An hourly service invoice is an official record of the total hours a company or a freelancer has dedicated to completing one or several tasks. It is issued to customers and clients to collect payment for work performed and inform clients of any important information or events that occurred during the job. The invoice includes fields for the parties’ contact information and billing details, a description of each job type performed, the number of hours dedicated to each service, each job’s hourly rate ($/hr), and the total value owed for each assignment type.
Table of Contents
- How to Calculate Total Hours Worked
- Pros & Cons of Charging by the Hour
The simplest method of calculating the total number of hours an employee or contractor has worked on a project is by converting the work starting and end times into military time (also called 24-hour time). This allows both values to be subtracted from each other. As an example, if work began at 6:30 AM and ended at 3:00 PM, this would be written as 6:30 and 15:00. Subtracting 6:30 from 15:00 leaves us with 8:30 – the total length of time the worker spent on the job.
To simplify the task of figuring out the total time worked, several online calculators can be used. They also go by the name of “Time Card Calculators” and “Timesheet Calculators.” A few recommended calculators are:
- Redcort’s “Free Time Card Calculator“
- The “Time Card Calculator“
- Time Clock Wizard’s “Time Card and Payroll Calculator“
Offering services on an hourly basis is one of the most commonly used methods of valuing labor in the service industry. Both small businesses and freelancers alike should have an understanding of the basic benefits and drawbacks the pricing type provides, a few of which are:
- Easy to calculate – Only two (2) values are needed to provide customers with the cost of labor: the hours worked and the cost per hour.
- Straightforward for customers – Due to the simple pricing structure, customers understand exactly what they’re paying for. Additionally, if an unexpected event occurs during the job and it needs to go over the expected time, the additional hours can simply be added on. In comparison, if a provider charged on a per-project basis, every additional hour worked would be a decrease in the value of the job.
- Overworking occurs less – Having a strict set of hours that will be worked in a day allows workers to enjoy life outside of the job. Without realizing it, those that work on a set-fee basis will often find themselves working exceedingly more than standard eight (8) hour days to complete their task(s).
- Employers can expect too much – It’s not uncommon for employers to be more demanding of their hourly-based workers. Unlike jobs with a standard fee, the longer the freelancer takes to complete a job, the more the employer feels as though they are paying too much for the services they’re receiving.
- Can deter customers – Although straightforward, hourly-based jobs can cause employers to look elsewhere due to the risk of having to pay extra if a job goes over the expected time.
- Hinders ambition – Similar to being financially limiting as discussed above, working by the hour is harmful to an individual’s motivation. What benefit does working faster provide to a freelancer if they’re paid the same either way? The answer: not a lot.