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Can I automatically send Invoices? (Recurring Profiles)

Creating Recurring Invoices is easy in FreshBooks. These Invoices will be generated automatically based on the schedule you choose, giving you more time to focus on doing what you love. Perfect for those subscription-based Clients with whom you provide ongoing work on a recurring basis.


Create a Recurring Profile

Follow these steps to create your Recurring Profile:

    1. Click on the Invoice tab
    2. Click on the Recurring sub-tab
    3. Click on the + New Recurring Profile button

New recurring profile button.

  1. Each section of the Recurring Profile is broken down into detail below:

New recurring profile screen.

  • Schedule
    • Start Date – This is the date you want your Recurring Profile to start generating its next Invoice. This can be today, or a date in the future, but it cannot be a date in the past)
    • How Often – How often the Profile generates Invoices. You can choose from weekly, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, monthly, 2 months, 3 months, 6 months, yearly, 2 years or 3 years
    • How Many – Leave it blank (infinite) if you want it to generate indefinitely. Otherwise, specify the maximum number of Invoices you want generated
  • Client – Choose a Client to send the generated Invoice to
  • PO Number – If you have a PO that you’d like to reference, you can include the number here
  • Accept Online Payments – If you have any payment gateways enabled, you can check the box off here on the Invoice for your Client to pay online
  • Auto-Bill – If you want to automatically bill your Client’s credit card everytime an Invoice is generated, select your payment gateway here (more details here)
  • Include – For more details, scroll down to the Unbilled Time and Expenses section
  • Tasks and Items – Enter any services and products you are billing the Client for
  • Add a Discount – Click on this link to add a percentage based discount as needed
  • Terms – This is automatically populated for you with the text inside the Default Terms if there are any. Otherwise, you can add your own details like standard payment terms
  • Notes Visible to Client – Add a summary or details here (like a thank you note)

Unbilled Time and Expenses

Recurring Profiles are also convenient if you like to automatically bill your Clients for future time tracked and Expenses incurred. This allows you to set a placeholder line item on your Recurring Profile so that any future unbilled Time and Expenses are automatically pulled onto the generated Invoice for you.

To add this to your profile, use these steps:

    1. Click on the Invoice tab
    2. Click on the Recurring sub-tab
    3. Click edit next to an existing Profile, or make a new one with the + New Recurring Profile button
    4. Add a Client to the Profile
    5. In the Include section (under the address), click on Include unbilled time and expenses

Unbilled time and expenses link on a recurring profile.

  1. Check off the Project(s) you want to pull time entries from (including future Projects)
  2. Choose a format for your time entries
  3. Choose whether you want to add unbilled expenses or not
  4. When you’re finished, click Done to apply the settings
  5. You’ll now see placeholder line items and any time and/or expenses for this Client will automatically be pulled onto the generated Invoice for you.

Placeholder time and expenses line items on a recurring profile.

Dynamic Variables

Dynamic variables allows you to substitute placeholder text with the appropriate date or time value when the Invoice is generated from your Recurring Template. You can click on the Dynamic Variables link below the line items for a reminder of the variables whenever you need it.

The following variables are available for use in the Description field: 

  • ::month::  (month when invoice is generated)
  • ::year::  (year when invoice is generated)
  • ::quarter::  (quarter when invoice is generated)



  • Hosting for the month of ::month:: = “Hosting for the month of June
  • ::year+1:: yearly subscription = 2018 Yearly Subscription
  • Retainer for ::quarter+1:: = Retainer payment for Q3

Be sure your variables are correctly formatted with NO spaces.

Sending Options

With Recurring Profiles that generate Invoices, you can choose to have all Recurring Profiles send Invoices automatically to your Clients, or to have all generated Invoices saved as Drafts instead.

Note that even if you choose to save all generated Invoices as Drafts, any profile with enabled Auto-Billing on it will still go through to your Client. The Client will still receive a Payment Notification email for this as well.

To disable automatic sending, use these steps:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Click on the Misc sub-tab
  3. Next to Recurring Invoices, ensure Send Automatically is unchecked
  4. Click Save to finish.

Apply Existing Credit to a Recurring Profile

If you have existing Credit for a Client that you’d like to put towards future Invoices, you can set it up so that it automatically applies every time an Invoice is generated. Steps for this are below:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Click on the Misc sub-tab
  3. Next to Recurring Invoices, ensure Apply Credit Automatically is checked off
  4. Click Save to finish.


When do Recurring Profiles go out?

Recurring Profiles start creating and sending their Invoices at around 3 AM EST, on the day they’re set to run. Invoices may take a little while to actually get sent, since there are many Invoices generated in this way so there is a queue for sending them.

If your Recurring Profile is set to generate Invoices for the 1st of the month, please be aware that it may take longer to generate as there is a larger queue on this day every month. You’ll be notified in your account that your profiles will generate Invoices soon (usually by afternoon they are already generated).


How do I view generated Invoices created from a Recurring Profile?

Use these steps to see all Invoices created by a Recurring Profile:

  1. Go to the Invoices tab
  2. Click on the Received sub-tab
  3. Click on the blue Recurring Profile id number
  4. You will now see a list of all Invoices produced by that Recurring Profile.


How do I stop or restart a Recurring Profile?

To stop a Recurring Profile from generating more invoices:

  1. Go to the Invoices tab
  2. Click on the Recurring sub-tab
  3. For a temporary pause, click edit next to the profile
    1. Then click on the Stop Recurring button, the Profile will be inactive
  4. For a permanent pause, check the box off next to the profile
    1. Then click on the delete button, the Profile will be deleted.


To restart an Inactive Recurring Profile:

  1. Go to the Invoices tab
  2. Click on the Recurring sub-tab
  3. If your profile is inactive, click edit next to the profile, then click on the Restart Recurring button
  4. If your profile was deleted, click on the deleted link at the bottom of the list, then click edit next to the profile you want to restore
  5. Ensure the Start Date and How Many fields have been updated and click Reactivate Profile.


What does the colour yellow or green mean on my Recurring Profile?

Recurring Profiles can have different labelled colours depending on what kind of activity has taken place. A legend is always available to you at the bottom of your list of Invoices in the Recurring sub-tab.

  • None – No colour means the profile is no longer creating Invoices
  • Yellow – The profile is actively creating Invoices
  • Green – The profile is actively creating Invoices and will automatically charge your Client because Auto-Billing is enabled