HVAC, Productivity, Management, Operations, Business Tips

Free HVAC Invoice Template: Optimize Your HVAC Invoicing Process

ServiceTitan February 17th, 2021

The idea that invoicing can be a major differentiator between one HVAC contractor and their competition might seem counterintuitive. After all, each and every contractor in the game uses an HVAC service order invoice of some kind

For those who do, having a blank invoice template is useful in providing you with consistent formatting and a professional design. It allows you to ensure that techs collect the necessary information in the field to handle billing and collection

With that said, an invoice template alone can only go so far, and it doesn’t solve the challenges involved in the invoicing process. For example, if you print copies of a template to be used by techs in the field, you’ll continue to deal with things like:

  • Hard to read handwriting and lost paperwork

  • Delays in delivering invoices to customers

  • Storing and organizing invoices

  • Inefficient sharing of invoices between field and office staff

  • Manual data entry for accounting

And if you try to manage them digitally, using a PDF is difficult to scale — and many of the same issues continue to apply.

To solve these issues, HVAC contractors who want to improve their ability to manage invoicing are looking to field service management software (FSM) platforms like ServiceTitan to optimize their process. 

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In this article, we’ll explain how a best-in-class field service software like ServiceTitan can help contractors take the next steps, making invoicing a driving force for growth, efficiency, and revenue generation — rather than a source of often-costly hiccups. 

Below we cover:

Curious about how ServiceTitan can allow you to make the most of our invoice template? Schedule a call to learn more about how our software can help realize the full potential of your business. 

How to Access and Use Our HVAC Invoice Template

If you’d like to download and use our PDF invoice template (shown below), you can click here to download it free.

Our invoice form includes:

  • An invoice number, date, and payment due date

  • Detailed contact information for both contractor and client

  • A place to describe services and materials

  • Columns for price and total amount, with subheads for sales tax and discount

  • Lines for dated names and signatures for techs and homeowners

Alternatively, we’ve also created a free, interactive web tool for you to easily create invoices right through our website:

Our invoice generator includes the same fields as our PDF template, but it allows techs to create an invoice directly from the field, and easily save and email it to customers or office staff from their mobile device. 

As long as they have online access, our invoice generator is a useful tool that can take you part of the way towards an improved invoicing process. 

However, as you may already know, the challenges involved in invoicing are many. Below, we’ll take a deeper look at the challenges we’ve sought to solve for HVAC businesses.

The Challenges of Managing HVAC Invoicing without an Integrated Field Service Software Solution

At its most basic level, an invoice should provide proof of work completed. This sounds so simple — even obvious — that it’s easy to assume that nothing could go wrong. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, particularly for HVAC companies that handle invoicing with pen and paper, and even for those who rely on a less comprehensive FSM system. 

In business, as in life, it’s often the failure of things that seem most basic that can cause the biggest problems. Where invoices are concerned, these issues tend to fall into three broad categories.    

  1. Billing and Collection Errors

  2. Confusion in the Field

  3. Accounting Trouble

1. Billing and Collection Errors

The perils of pen-and-paper record keeping will be familiar to most HVAC contractors. Quickly written forms from service techs are often difficult or impossible to understand. 

Cash payments and credit card numbers go missing. Paperwork gets lost, damaged, or stained with coffee, dirt, and grease. Duplicates go missing and Excel files or Google Docs get lost in translation. 

When the paperwork in question is an invoice, the results can be costly. 

Having just spent $10,000 or more, a customer might end up holding an invoice with serial and model numbers that they can barely read. In the not unlikely event that office or warehouse employees had difficulty making sense of their tech’s order forms, the invoice might not match the original estimate, indicating, for example, that a Bryant 18 Seer was installed, rather than the Carrier 20 Seer that was agreed upon. 

In that case, their rebate information is probably wrong, too. Depending on if and when they notice the mistake, the customer might be out of luck when it comes to qualifying for a rebate or manufacturer’s warranty.     

Naturally, none of this is good for customer relations. A few misfires along these lines can easily cause serious damage to a contractor’s reputation. 

Paper invoices, which are often sent or delivered days or weeks after the completion of a job, can also present bill-collection hurdles. It’s not unusual for homeowners to become less inclined to pay promptly once some time has passed since the completion of a job, leading to potential cash flow problems for the contractor, who’s already laid out for labor, equipment, and other expenses. 

(By the same token, contractors who provide paper receipts frequently do so after the fact, leaving homeowners who’ve just made very large expenditures with no record of the transaction.)  

HVAC contractors who service multiple properties owned by the same landlord often run into trouble with purchase orders, which techs must attach to their invoices, and which are location-specific. For paper-dependent shops, this is another area ripe for human error. 

If a tech services three locations for the same customer, for example, but attaches the same P.O. number to all three invoices, two of those invoices aren’t going to get paid. 

In some circumstances, the contractor will be forced to write off those unpaid invoices. In the long run, the inability to collect effectively for work completed can constrict a business owner’s ability to borrow money, limiting their capacity to invest in new equipment and technology, and lessening their overall liquidity. 

Similarly, an invoice for which a tech neglected to get the requisite signatures — a common symptom in pen-and-paper HVAC shops — can create serious complications. 

In worst-case scenarios, customers can take business owners to court, arguing that they weren’t authorized to charge their credit card — or even to perform the work in question. 

In less dire circumstances, an HVAC contractor might get dinged with repeated chargebacks, causing their credit card fees to rise.        

2. Confusion in the Field

To address some of the problems described above, many HVAC contractors implement policies such as having their techs return to the office, where a manager can oversee the creation of their invoice before the document is mailed or delivered to the customer by hand at a later date. 

In other cases, the tech will go out to their truck and relay the details of the job back to the office by phone. Then they’ll wait for a call back from someone with the authority to sign-off on an invoice, before finally delivering it to the customer.

These types of policies tend to be slower and less efficient than is ideal.

In the latter case, HVAC contractors often find that they’re adding 30 to 45 minutes to every job, eating up tons of time that their employees could otherwise be performing or selling additional jobs. 

To make matters worse, service businesses that use this kind of multi-step invoicing process open themselves up to opportunities for costly errors. 

Every time customer information is relayed from one employee to another or from one location to another — whether it be measurements, model numbers, credit card details — is a chance for something to get lost or inaccurately transcribed.              

3. Accounting Trouble

We’ve written previously about accounting best practices for service companies using a field service management platform. At ServiceTitan, we provide our users with a seamless QuickBooks integration, which facilitates the automated upload of all relevant financial data in real time. 

Our QuickBooks integration has the advantage of providing contractors with a system that operates according to generally accepted accounting principles. Business owners can rest easy knowing that in the event of an audit, or if at some point they want to sell their business, their books will be in order. Virtually every trained bookkeeper can run a QuickBooks account, so it’s easy to rotate staff as necessary. 

Many HVAC contractors that still do the vast majority of their business with pen and paper often use QuickBooks to handle their accounting needs. What this means in practice, though, is that office employees spend a tremendous amount of time manually entering information from handwritten invoices into their company’s QuickBooks account. It’s time that could be better spent on more profitable tasks — work that would be entirely unnecessary at a company using ServiceTitan. 

Given how frequently handwritten paperwork goes missing, gets damaged, or is flawed or illegible to begin with, the arrangement is also extremely precarious, posing a serious risk to the accuracy of a company’s most basic financial documentation and setting the owners up for major fiscal and legal headaches in the future.          

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How ServiceTitan Helps HVAC Contractors Optimize Their Invoicing Process

By digitizing and automating virtually all of the essentials associated with HVAC invoicing, and smoothly integrating invoicing into contractors’ overall business practices, ServiceTitan can help business owners avoid the often expensive pitfalls that trouble service companies operating without a high-quality FSM. 

Invoicing, of course, comes late in the lifecycle of a job. And with ServiceTitan, techs are equipped with all of the information they’ll need to size up a given job correctly and ultimately generate an accurate invoice the first time. 

As shown in the screenshot above, by referring to the Job Summary section of the relevant active work order, the tech can review the precise details of what they’ll be looking at when they arrive on site, eliminating the need to refer to handwritten notes, or to scribble their own on the fly. 

To further familiarize themselves with a particular customers’ needs, and with the context for the work to be performed, the tech can also view the customer’s communication history with their company, as well as bring themselves up to date on any previous work performed at their home. 

Once they’ve completed the job, by selecting an option from the left-hand toolbar shown above, the tech can begin building their invoice. 

For example, by using the Add Task option, they can select from a fully customizable menu of pre-built options — Change TVX, say, or Replace Capacitor, Replace Motor, Replace HVAC Systems, Repair Heat Pump

The tech can even choose the exact equipment they plan to use for the project, and the quantity required. 

Drawing from their company’s pricebook, which is integrated into their ServiceTitan account, the software will fill in the pricing fields automatically, eliminating the chance that a tech might make an error.

The results of the tech’s choices will appear automatically in the Job and Invoice Summary sections of the ticket. 

Certain fields are pre-populated by ServiceTitan — invoice number, type, terms, invoice date, payroll date, number of hours worked, subtotal, tax zone, membership discounts, and more — relieving the tech of responsibility for keeping track of easy-to-confuse details while they’re going about their work, and ensuring that the right variables are used for calculating the invoice total. 

In the Summary section, the tech is prompted to provide a full, detailed narrative of the work performed and the expected outcome, cutting down on the potential for questions and disagreements between contractor and customer once the invoice has been delivered. 

For internal purposes, they can also use the Notes section to highlight circumstances that might be relevant during the next call: large dog on premises, tall ladder required to access the air conditioning unit.

By selecting the Print View option, the tech can view the customer-facing version of the invoice, populated automatically with all of the details they’ve input so far. 

This screen prompts both tech and customer to provide signatures for work and payment authorization. That way, in the event of a disagreement, the HVAC business has documentation to prove that the customer signed off on the job — and approved payment. 

Rather than handing customers hard-to-read paper documents, ServiceTitan ensures that contractors deliver highly professional invoices every time. (The invoice itself is printable, too, for shops that don’t want to go carbonless.) 

Unlike most FSMs on the market, we provide photo and video capabilities as part of ServiceTitan’s software. This feature allows HVAC technicians to document job sites before and after, providing customers with clear visual evidence of their work, and of the improvements they’ve made to the property in question. 

Techs can even annotate photos, highlighting what were once problem areas — rusted pipes, filthy filters — and the ways in which they’ve been enhanced.     

Even if payment and signatures are collected on-site, many of our subscribers like to use ServiceTitan’s Email Invoice feature to provide customers with a digital record of the transaction. 

Often, they’ll select from one of our templates to use the communication as a marketing opportunity, providing links to sites like Yelp and Google Reviews.

With ServiceTitan, a customer’s phone number and other contact information is available with the click of a button. This comes in especially handy for commercial accounts, with multiple associated properties and interested parties. Without having to call the office or dig through an address book for business information, the tech can instantaneously send their invoice to a landlord, a property manager, and/or a tenant all at once.

In ServiceTitan, customer data is fully searchable. Techs, contractors, and office managers can search their customer database using a range of specifications: name, customer type, and job type, to name a few. 

In this way, businesses can stay on top of the status of their outstanding invoices, keeping track of who’s paid and who hasn’t, as well as payment hiccups like expired credit cards. 

Conclusion

The importance of a sleek, efficient invoicing process is easy to overlook. The invoice is so basic to the HVAC service business that it can seem to be an unlikely point of differentiation between competitors. But when invoicing isn’t properly executed — integrated into dynamic, holistic operation — it can seriously harm a company’s bottom line. 

On the other hand, using top-notch field service management software like ServiceTitan, HVAC contractors can use invoicing to do things like:

  • Complete jobs efficiently 

  • Collect payments promptly

  • Get paid legally and accurately 

  • Improve customer satisfaction and loyalty 

  • Ensure healthy cash flow and credit lines 

With ServiceTitan, invoicing becomes not merely a means of collecting on bills, but a way to improve the clarity and transparency of their business operations, and to keep techs prepared when they’re in the field.

Curious about how ServiceTitan can allow you to make the most of our invoice template? Schedule a call to learn more about how our software can help realize the full potential of your business.     

ServiceTitan HVAC Software

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive HVAC business software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and achieve growth. Our award-winning, cloud-based platform is trusted by more than 100,000+ contractors across the country.

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