Recurring Invoice: Everything You Need to Know

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📝Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the meaning of recurring invoices.
  • Qualities, advantages, and disadvantages of recurring invoices.
  • Difference between recurring invoices and payments.

This article is all about assisting you to get an idea about recurring invoices, their pros and cons, and how to employ them in your everyday business.

Recurring invoice scheduling has become quite common in the modern industry due to its functionality to charge clients at fixed intervals regularly.

They have simplified the billing and payment procedures in organizations of all sizes.

Recurring invoices, payments, and billing are frequently confused. But the three of these terms differ significantly from one another. You can design your invoice following your brand’s rules and deliver it elegantly packaged in consumable formats with the aid of recurring invoices.

This post here will briefly introduce recurring invoices and explain how to use them in your business.

So, let’s get into it straight!

What Is a Recurring Invoice?

Recurring invoicing enables a business to routinely bill a customer’s credit card for products or services. It necessitates acquiring a one-time authorization from the cardholder to continuously charge the registered credit card until the cardholder withdraws approval.

Modern firms frequently use recurring invoices because they want to automatically bill clients for agreed-upon goods and services. These bills are typically cleared monthly, or a fee is charged.

To implement recurring invoicing, a company must first obtain the customer’s consent to charge them regularly for a consistent amount. The charges will carry on until a mutually agreed-upon termination date or when the consumer withdraws consent.

For example, recurring invoicing is most frequently utilized by cable providers, cell phone providers, utilities, gym membership providers, and online software companies.

Pros and Cons of Recurring Invoice

The process of setting up recurring invoicing has benefits and drawbacks. Before producing them for your clients, assessing the advantages against the disadvantages is worthwhile.


1. Less human error: You lower the chance of human error by automating the invoice process for clients. You no longer have to stress about forgetting to charge your consumers for the things bought. 

recurring payments

2. Develops cash flow: A consistent flow of monthly income is facilitated via recurring invoicing. This makes sure you have enough to pay your bills and run your business.

3. Normal invoice speed-up payment: We are used to paying recurring bills like rent, cable, and phone. You can encourage customers to stick to the same payment schedule by issuing invoices at regular intervals.

Normal invoice speed-up payment

Additionally, any reputable invoicing software enables you to attach to a client’s credit card, promoting on-time payments and making them easy.

4. Automatic payment processes: All you need to do is produce an invoice from a template utilizing an efficient software, fix the due date, connect to your client’s credit card, and make the necessary modifications. 

You can then be at ease knowing the invoice will be sent out on time for fast, automatic transactions. You no longer need to perform redundant tasks.

5. Better relationship with customers: Your client will probably view you as a permanent member of their team rather than an “ad hoc” provider. This ongoing connection is the foundation for developing “anchor clients.” 

recurring invoice meaning

Customers are more likely to agree to regular payments for goods when you give them the choice of recurring payments.

6. Save time and avoid other unanticipated expenses: Even though it seems like only a few minutes, they pile up: Each invoice must be created, tracked, and processed, which requires time and money. It means more manual work will be required. By adopting a recurring invoice system, you may eliminate these pointless expenses. You can even opt for using an invoice template to make invoicing task easier.

7. Pay attention to what matters most: You may focus on other important business aspects, including marketing and sales, by saving time.


1. If a transaction fails, dealing with recurring invoices can be challenging.

2. It would help if you exercise caution while issuing recurring invoices to avoid incorrect pricing. This also applies to price adjustments that might occur soon after creating the invoice.

3. Making sure that prices have not altered prior to issuing the early bills is another drawback of issuing recurring invoices. 

This might occur if there is a price adjustment that has been permitted by contract; therefore, make sure to examine any applicable contracts before sending out the invoices.

What Qualities Should a Recurring Invoice System Have?

Offers workflow flexibility

how to set up recurring payments for customers

All of your workflows should be compatible with your billing system. It must be scalable to your constantly changing business demands, enabling you to support numerous plans, add-ons, and coupons without always requiring manual involvement.

Saves time and displays complete transparency

Never overlook a detail. Your invoicing system should be highly automated to save you time and money while relieving you of the burden of tedious manual labor and attention to detail. Create, track, and send invoices without difficulty.

Streamlines the billing procedure

It takes time to determine when to pay the bill and how much to tax. These should be noted on your invoices so that you may prevent further issues.

How does recurring invoicing function?

You can plan and ensure on-time payment with recurring billing. When it comes to your regular or subscription consumers, recurring invoicing is usually the most practical option. Here is how you can set up recurring invoices and plan your cash flow far in advance.

A recurring invoice has the following workflow:

  • Select a custom template to send recurring invoices from.
  • Update the template’s payment details.
  • Set up a recurring frequency at which invoices are sent.
  • A predetermined amount of time after sending one invoice, the following one will be automatically issued.
  • Note the customer’s bank account information or any other handy payment method.
  • After the predetermined time, one may stop recurring payments.

Difference Between Recurring Payment and Invoice

Recurring invoices work best for some firms, while recurring payments work best for others, and some organizations can use both. Check out the examples below to determine whether your company fits the description.

Recurring payments

  • A business that charges upfront for a product and offers monthly subscriptions. Meal prep kits and clothes subscription services are excellent examples of this.
  • A marketing firm that offers a predetermined number of projects. For example, setting up billing on an automatic schedule is safe and effective if you deliver a customer 20 social media posts and a newsletter each month.

Recurring invoices

  • A law or consulting firm that provides fixed services and bills by the hour.
  • A business that provides recurring monthly services for the same amount, such as IT support or recurring landscaping maintenance.

Whether recurring invoices are suitable for your company or recurring payments depends on the circumstances and type of customers you have. Sending regular invoices and payment reminders about new invoices and recurring schedules enables you to reduce duplication of effort. 

It ensures that your client won’t have to remember the payment process and thus avoid the late fee. 

In the end, it not only helps you save time but lets you focus on other parts of your organization that demand your attention.

Automate Your Invoices with InvoiceOwl

InvoiceOwl lets you automate creating and sending digital invoices to your clients and track them in real-time.

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is the meaning of recurring payment?

    Recurring payments are a payment mechanism where customers permit large and small businesses to deduct money from their accounts on an ongoing basis in exchange for goods and services.

  2. What are examples of recurring bills?

    Cell phone bills, cable bills, gym dues, electricity costs, and magazine subscriptions are a few examples. Automatic bill payment is another name for recurring billing.

  3. What does a recurring invoice mean?

    Recurring invoices enable a business to automatically bill a customer’s credit card for products or services. Recurring invoicing necessitates acquiring a one-time authorization from the customers to continuously charge the registered credit card until the cardholder withdraws approval.

  4. What is the difference between recurring invoices and recurring payments?

    There is a difference between recurring payments and invoices:

    • Recurring payment operates on a defined schedule and automatically charges the customer’s credit or debit card.
    • Recurring invoices automatically send your customer an invoice on a predetermined schedule.

  5. What is the benefit of recurring invoice software?

    Some of the benefits of recurring invoice software are:

    • You lower the chance of human error by automating the invoice process for clients. 
    • Invoices help you generate more cash monthly, so you have enough to pay your bills and run your business.
    • Customers are more likely to agree to regular payments for goods when you give them the choice of recurring payments.
    • You may focus on other important business aspects, including marketing and sales, by saving time.

  6. Is there any software available for estimation and invoices?

    If you are having trouble keeping track of paper estimates and invoices, InvoiceOwl is the perfect solution. You don’t need to manually create estimates and invoices on paper for hours at a time.

Precise, Understandable, and Customizable Recurring Invoices with InvoiceOwl

InvoiceOwl helps you create estimates and invoices with a professional appearance in just a few minutes! It is a paid, user-friendly, mobile estimating and invoicing program.

InvoiceOwl can automate many financial procedures for you, aiding in managing your cash flow. You can make expert estimates that awe prospective customers. From the mobile app, create and send estimates to clients immediately.

Get a free trial today to test it out for yourself.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel

Jeel Patel is the founder of InvoiceOwl, a top-rated estimating and invoicing software that simplifies the invoicing and estimating processes for contractor businesses. Jeel holds a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Toronto, which has provided him with a strong foundation in business principles and practices. With understanding of the challenges faced by contractors, he conducted extensive research and developed a tool to streamline the invoicing and estimating processes for contractors. Read More

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