Lesson Invoicing Tips


Make your invoices effective!

Today’s quick blurb is about the new invoicing system I’m using this year. In years past I’ve tried making my own invoices through Excel (super customizable, but SUPER time consuming) and using Quickbooks Intuit Online (not my favorite layout, I’m picky, plus Quickbooks is NOT cheap). This year I decided to save a bit of money and use a free invoicing system through Invoiceable.

The time-consuming part is getting all your “clients” listed. It took me several hours to input all the information and create the first round of invoices. Whatever invoicing program you use, whether it’s Music Teacher’s Helper, Quickbooks, My Music Staff, or otherwise… here are a few tips to help make your invoices effective:

  • Send Invoices Out for the ENTIRE Semester: Instead of sending monthly amounts, I’ve started sending out invoices with the entire semester amount. This means that I can use 1 single invoices per student throughout the semester. As they send in payments, I will apply that payment to their invoice and the remaining balance will adjust itself. Then all I have to do is click “Resend” when their next tuition payment is due.
  • Include Details About Payments: On each invoice, I make sure to copy information about payment discounts and the types of payments that the studio accepts. This information is straight out of my Studio Policy, but it helps to have things neatly displayed so that parents and students don’t have to shuffle through papers or documents.
  • Personalize the Email: Most invoicing systems allow you to type a message to the student. Under my account information, I created a standard email that will go out with each invoice. To that standard email, I add personal notes that are important, such as… “Lindsey’s lessons will be on Tuesdays @ 3:30-4:15” or “Tommy is ready for new books. Please note that they are added to this invoice.”
  • Cut and Paste! If you are including additional notes in an invoice, it’s helpful to have your information available to cut/paste from another document. I normally use a Word document — fill it with all the information I need, and then cut and paste as necessary during invoicing time.

What kind of invoicing system do you use in your studio? Leave a comment below to give teachers other ideas for invoicing programs and websites!

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  • by Alice Miller Posted August 25, 2015 7:44 pm

    Sara,I’m getting an “unsafe site” message when I click on your website or “read more of this post.” I hope you are aware of this and can fix it; I surely don’t think you have an unsafe site! Alice MillerLincoln Nebraska

    Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2015 16:24:58 +0000 To: ammiller5@hotmail.com

    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted August 25, 2015 7:46 pm

      Thanks for the notice, Alice. Are you PC or Mac, and what kind of browser are using?

    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted August 26, 2015 10:21 am

      Alice, are you by chance using Chrome? Apparently there’s an issue with a certification through my web host. I’ll see what I can do to get it fixed, but rest assured that there’s nothing unsafe here! Looks like some browsers are experiencing this problem with the https — if you try http without the s, the certificate issue is no longer there. Thanks for bringing it to my attention — I’ll do my best to get it fixed asap!

  • by leiaslessons Posted August 26, 2015 1:31 am

    I use Music Teacher’s Helper… can’t live without it!

    I personally wouldn’t be able to send an invoice for a whole semester though, because there are costs that come up unexpectedly sometimes. For example, if I think a student is going to take a whole semester to finish a lesson book, and they end up learning a whole bunch of songs at home and I have to give them a new book the next month. Or a student decides to take a piano exam and needs to pay the fees. So I do prefer monthly invoicing, and Music Teacher’s Helper is absolutely amazing with invoicing, scheduling, keeping records of students, sending lesson notes, and so on.

    For those who haven’t signed up yet and are interested, you can get 10% off using this link: http://www.musicteachershelper.com/promo/26D6E8


    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted August 26, 2015 10:24 am

      I still send out invoices for additional books and other expenses, but it’s a great option for parents to pay the semester *tuition* in full. That’s what these invoices are really about — just the tuition. I’ve heard from lots of teachers who like MTH, but since I do some odd things with scheduling and lesson times in my studio, it just doesn’t fit the bill for me!

      • by Brittany Croyle Posted April 17, 2017 6:20 pm

        I don’t see a free option through invoiceable. Is there one?

        • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted April 17, 2017 7:16 pm

          Hi Brittany,

          Since I wrote this post, invoiceable turned into “Invoicely,” and yes they do have a free option. https://invoicely.com/features

  • by buckeyeamy Posted August 30, 2015 5:00 pm

    I don’t use any invoicing system. I don’t have a need for it. My students’should patents know the amount, write a check and send it with their child. Done. No invoice needed.

    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted August 30, 2015 6:13 pm

      It’s nice when you have a simple system.

  • by Anita Byers Posted September 6, 2015 5:08 pm

    Thanks for the tip on Invoiceable. I’m taking a look at it and may change on January 1. I loved MTH, but hated the price each month when my number of students grew. As always, I enjoy your blog and tips! Thank you!

    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted September 8, 2015 10:14 am

      That’s why I jumped ship from Quickbooks as well – I wanted to decrease my pay-per-month services related to the studio. All those savings will be redirected into the new piano loan! 🙂

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