If you need to include a one-time retainer or upfront payment on your invoice, you can use a fixed price item with a negative amount. That amount will be subtracted from the invoice items with positive amounts:
- The invoice Total Invoiced and the Total Due can be negative if all invoice items with positive amounts don’t fully spend the retainer. In this case, the invoice total shows the remaining part of the retainer that should be taken into account in the next invoice (that should be done manually).
- The invoice Total Invoiced and the Total Due can be zero if the invoice items with positive amounts fully consume the retainer.
- The invoice Total Invoiced and the Total Due can be greater than zero if the team has done more job than the retainer covers. In this case, the invoice total shows the amount to be charged to the customer.
Let’s see the retainer usage scenario in the following example.
Retainer Usage Example
Let’s see how we can work with a big retainer for the “Bankly Mobile App”. The retainer is big enough to cover more than one month of work.
Before starting work, we create the invoice with the title “Bankly Mobile App Retainer #1”. The invoice has only one fixed price item with retainer with an amount of €50,000:
When we get the €50,000 payment from the client, the team starts working hard. Say, that was in April 2020. At the end of the month, we create an invoice with the title “Bankly Mobile App, April 2020” and include the retainer amount with a minus sign:
As we see, this month, we don’t need to charge the client. We can send him the invoice with No Charge status to show the time worked and retainer amount spent. In April, the retainer is not fully consumed, and we still have a part of the retainer of €15,000 that should be included in the next month invoice:
Now we can send the invoice to the client for payment.
Currently, you need to manage the retainer parts in multiple invoices by hands. And in the next versions, we plan to implement automatization to help with this routine.