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How to Work With Retainers or Deposits
How to Work With Retainers or Deposits

Create a Retainer for your design clients

Paxton Willard avatar
Written by Paxton Willard
Updated over a week ago

Some designers will collect a deposit or retainer fee before they start working on the client's project. In this article, we will show you how to create the invoice for this retainer and how you can track your time and mark it against the retainer/deposit they've paid you.


Collecting the Retainer or Deposit and Creating a Client Credit

Best practice for retainer/deposit process:

Create invoice for retainer. **Do not export this to QBO** It would be a good idea to have a different numbering system for retainer invoices.

After retainer has been paid, add a credit in that amount to the client's profile. You can do so through their client profile, the Project Overview Page or through the Project's User Access. Make sure to reference the retainer invoice #.

**Note** Be sure to only add the credit to one client per project. If you have a husband and wife, select one of their profiles to apply the credit to.

Tracking Time Against a Retainer or Deposit

Pro Tip: When you track time for a project with a deposit or retainer, tagging your time entries with the deposit or retainer number can make it even easier to filter for exactly the time entries you need. Click here to learn how to tag time entries.

Easily add time tracked entries to an invoice in order for your client to pay. We have built a time tracking page for you to easily filter and sort the entries to find the specific entries you want to bill for.

You will first want to go to your time tracking reports by selecting the timer icon on the left menu. From here you can use the search/filter option on the right to narrow down the times you are looking for. If you don't see the times you are looking for, be sure to change the start date filter to a date previous to the times you are wanting to add.

Once you have the filters to your liking you can select the check boxes on the far left side of the times you would like to add onto an invoice. When you have the times checked you will select "Add to Invoice" at the top right.

No check box next to the time? It may be on an invoice already. You can click the receipt icon to go directly to the invoice that a time is already on.

From here it will allow you to select an already existing invoice to add your times to, or you can type in a new invoice number and select "create: ..."

If you have the project set on the time entries it will have the project set for you, otherwise it will ask what project you would like to assign these to. When both fields are filled you will click "save."

Applying a Client Credit

The retainer can now be applied as a payment on product/service invoices. You will select the 3-dots to mark the invoice as paid, then select the payment type to be "Client Credit." Note there is a payment option labeled "Credit," This is not the option you want.

From here this will now allow you to select which client you are pulling the credit from and add any payment notes.

Learn more about Invoices or Client Credits

If you need any additional support, click the question mark in the upper right-hand corner to chat with a member of our team.

Happy designing!

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