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What Is an Invoice? Everything Contractors Need to Know

Updated: Apr 5

As a construction business owner, you know how crucial it is to keep cash flowing into your company. One of the simplest and most effective ways to achieve this is by sending accurate and timely invoices. However, invoicing can be challenging for contractors due to slow payments, credit-heavy projects, or a lack of expertise.

But don't worry! In this blog post, we've got you covered. We'll give you everything you need to know about invoicing, why it's so important, and some tips to help you stay on top of your game.

Table of Content:

What is an Invoice

What is an Invoice?

A contractor or subcontractor sends an invoice for the contract work done when the payment is due. When an invoice is sent, it creates a payment obligation, also known as an account receivable. An invoice is a document, and invoicing is what keeps the cash coming in.

What Is It Used For?

Invoices are essential financial records for both contractors and customers.

A contractor invoice serves the following purposes:

  • Tracking payments made by customers (including the payment amount, date, payment terms, and method)

  • Serving as payment reminders (for customers who have outstanding balances)

  • Managing cash flow (how much money can be expected to receive)

  • Providing insight into popular/profitable services for business planning

  • Providing legal documentation in case of disputes or legal issues.

For customers, invoices serve the following purposes:

  • Providing a breakdown of service costs for budgeting purposes

  • Serving as a record of services and payments for future reference

  • Resolving disputes over services or payments more easily

  • Serving as documentation for tax purposes

contractor invoice


Is an Invoice a Receipt?

No, an invoice is not a receipt.

  • Invoices are sent to customers to request payment, while receipts prove that a customer has paid for services.

  • Receipts indicate that a customer has received what they paid for and that the business has received payment.

Is an Invoice a Bill?

Yes, an invoice is also known as a bill. Both invoices and bills are used as records of a sale that show how much a customer owes a contractor. However, there is a slight difference between the two.

A bill requests immediate payment for services, while an invoice requests payment later. Bills are usually more general and do not contain customer information, and they are often given in person at supply stores.

What Should You Include in a Construction Invoice?

Though invoices can be varied, every construction invoice should include these 5 parts, according to QuickBooks:

  • An invoice number

  • A date

  • Business contact information

  • Descriptions of goods and services

  • Payment terms

A special thanks to Sage for supplying the free invoice sample featured in this post. Check out their offerings at

construction invoice

When Should You Send an Invoice?

It is crucial to send an invoice promptly after the work is completed to ensure timely payment. Most contractors send invoices on a regular basis, such as weekly or monthly, depending on the project's duration.

How To Invoice As A Contractor: 3 Best Tips For Contractor Invoice!

Sending invoices can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be streamlined to ensure faster payment. Here are three tips for contractors to send invoices efficiently:

  1. Use invoice software for construction to automate the process and save time.

  2. Clearly label and organize each invoice to avoid confusion and potential payment delays.

  3. Follow up promptly with customers to ensure payment is received on time.

How Can CCA Help?

CCA is a bookkeeping services firm that can be a solution for contractors' invoicing processes to be more accurate. As we capture and record data precisely, you can ensure your invoices are always accurate, organized, and delivered on time.

With our help, you get the secrets of how contractors get paid fast for their hard work. Don't let invoicing headaches hold you back- let CCA take care of the details so you can focus on the broader construction picture. >> Get A Quote

In Conclusion,

Invoicing is more than just a tedious administrative task; it is crucial to keeping your construction business afloat. Without accurate and timely invoices, you risk delaying payment and hindering your cash flow. But don't worry; with the right approach, you can streamline your invoicing process and get paid faster.

And if you need extra support, CCA has got your back! Our team of bookkeeping experts specializes in providing accurate, organized, and timely invoices, so you can focus on what you do best – delivering exceptional construction services.

invoice for contract work

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