Create an instant bill

Need to invoice & collect payment for ad hoc services or out-of-scope work? Create an instant bill in Ignition to be sent to your client!

Nicole Baptiste avatar
Written by Nicole Baptiste
Updated yesterday

Instantly create and send an invoice to a client without the need to create a proposal.

With instant bill, you can bill clients for one-off or recurring services that are ad hoc and automatically collect payment - meaning you can get paid faster.

Manage all of your billing and invoicing within Ignition, saving you time and giving you a holistic view of your business revenue in one single platform.

Let's learn how to create an instant bill in Ignition!

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What can you create with an instant bill

Instant bill is a feature in Ignition where you can instantly create and send an invoice to a client without the need for your client to sign a proposal. As part of the instant bill, you can choose to notify your client of the newly added service, attach an existing payment method and service billed for effect immediately or arrange the payment method manually.

Please note: With instant bill, you are technically creating a new active service. You have full control over how it is billed (e.g. billed immediately, on a specific date...etc) and you can edit the service further if you wish, once it's created.

Attributes that can be edited on the instant bill are:

  • Create new service

  • Description

  • Price type

  • Value/price

  • Quantity

  • Tax rate

  • Xero Sales account

  • Billing mode (One-time or Recurring)

  • Billing date or frequency

  • Billing end date (includes indefinite billing)

How to create an instant bill

You can create a new instant bill proposal from any page in Ignition by clicking the Create → Instant bill and finding the client for whom you would like to add a service for.

Alternatively, you can create an instant bill directly from the client's file by navigating to the Invoices tab → click Create and Instant bill.

Click + Add service to view and search your full library of services. Select the service you would like to add. Here you can customize attributes such as the details, price and billing.

Need to add a brand-new service? Start typing the new Service Name that you would like to create and add to your service library and the instant bill.

In the next screen, you can edit the default values of the service if you wish. (e.g. change the price, billing, recurrence...etc). When you are done, click Next.

In the final screen, review the service details in the Summary and Schedule sections and then review the Payment Method and the optional Email message to your client. If you want, you can also add an internal note for reference.

When you are ready to confirm the bill, click Bill client. The instant bill will be added to your client's list of active services and will be billed according to the set billing schedule and your payment collection terms.

Setting Xero invoice allocations

If you have XPM connected to Ignition, you will also be able to change the billing grouping (i.e. invoice references) in the Invoice allocation section.

Select your preferred billing grouping either by Proposal or by Client.

Please note: You can always change the billing grouping/invoice reference later by editing the active service. Learn how to edit active services in this article.

This will appear in the ‘reference’ field of Xero invoices. If you’re importing invoices into XPM and managing WIP we recommend reading this article to understand how this works.

Arrange payment manually

If you haven’t captured client payment details before you're ready to send an Instant Bill, you can give your clients the option to Review + Pay for each invoice they receive - directly from the Ignition-generated invoice email.

If you haven't enabled Review + Pay in your Payment Settings, your clients will not have the option to add their payment method and pay the invoice. Learn how to enable Review + Pay and more here!

Without payment details added to the Instant Bill, Arrange Manually will be under the Payment Method section. This means there isn't any payment attached to the bill in Ignition.

Your client's experience

Give clients greater clarity and confidence by notifying them of a newly added service to their client file without the hassle of signing a whole new proposal.

As part of the instant bill workflow, you can decide if you would like to send your client an email notification from Ignition about the new service added. The email notification is fully customizable to allow you to provide clarity and transparency about the instant bill.

Please note: This is a notification email to your client noting that they have been billed. Permission is not sought here, so it's important to learn and follow best practices when creating an instant bill.

On the Pro, Scale & Pro+ plan, your emails will include your logo and branding colour. Your client will receive an email that looks like this:

On the Starter & Core plan, your emails will use the Ignition branded template. Your client will receive an email that looks like this:

Your experience in Ignition

To identify these services in a client's file, they are marked as Instant bill in the Services, Billing Schedule and Invoices tabs.

Services tab

Instant bill services are active and will show on the client's Services list up until the day following its final bill date and then will become inactive.

Click into the service from the Services tab to review the Schedule, Activity, edit or end the service.

Payment collection

The instant bill feature will utilize your Payment Collection Schedule. For example, if your automatic billing collection terms are set for 3 days and the instant bill has an automatic billing mode and bill date of today, the payment will be collected in 3 days.

To review your Payment Settings, navigate to Settings → Payments.


Does there have to be a signed engagement already on file to use Instant Bill?

No. You can use Instant Bill when there is no proposal associated with the client.

Will Instant Bill still create invoices in my ledger (QBO/Xero)?

Yes. Instant Bill will create invoices in your ledger as normal, if you have enabled your ledger connection and the create invoices setting from Ignition.

Can I create an invoice with two services at the same time?

You can only create an Instant Bill for one service at a time.

But, if you wish to invoice two of them at the same time, we suggest first creating two Instant Bills that are set to be billed manually. Then, you can invoice them together as one invoice from your client's Billing Schedule.

Can I create recurring invoices from Instant Bill?

Yes, you can choose to bill one-time or on a recurring schedule and start billing from today or any future day.

Can I nominate a payment method for an Instant Bill?

If you have a client payment method on file, we’ll nominate this method for the Instant Bill and provide the option to change this when creating the service. We recommend reviewing your client engagement letters to include an ‘ad hoc work’ component so you are authorized to charge for additional services easily.

What’s the difference between Instant Bill and Review & Pay?

Instant Bill allows you to select or create a new service to bill your client outside of a proposal in Ignition to help with out of scope and ad hoc work that unexpectedly arises throughout your client relationship.

Review & Pay is a feature on Ignition client invoice emails which gives clients the option to review the invoice and initiate payment themselves. You can use Review & Pay in conjunction with Instant Bill if you do not have a client payment method on file.

What happens if I don’t have a payment method on file?

If no payment method is selected, the item will be invoiced and payments will need to be arranged by the client.

We recommend turning on invoice emails and Review & Pay (allow for online payment) so that when you Instant Bill without a payment method we will email your client the invoice and provide a link for them to pay online.

Can my client approve Instant Bills?

You can choose to notify your clients of Instant Bills, however if you want your client to initiate payment themselves, we recommend choosing to arrange payment manually and allow for Review & Pay on your client invoice emails.

How long will the services associated with Instant Bill stay active for?

Services created from an Instant Bill will stay active until all items in their schedule have been billed. If your service is only billing one time, the service will stay active until the next day.

Will this impact my Active Client count?

Clients will stay active as long as they have active services. Ignition reviews your max client count over the previous period to calculate overages.

With Xero, what reference will instant bills have?

If you have XPM connected to Ignition, you will be able to select your reference number in the Invoice allocation section.

This will appear in the ‘reference’ field of Xero invoices. If you’re importing invoices into XPM and managing WIP we recommend reading this article to understand how this works.

You can edit the Xero reference number accordingly once the invoice is generated to allocate the invoice to the correct XPM job.

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