How do I create a recurring template?

Create a recurring template which generates invoices automatically based on the frequency you choose. This is useful for subscription-based work, or ongoing work that occurs on a recurring basis. Recurring invoices can also be automatically paid using Recurring Payments and with Advanced Payments as well.
 
Recurring Templates are automatically deactivated if your account becomes suspended or cancelled.
 
 
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. Changing the generation date to the second of the month or a different date is a good way to avoid this.

Create Recurring Templates

There are multiple ways to create a new recurring template: 
  • On the Dashboard, select the Create New... button, then select Recurring Template
  • Select the Invoices section, then select the Recurring Templates sub-section, and select New Recurring Template
  • Select the Clients section, then select a Client, select the Recurring Templates sub-tab and then select the + button to create a recurring template assigned to this client
 
From here, you can customize your new recurring template by going through each section below: 
New recurring template with fields to fill out.
 
 

Invoice Details

Set up your recurring template by filling it out like any other invoice:
  • Company, Client, and Invoice Details - Choose a client and update the Date of Issue, Due Dates, Invoice Number and Reference Number as needed with the steps in How do I create an invoice? here
    • Note that the generated Invoice’s Number will increment +1 based off the most recently created invoice, whether that invoice was made by a recurring template or manually
  • Items, Services and Taxes - To bill your clients for your goods and services, select the Add a Line button, and add items, services and sales taxes with the steps in How do I create an invoice? here
  • Subtotal Area, Notes and Terms
    • Add a Discount - Reduce the invoice’s total by applying an amount or percentage-based discount
    • Notes - Notes are unique to each Invoice and will not be remembered for next time, this is useful for any comments, details and temporary information applicable to this specific client only
    • Terms - Terms are remembered from the last created or edited Invoice, this is useful for terms of service, contractual obligations or payment instructions that is applicable to all clients. If you need to change your terms, ensure your updated terms are on your most recently created invoice
 

Add Unbilled Time and Expenses

You can also add an unbilled time and expenses line item as a placeholder on your recurring template if you are tracking time or logging expenses for this client on a recurring basis. Every time a recurring template generates an invoice, it will pull any available unbilled time entries and expenses onto the invoice automatically for you.
Use the below steps to add this placeholder to your recurring template:
  1. On the recurring template, ensure a client is selected
  2. Select the Add a Line button
  3. Then select Import Unbilled Time and Expenses
    Import unbilled time and expenses button in dropdown while adding a line to the template.
  4. For Import Unbilled, choose whether to import All unbilled time and expenses, Unbilled time only, or Unbilled expenses only
  5. If importing unbilled time, choose the time entry format by selecting on Detailed, Grouped or Simple - for details on the formatting, review How do I generate an invoice? here, or select Show Preview to view an example of each format
  6. Select Save to apply the formatting
  7. You will now have any future time entries and/or future expenses automatically imported onto this recurring template.  
    Line on template showing placeholder for future unbilled time and expenses.
     

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, with no spaces in between, only work in the Item Description, the Notes and the Terms fields on recurring templates.
 
  • ::month:: - Month on issue date when invoice is generated
  • ::year:: - Year on issue date when invoice is generated
  • ::quarter:: - Quarter on issue date when invoice is generated
  • +# or -# - # represents a number, to be used together with Month, Year or Quarter to add or subtract based on issue date when Invoice is generated
 
For example, a recurring template set to generate on June 1, 2021 will show the following:
 
On Recurring Template (Preview)On Generated Invoice
Hosting for the month of ::month::
Hosting for the month of June
Hosting for the month of ::month+3::
Hosting for the month of September
Hosting for the quarter of ::quarter::
Hosting for the quarter of Q2
Hosting for the quarter of ::quarter-1::
Hosting for the quarter of Q1
Subscription for hosting for the year of ::year::
Subscription for hosting for the year of 2021
Subscription for hosting for the next 2 years ending on ::year+2::
Subscription for hosting for the next 2 years ending on 2023
 

Template Settings

These settings control the look of your generated invoices, allow you to activate online payments and modify client-specific settings as needed:
  • For This Template
  • For This Client - Once you’ve selected a client on your recurring template, you can modify their late reminders, charge late fees, and currency and language like any other invoice with How do I create an invoice? here
 

Recurring Schedule

The recurring schedule settings determine how your recurring template will generate:
Recurring schedule settings with options.
  • How Often? - Choose between Weekly, Monthly, Yearly, or Custom for the frequency
  • Next Issue Date - Choose when you want the recurring template to generate the first invoice; if set to the last day of the month (e.g., Dec 31), it’ll automatically adjust to the last day on a shorter month like Feb 28 or Apr 30
  • Number of Invoices - Choose between Infinite to generate invoices indefinitely, or enter the number of invoices to generate next to Remaining
  • Delivery Options - Choose between Send invoices automatically or Create Draft invoices and send manually (this option will not stop Recurring Payments from occurring if payment is saved, even if the invoices are generating drafts first)
  • Payment Options - Check the box off next to Allow clients to save credit cards to make automatic payments to accept online payments
 

Save or Send Recurring Templates

Once the recurring template is ready to share, you can either select:
 
Save
For recurring templates that are generating invoices as drafts instead of sending automatically, select this to save your new or edited recurring template.
 
Send... 
For recurring templates that generate invoices automatically, select this to save and email your new or edited recurring template along with choosing who to send it to:
  1. In the To: field, the primary client's email is automatically checked off as a sender, along with any secondary contacts you’ve sent to on a recent invoice, estimate or proposal, review What are clients? here for more details
  2. If needed, check off any additional contacts' emails to send the invoice to
  3. Personalize the email to your client as needed
  4. Select the Save button and you’ll be taken back to the Recurring Templates section. If the recurring template is set to generate an invoice the same day you created it, this will now appear in your list of invoices.
 

Manage Recurring Templates

From the Recurring Templates sub-section, hover over any recurring template to quickly either:

Quick actions bar with two buttons over a recurring template row.
  • Edit - Select the pencil icon and you’ll be taken to the edit view of the recurring template where you can adjust and save afterwards
  • Delete - Select the trash can icon to delete the recurring template. You can view all deleted recurring templates by selecting on the deleted link at the bottom of the list
 
Notes:
  • All recurring templates will display the Recurring Template ID, frequency and the number of invoices left to generate (if applicable)
  • Select any recurring template for a preview of the generated invoice, the banner at the top will indicate how Invoices are being generated:
    • Automatically Created - Invoices are generated and saved as drafts only
    • Automatically Sent - Invoices are generated and emailed to the client
  • At the bottom of any recurring template, select the View invoices from this Recurring Template link to find all generated invoices

While viewing any specific recurring template, you can select More Actions and then select any of the below:
  • Pause / Restart Recurring - Pause a recurring template if you want it to stop generating invoices, or resume an inactive recurring template to start generating invoices again
  • Archive - Move the recurring template to your list of archived recurring templates
  • Delete - Move the template to your list of deleted recurring templates
 

Deactivate Recurring Templates

Active and archived recurring templates will continue to generate if the frequency is set to indefinitely or until the How Many? reaches 0. To stop recurring templates from generating, use these steps:
  1. Select the Invoices section
  2. Then select the Recurring Templates sub-section
  3. Next, select the recurring template you want to pause
  4. Then select the More Actions button
  5. Select 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.
 

FAQs

When do recurring templates generate invoices? 
Recurring templates start creating and sending their Invoices at around 1 AM EST, on the day they're set to run. Recurring templates that are set to generate invoices on the first and at the end of the month may take longer to generate due to high volumes of invoice generation.
 
How come I don't have the option to make my invoice recurring? 
Recurring templates can only be made from brand new invoices. If you've 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. Select the Invoices section
  2. Check the box off next to the invoice you want to copy
  3. Select the More Actions button
  4. Then select Duplicate
  5. Next, under Settings, select Make Recurring and continue with making your recurring template. When you're done, delete the original invoice afterwards.

Can my client's credit be applied before the recurring template generates an invoice, and before Recurring Payments occur? 
Credits can be automatically applied by following the steps in How do credits work? here.


What do each of the statuses on my recurring templates mean? 
  • Auto-Draft - Generate a draft invoice only for you - if Recurring Payments have been activated, the payment will still be billed even if the invoice is generated as a draft
  • Auto-Sent - Generate an invoice and email it to your client
  • Card / Account Saved - Generate an invoice, bill the client's saved payment information if Recurring Payments is activated, and send a payment notification email to the primary client
  • Inactive - No longer generating any invoices