I own a small photography business.

Once the client decides to go with my services, I charge them 50% off the full cost of service, to be paid within 5 days upon agreement. This payment secures their date.

Meanwhile, the remaining 50% is not due until 2 days before their actual event date, which is typically months away.

I'd like to find a software that allows me to have a single "sales order" (the bi picture), but which allows me to invoice the customer off of that order twice, for the corresponding 50% payments.

This would allow me to have independent due dates for the two payments, and have greater accuracy on who owes money, who is on track, and especially, how much money is planned to be coming in during the following months. Suppose a customer has an event in June and I will charge her $1,000. $500 of that amount should be considered for money coming in this month, while another $500 should be assigned to the Money coming in during June category.

All this, wothout having to create two separate, unrelated invoices. I'd love to find something where the two partial invoices are connected to a single sale, and where I can send the second invoice showing the transaction history for the sale, i.e. the amount billed in the first partial invoice, payments received, plus what is being billed now.

I've tried Xero, Kashflow and Zoho Invoice but haven't found a way to do this in any of them. I've seen some articles on QuickBooks describing something like this, but I'm not sure it will have all the Income forecasting features that I've talked about.

I'd love to hear your ideas if anybody else needs to do something similar to this for their invoicing.

3 Answers 3


Perhaps this is just semantics, but it sounds to me like you're invoicing for a retainer, and then you're invoicing for your service. For me in this context, client receivable tracking is more important than crowding it into one invoice; I'd just have two invoices, track payments to each, and issue a credit on the second invoice. If I were to do it the way you're proposing anyway.

I'm a Freshbooks user myself, but if I did things over again, I'd want to give Wave a try.

The minutiae of billing twice for the same invoice is lost on me, but I've done things like this with my Freshbooks invoicing; I've sent an invoice, collected a payment, and for client billing simplicity, I've modified that invoice to show additional work, then they paid me for it, and I marked it paid.

I imagine that you can perform these tasks using any of the popular internet invoice/accounting software packages in some way if you're a tiny bit adaptable.


To me, what you are describing is a statement, not an invoice. Statements show history, invoices do not.

For what it is worth, my business is all fixed fee and in most cases my work is split into multiple payments (sometimes 50/50, sometimes spread over several phases.) I use Quicken Home and Business for managing my finances. When I set up a new project, I create estimate items for each invoice I intend to create. The estimates allow me to put in a date and amount, and can be converted to an invoice. These estimates records are all tied back to a single project.

As my work progresses, I can see which items are left to be billed and convert them to invoices as needed. The estimate list shows the customer, project, date and amount, and I just convert the estimate to an invoice when it is time.

Quicken also shows me who hasn't paid me yet and when their due date is. There is a way to "print statements" but I don't use that feature as I typically only have 2-4 outstanding invoices at any one time.


Quickbooks desktop version will let you do "Progress Invoicing" which is what you're describing. The online version, unfortunately, does not.

  1. You'll create a progress invoice for the total amount, for example, $100.
  2. You'll set the progress to 50%, the invoice will total $50 and the customer receives that.
  3. When the job is done, update the progress to 100%, the first $50 shows under 'Payment/Credits Received' and the Balance Due will show the remaining $50.
  • Hi Jonathan, welcome to Freelancing.SE! I see that there's an answer below (from Avonelle) that also describes using Quicken; is this different from QuickBooks? If so, merging answers would be appropriate, but if they are separate products altogether, let me know and I'll remove this comment. Thanks!
    – Canadian Luke
    May 28, 2014 at 16:08

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