Retainer payments

Hello all. Playing some more with IN. Question. So we often sell blocks of time to a customer at an agreed upon rate. How does IN handle this situation from a process perspective?


You can either create a credit which can be used later to create payments against an invoice or you can enable “Enable Applying Payments” on Settings > Payment Settings which will enable you to create a payment which isn’t immediately linked to an invoice.

@david do you have any thoughts on this?

I do think this will be tricky since technically a retainer is only being held my us and is considered a liability from an accounting standpoint (I know IN is not an accounting system). I woukd still want to send an invoice to the customer for the retainer and make note of this when I enter it into the accounting system. But then issue some sort of credit to apply future invoices from. Gonna be a little confusing but could work.

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One option may be to clone the invoice to a credit once the invoice is paid and then use the credit to pay off future invoices.

Note: this may cause the revenue to be counted twice in the app so you may need to delete the original invoice after its cloned.

Hmmm…Good idea…I am going to try this…Thanks for your response!

@hillel Retainers come up a lot and their specific use case, i think it deserves it own functionality.


I agree, something like retainers/contracts that allow for selling a prepaid number of hours for a defined period and an option to track used hours via tasks or a potential ticketing system in the future.

Maybe a condition where the customer is automatically invoiced if they go over an allocated number of hours in a defined service/retainer period.

What would be handy as well, is something similar to proposal system in v4 which could generate a contract/retainer agreement from a template and append the variables entered in the retainer section. Although this might be out of scope of invoice ninja.

+1 for retainers. Also the ability to charge a retainer monthly and unused amounts would be invoiced out as never used for those who do not wish to expire it.

Definitely +1 - currently the only thing I’m missing in IN.

Yup. A very important feature.