Self-billing Systems for Recruitment Agencies

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 20/06/2019
self billing systems

Today we want to talk about self-billing systems and what benefits they offer to recruitment agencies. This article should come in particularly handy to managers and owners. Especially if you are looking for opportunities to grow and scale your business through digital transformation.

Efficiency is synonymous with business success. Anyone even slightly involved with business management can confirm that. And therefore there’s no secret that in order to accelerate the growth of revenue - you guessed it right - you first need to grow the efficiency in performance. Easier said than done. Especially within a sector like recruitment, where success isn’t measured in sales.

Luckily, we live in very exciting times when more and more tasks can be handed over to technology. Think about processes like invoicing. They are crucial, yet they’re time-consuming and drive no progress. Such processes can now be automated, allowing you and your staff to focus on tasks that make your organisation move forward. In this article specifically, we will be talking about self-billing.

What is Self-billing? 

Self-billing is a legally binding agreement between an agency and a contractor registered as a limited company. It permits the agency to produce invoices on the contractor’s behalf. It is almost like having a pay run. But instead of sending payslips, you can send out invoices followed by remittances when you make a payment.

The Benefits of Self-billing 

If you own or manage a recruitment agency that deals with contractors operating as limited companies, switching to a self-billing system can bring many benefits to your business. Self-billing is common practice among bigger agencies with lots of contractors on their books. If you’re a smaller company still with a decent volume of contractors, you might not have thought about self-billing at all. Or maybe you have been put off because you think it's too hard to implement. But let us ensure you it’s not.

Quicker Pay Cycles

Self-billing means a faster pay cycle as you will no longer have to wait or chase the contractors to send the invoices out. This means you can manage your pay runs when you want, and in one go. Much better than waiting for invoices to arrive in drips and drabs. Additionally, you will save a lot of time by not having to send email reminders to have the invoices provided.

Time is money in the business world. Anything you can do to get your back-office staff back some hours is a big plus. The time-saving benefits of self-billing allow you to focus more on your client billing and credit control. After all, that’s the bit that really counts. A faster billing cycle means a healthy cash flow.

Fewer Errors

A few billing mistakes over time can add up and cost your business a lot. Especially if they go unnoticed. However, with an automated self-billing system, there’s less room for error. Self-bills are automatically generated from the timesheets and pay claims as your agency enters pay data.

Contractor self-billing is just one of the many features provided by Timesheet Portal back-office software. It allows you to automatically generate self-billing invoices for contractors using the time recorded and pay rates entered. It also ensures accurate and timely self-billing invoices. Our self-billing module will save you precious hours as the self-bills can be automatically generated and exported directly into your accounting software. The ones we integrate with are Xero, Sage or Quickbooks and Kashflow.

Long-term Gains

Adopting self-billing systems can transform a business overnight, or it can be a slow-burner. However, it is not just a temporary solution for one-off optimisation. It is a solution that scales with you and drives the change, helping your business continue growing over time.

Improved Contractor Relationships

Self-billing isn’t beneficial for your business only. Your contractors are likely to prefer it as well. You’ll be saving your contractors time – something they’ll be grateful for!  The introduction of self-billing means that contractors won’t have to worry about producing invoices being paid late again. That is, of course, as long as they submit their timesheets and expense claims on time.

Additionally, you will save them some annoyance by now having to bug them for the invoices. All in all, by introducing a self-billing system, you will be sharing control over the process. You will have a similar share of responsibilities. This will lead to building mutual trust and smoother communication.

Becoming More Data-driven 

Finally, the use of self-billing systems also helps you gather valuable in-depth insights that you can purpose towards improving your processes further. Over time, you will be able to start seeing trends in timesheets. You will also be able to compare them against factors such as client satisfaction, the contractor’s skill level in a specific area, the most problematic areas, etc.

Not only can you use this to provide constructive feedback to the contractor to drive their growth, but the data can help you find them better placements moving forward. Data collected through self-billing will allow you to tailor individualised and hyper-relevant experiences. It works wonders when matching the contractor with their next project.

Choosing the Right Self-billing Software

The market is saturated with different types of self-billing systems. Some are industry-specific, some offer unique features, and others offer a very competitive price… The list goes on. Before you set off to find a solution that works for you, make a list of what functions are a must for you. Define what is your price range - this should help narrow the list down.

Why Do We Recommend Timesheet Portal?

Of course, we are biased as Timesheet Portal Recruitment edition is our product. On the other hand, it also means we know exactly what it’s capable of. As well as how much thought was put into designing the features. So, hear us out.

Some of the other benefits of offering self-billing through Timesheet Portal include:

  • Customisable structure and self-billing layouts with agency branding.

  • Consolidated invoices can be produced for umbrella companies to reduce paperwork.

  • Self-bills can be generated automatically as soon as a timesheet or expense claim is approved, ready to be exported at payroll cut-off time.

  • Send remittances directly from Timesheet Portal with the click of a button

  • Email notifications let contractors know when invoices have been generated and paid.

  • Document signing capabilities mean that self-billing agreements can be signed digitally through our system as well.


Getting started with self-billing couldn’t be easier. Therefore there’s no reason for you to delay it. The benefits are plenty and the risks are few. You simply need to read and follow the HMRC guidelines and ensure you get both parties to sign a self-billing agreement.

The ample variety of self-billing systems caters to companies with different needs, of different sizes and operating in different sectors. But here’s a tip: if you want to reap the full benefits, you should use it in conjunction with a system that allows you to automate the processes. Such as Timesheet Portal.

Sign up for a free trial today.

Free trial

See for yourself how you can save time and money. Enter your details below for a free 30 day no-obligation trial.
Cyber Essentials logo Cyber Essentials Plus logo

Timesheet Portal online software provided by Anfold Software Ltd, a registered company in the UK.