What is Progress Invoicing and How Does it Work?

January 15, 2024

Invoicing can be time-consuming and complicated, especially when dealing with larger projects. Progress invoicing can help streamline this process by breaking the project into smaller milestones and invoicing for each one. Learn how progress invoicing works, its benefits, and best practices to implement.

James Fyfe
Co-founder - CEO

Progress invoicing, or staged billing or progress billing, is an accounting method used to bill a customer for incomplete goods or services. This type of invoicing is common when the delivery of goods or services takes place over some time.

This post will discuss the basics of progress invoicing and how it works, so let's get rolling.

How Does Progress Invoicing Work?

Progress invoicing is a relatively straightforward process. Instead of billing the customer for the total amount due at once, it breaks down payments into individual invoices sent incrementally as goods or services are completed. Customers can pay multiple partial payments instead of one lump sum until project completion.

The flexible billing software will include a line item for each part of the job to manage progress invoicing. This is why progress invoices are often called "staged" or "installment" billing. Each invoice reflects a percentage of the total amount due until that point.

For example, suppose you're invoicing a customer for a job that will take one month to complete. In that case, you could send out an invoice at the beginning of the project, then issue another invoice after two weeks, and a third and final sales invoice once the project is finished. Each invoice would reflect the percentage of work completed then.

Progress billing is beneficial for both parties involved in an agreement. Customers can make partial payments for services over time, which is more manageable than paying a large sum at the initial estimate. At the same time, the vendor receives money throughout the project instead of waiting until completion to get paid in full.

Who Uses Progress Invoicing?

Progress invoicing is useful for businesses and individuals alike. The following groups may find progress billing to be especially helpful:

Contractors and freelancers

Progress billing allows contractors and freelancers to invoice their clients for specific project tasks as the work progresses. This ensures the contractor is paid regularly throughout a project, helping them manage their cash flow.


This system allows consultants to invoice their clients in stages, helping them keep track of the progress and ensure they receive project payments on time.

Creative professionals

Artists, graphic designers, and other creative professionals may also find progress invoicing bills useful, allowing them to bill clients for multiple project elements as the work progresses.

Businesses with multiple projects

Companies handling more than one project at a time may benefit from progress invoicing, allowing them to invoice clients on project milestones. This helps streamline invoicing processes and ensure that all payments are received on time.

Overall, progress invoicing offers a convenient and efficient way to manage ongoing projects, allowing businesses and individuals to get paid on time and track the progress of their work. As a result, it serves as a useful tool for many people.

What to Include in Progress Invoicing?

A progress invoice typically contains the following information:

• The name and contact details of both the contractor/vendor and customer/client.

• A unique invoice number for tracking purposes.

• Date of issue and payment due date.

• Specifics about what is being invoiced, including item descriptions, quantities, and unit prices.

• Payment terms.

• The total amount due for the invoice period (including applicable taxes).

• Invoice subtotals for each item or product category listed on the invoice.

• Any additional notes or conditions relevant to the progress of the project.

• A clear payment method, such as bank account details or contact information for online payment services.

• A signature from the contractor/vendor if the invoice is being sent by mail.

It is important to ensure that all progress invoices are accurate and up to date to ensure communication and clarity between parties.

Benefits of Using Progress Invoicing

The follow-through of progress invoicing has many advantages for the client and business. Below are some examples of the ways progress invoicing can benefit both parties.

Ensures accuracy and eliminates mistakes when creating invoices

It helps ensure that each invoice is accurate and up to date. This eliminates the need for manual checking of each invoice and reduces the possibility of errors in billing.

Allows You to Track How Much of the Job Has Been Completed

The business can evaluate the total project cost, making tracking progress easier and ensuring that all tasks are finished on time.

Allows for accurate billing without needing to review each invoice individually

By using progress invoicing, businesses can be sure they are being properly billed without manually reviewing each invoice. This helps save time and money in the long run.

It helps you monitor cash flow and identify overdue payments quickly

Progress invoicing helps businesses keep track of their cash flow, making it easier to identify any overdue payments. This helps businesses stay on top of their finances and remain profitable.

Reduces billing time and helps ensure that all invoices are paid on time

By using progress invoicing, businesses can reduce their billing time. This helps ensure that all invoices are paid on time, which benefits both the business and the client.

Overall, progress invoicing offers many advantages to both businesses and clients. It ensures accuracy in invoice creation, allows for efficient job completion tracking, and helps reduce billing time.

Start Progress Invoicing with Portant

If you're looking for a way to create progress invoices without spending hours on manual calculations, format, and information to include in an invoice, Portant's free invoice template is the solution you've been searching for.

With the Portant template, you can easily create progress invoices that accurately reflect the work you've done for your client. You can specify the percentage of work completed, the amount due, and the total amount due for the project. 


Q. What is a progress invoice?

A progress invoice, a milestone or stage payment invoice, is an invoice issued by a business to a customer to complete the contracted works partially. The progress invoice typically breaks down the project into stages and lists each with its due amount.

Q. What is progress invoicing in QuickBooks?

QuickBooks is an accounting software program used to manage finances and bookkeeping operations. It allows businesses to create progress invoices for customers, track payments, and the completion of individual project stages.

The progress invoicing feature in QuickBooks also allows businesses to keep track of their finances and monitor the business's overall financial health.

Q. How do I make a progress payment invoice?

Creating a progress payment invoice in QuickBooks is simple. First, create an invoice for the customer and enter the total amount due. Then, break down the project into individual stages and enter each stage with its respective cost. 

When you are finished creating the progress payment invoice, it will appear on your customer's list as a balanced transaction and will be reflected in your accounts payable records.

Q. Which version of QuickBooks allows progress invoicing?

All versions of QuickBooks Online support progress invoicing. Click on the gear icon in the top right corner, then select Account and Settings > Sales > Progress Invoicing to begin using the service.

Portant Logo

Stop doing it manually

Automatically create, manage and share all your tedious paperwork — today!

Start For Free