Does your firm collect a retainer or deposit at the beginning of a project to apply to a later invoice?

While Monograph currently doesn't have a dedicated field for this in the Invoice Builder at this time, we understand that this is a common workflow. This article will provide a suggested workaround for how to add a retainer or deposit to your invoice.


Adding a Retainer

To add a retainer, first navigate to the Project's Invoices tab or to the Invoicing page to create a new invoice by clicking + New Invoice.

We suggest that this invoice only contain the retainer amount and that it doesn't include any other Services or Expenses, but this isn't required.

Once in the invoice, click on the Other Items tab and then + Add Line Item to add the retainer as a one-time charge.

After the line item has been added, enter the Item, Quantity, Description, and Rate. The Current Due will calculate based on the quality and rate.

We recommend adding a detailed description specifically stating that this one-time charge is a retainer or deposit.

Next, head to the Designer tab to add the remaining invoice details. You can also add information such as "Retainer" to your Reference Number and additional details about the retainer within the Notes field.


💡 Toggle the option to "Show all fixed fee line items" off to remove any unnecessarily line items on the retainer invoice.


After the necessary details have been added, move on to the Preview tab for a final invoice review before opening and sharing the invoice.


🚨 If an invoice has been shared and/or marked as Open, it cannot be edited.


Applying the Retainer as a Credit

When the time comes to credit the retainer back to the client, this will be done on a later invoice (typically the final invoice). It's ok if other Services, Consultants, and Expenses are included in this invoice.

To add the retainer credit to the invoice, just as before, go to the Other Items tab in the Invoice Builder and click "+ Add Line Item".

After the line item has been added, enter the Item, Quantity, Description, and Rate. This time, enter the rate as a negative amount by adding a dash ( - ) in front of the amount. We also recommend including a description to specify that this line item is the credit for the previously collected retainer.

Next, head to the Designer tab to add the remaining invoice details. This time, we recommend adding details within the Notes field stating that the previously collected retainer is being applied. If you'd like, the Reference Number field can also be used to include a reference such as "Final Invoice + Retainer Credit".

After the necessary details have been added, move on to the Preview tab for a final invoice review before sharing the invoice and/or marking the invoice as Open and sharing it with the client.


Documenting Retainer Details

While the retainer information can be found within the individual invoices, we also recommend adding a note to the project as a final step in this process. This note will appear on the project's Overview page and ensures everyone is aware that a retainer has been applied to this project, without having to go into each invoice.

To add this information, navigate to the project's Overview page and click Edit, then go to the General tab and click on Edit under Basic Info. Once here, use the Notes section to add information about this retainer. We recommend including details such as the retainer amount, as well as the date and invoice number where the retainer was billed.

As the retainer is paid and later credited on a later invoice, the Notes section can be updated to reflect the most up-to-date information, such as the date paid, the date credited, and the invoice number that it was credited to.

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