It’s been proven that massage therapists are effective in treating the needs of their clients and that most therapists (over 93%) are committed to continuing education to improve the standard of care that they offer their clients. But, these steps are focused on improving outcomes for the clients, and you probably weren’t thinking about invoicing systems when you trained to become a massage therapist. Unfortunately, when you own your own practice, you can’t hide from the financial management of your business, and there’s a good chance that it’s become one of the biggest challenges (and takes up a lot more of your time than you anticipated).
Getting paid for your services is essential as it keeps the wheels in motion for you to stay in business and continue to help clients who will benefit from your services. But staying in business hinges on your ability to invoice promptly and accurately, making a professional invoicing solution crucial for your massage therapy practice.
If you’re ready to get serious about the financial health of your massage therapy practice, you need to get (and stay) on top of your small business accounting. You need to know how to create a massage therapy invoice that includes all the relevant information and, at the same time, it makes it easy for the client to settle quickly.
What is a Massage Therapy Invoice Used For?
Your massage therapy invoices are how you charge clients for your services. In most cases, you will issue the invoice after the appointment, and your client will settle it immediately.
Depending on where your practice is based, how it is structured, and which services you offer, there are different requirements that need to be fulfilled. But, to keep it simple, the most important things to include are the services or treatments you provided, the amount the client owes, and your licensing details for health insurance claims.
For massage therapists, invoices are essential for your bookkeeping and your sanity. Knowing that invoicing and payments are running smoothly allows you to focus on your clients because you have a clear idea of the financial health of your practice.
For massage therapy clients, accurate, timely invoices with multiple payment options allow them to budget for your appointments and make quick payment, so they don’t have to think about whether they have any outstanding bills. They may also submit your invoices to health insurance companies, and reimbursement for your treatments could depend on your invoice quality (and if they are not done correctly it may mean that the client does not return).
How Do You Create a Massage Therapy Invoice?
To create a compliant massage therapy invoice, you will need to include:
- Your contact information (business name, address, email address, and phone number);
- Your registration details (registration or certification number);
- Invoice number (this needs to be unique);
- Invoice date;
- Payment due date;
- Treatments provided (along with a brief description of each);
- Total amount due;
- Your payment terms;
- Accepted methods of payment;
- Breakdown of applicable taxes (such as VAT).
Other items that can be added to make the invoice more professional include:
- Your logo or letterhead;
- A thank-you message;
- Links to your website and social media accounts;
- Any additional qualifications.
How to Create a Massage Therapy Invoice: Invoicing Tips for Massage Therapists
You add the most value when you’re seeing clients, not when you’re stuck in front of the computer trying to work out who owes what. Having worked with hundreds of massage therapists over the years, we’ve developed a shortlist of invoicing tips that improve accuracy and collection rates, and help you keep your practice running smoothly:
1. Include Itemised Additional Expenses
If you need to charge for travel time or any other extras, those should be included in the invoice. Be sure to itemise these charges and explain what they are for.
2. Use Numbered Invoices, Always
This helps you to keep track of any outstanding payments and can help you track their progress if they have been coming for ongoing massage therapy over a longer period of time.
3. Accept a Variety of Payment Methods
With new technologies for accepting payments becoming more mainstream, it’s important to be able to adapt. Make it easy for your clients to settle their accounts by accepting online payments, debit cards, and e-wallet solutions. COVID-19 has accelerated this move, and it’s important to be able to offer your clients contactless payment options.
4. Ask for Input
If you have friends that run their own massage therapy practices, why not ask them to have a look at your invoice template? Or, even better, ask if they wouldn’t mind sharing theirs. That way, you get a professional to review your template and offer feedback. They might easily pick up something you’ve missed or make suggestions about improvements to your template. If you use an accountant or bookkeeper, ask them to sign off on the template you’re using.
5. Use a System
Even if you’re invoicing manually, make sure that you have a system that works for you. Invoicing that isn’t handled quickly and efficiently has a tendency to build up, and it is easy to forget to bill a client or follow up with an outstanding invoice if you don’t have a systemised approach that keeps tabs on the overall invoicing and payments process.
Invoice Types for Massage Therapists
Depending on your clients and how you run your massage practice, you might need to use different invoice types. The most common are:
- Standard invoices – this is a massage invoice template that lists the treatments provided and includes the total amount due.
- Recurring invoices – these can be used to simplify your billing process if you have clients come in on a regular basis and receive the same treatments every time.
- Prepayment invoices – if clients are responsible for their invoices (and invoices aren’t settled by a third-party payer), a prepayment invoice may be a good option as you can charge your clients before the appointment to ensure full and prompt payment. This is becoming a more popular option in light of COVID as payments can be done electronically reducing touchpoints that can spread the virus.
Practice Management Software for Massage Therapist Invoicing
Practice management software that is specifically tailored to the needs of massage therapists can quickly streamline your invoicing process because it’s completely integrated and accurate. Rather than worrying about whether you’ve included the right details, the software will save all the information automatically, including details such as the services provided, timing, and price, so they are pre-populated without you having to think about it.
Invoicing functionality included in massage therapy practice management software cuts down on time-consuming admin as you can combine multiple invoices into one statement or invoice multiple clients at once, as well as the option to resend or recreate invoices at any time. They are also branded with your practice logo and are fully customisable for your practice.
Whether you’re using a manual system such as a template in Word or Excel, or practice management software to generate accurate, timely invoices, you need to know exactly how to create a massage therapy invoice. If your invoices aren’t accurate or don’t contain all the important information, the financial health of your practice will be affected, which spills over into other areas of the business.
Practice management software remains the best solution for creating your massage therapy invoices because it can pre-populate the invoice with the client’s details, your details, and it’s easy to add treatments and services from the system. They also have integrated easy payment options which makes it simpler for you and your clients to stay up-to-date with payments. Ultimately, this frees you up to spend more time doing what you love, and less on the things which, although necessary, drain your time and don’t contribute to the bottom line.