization, and the ability to review Invoices prior to sending them to your Clients (which is great if anything needs to be changed or updated on each Invoice!). Continue by clicking on the Make Recurring button Make recurring button to confirm.
  3. You'll be presented with the Recurring Schedule, where you're able to select a Start DateHow Often the Invoices are to be generated, How Many Invoices are to be generated, and Delivery Options

    Delivery Options include the following:
    Delivery options for generated invoices.
  4. You're able to choose Send Invoices Automatically, so FreshBooks will create & send the Invoices based on the schedule. Or you can choose to Create Draft Invoices which gives you the option to check the Invoice information prior to sending it to your Client:Schedule for generating invoices.
  5. Click Done, and then 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:New recurring template.

If you've set the Start Date to today, the first Invoice will be created once everything has been Saved.

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
  • 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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