Invoice management

Effortlessly manage and customize invoices with Recurly's comprehensive invoice management features, ensuring clear, compliant invoices tailored to your business needs.


Required plan

This feature or setting is available to all customers on any Recurly subscription plan.


  • Invoice number customization and prefix addition may require support assistance.
  • Certain invoice display customizations might not be supported in all configurations.


Recurly's invoice management system provides tools for generating, tracking, and customizing invoices to automate the billing process. It records transactions, including sales, renewals, and refunds, clearly detailing services or products provided and the costs involved. The system supports customizable invoice numbering and includes features to identify the transaction origins, aiding in financial reporting and compliance. Designed for clarity and accuracy, it simplifies managing financial transactions between a business and its customers.

Key benefits

  • Detailed transaction records: Invoices in Recurly provide a full breakdown of transactions, including origins, amounts, and associated customer details, enhancing transparency and trust.
  • Customizable numbering and sequencing: Tailor invoice numbering to start from a specific number or add prefixes for better organization and identification, especially useful for businesses operating in multiple markets or with varied product lines.
  • Comprehensive display options: Customize the invoice display to include essential business and customer information, ensuring invoices are informative, compliant, and aligned with your brand.


All invoices on your Recurly site, both charge and credit, follow the same invoice number sequence. This sequence starts at 1000 and increments by 1. Additional customization options are detailed below:

Customize initial number

If you prefer to start your invoice numbering at a different number, you can reach out to Recurly Support. Contact them through this link: Recurly Support.

Add prefix

Recurly enables the addition of a hidden prefix to your invoice numbering. This is particularly helpful if you use the same payment gateway for multiple billing systems and need to segment your transactions. To add a hidden prefix, go to Configuration > Site Settings and enter your desired prefix under "Invoice Prefixing".

European Union numbering

For a separate invoice sequence for each European Union country, you can activate the Country Invoice Sequencing feature in Recurly. Go to Configuration > Taxes > Tax Settings, find "European Union VAT Settings", and enable "Country Invoice Sequencing". For more detailed information, visit EU VAT 2015: Country-Specific Invoice Sequences.


The display of invoices in the Recurly Admin Console, Hosted Invoice, or as a PDF includes the following elements:

Number and collection

  • Invoice number & posting date: Every invoice displays its number and the date it was posted.
  • Charge Invoices: These will additionally show a term option and due date.
  • Credit Invoices: If issued against a charge invoice, the relevant charge invoice number(s) will be listed.

From address

Located at the top left of the invoice, this section lists your company's information as provided in Site Settings under Configuration in the Admin Console. It includes:

  • Company Name
  • Address (Address 1 and Address 2)
  • City
  • State/Province
  • Zip/Postal Code
  • Country
  • Phone Number
  • Billing Contact Email
  • VAT Number
  • Registration Number

Bill to

Every invoice includes a Bill To address for the customer:

  • Defaults to Billing Information for automatic collection methods or Account Information for manual methods.
  • Can be configured to always use Account Information (with Billing Information as fallback) by enabling "Use Account Information Address for all Invoices" under Configuration > Taxes > Tax Settings.
    Fields displayed in the Bill To section:
  • First and Last Name
  • Company Name (from Account Information)
  • Address (Address 1 and Address 2)
  • City
  • State/Province
  • Zip/Postal Code
  • Country
  • VAT Number

Ship to

An invoice includes a Ship To address if a shipping address is associated with the subscription or specified for a line item:

  • First and Last Name
  • Address (Address 1 and Address 2)
  • City
  • State/Province
  • Zip/Postal Code
  • Country
  • VAT Number
    Learn more about Shipping Addresses

Line items

Invoices contain a table of line items with these columns:

  • Date
  • Description
  • Quantity
  • Price
  • Discount (shown only if applicable)
  • Subtotal
  • Tax (shown only if applicable, displaying the rate)
  • Total (shown only if tax is applicable)

Note: Invoices displayed via the Admin Console, Hosted Invoice, and PDF will truncate line items after the first 500. The subtotal, tax, and total will reflect the sum of all line items. To access line items beyond the first 500, use the Adjustments Export

Total and balance

At the bottom right of the invoice, the following invoice-level values are displayed:

  • Subtotal: The total before taxes and additional charges.
  • Tax: Shown only if tax is applicable to the invoice.
  • Total: The invoice total, inclusive of all charges and taxes.
  • Balance: The remaining amount due on the invoice.
    Between the Total and Balance, the following balance-changing entries are listed:
  • Paid: Represents the total of all payment transactions.
  • Credit Applied/Redeemed: The total value of all credit payments applied to the invoice.
  • Payment Refund: The total of all refund transactions made against the invoice.
  • Credit Voided: Any portion of the credit balance that has been removed or voided.
  • Write-Off: The amount of the invoice that has been written off.

Quantity-based pricing line items

Recurly's invoice line items are structured differently based on the pricing model used, such as Tiered Volume and Stairstep. The first charge typically reflects the plan's base fee, followed by charges for Add-Ons determined by the chosen pricing model and quantity. For more information, refer to Billing Models{:target="_blank"}.

Tiered pricing

  • Description: For the Tiered model, each tier results in a separate line item.
  • Naming: The Add-On name includes the range of units. Example: "Seats: 1-10".
  • Visualization:
Tiered Pricing Example

Volume pricing

  • Description: Line items for Volume pricing are similar to those for fixed-price products, using the per-unit price from the relevant subscription tier.
  • Visualization:
Volume Pricing Example

Stairstep pricing

  • Description: A single line item is created, displaying the Add-On name and purchased quantity. The charge quantity is set to 1, with the price reflecting the fixed price for the applicable tier.
  • Visualization:
Stairstep Pricing Example

Payment history

The "Payments" section of the invoice display includes all transactions and credit payments that have reduced the invoice's balance. It details the date and amount of each payment.


Invoices feature three types of notes sections, which are visible only if they contain text. These notes can have site-level default settings and can also be customized per invoice via the Admin Console or API. Set up site-level defaults on the Invoice Settings page.

Customer notes

  • Description: A section for any customer-specific notes, such as special invoice details or a thank-you message.
  • Title Visibility: The title of this section does not appear on the invoice.

Terms and conditions

  • Description: A section for payment terms, legal notes, or other important information.
  • Title Visibility: The title of this section is always visible and cannot be altered.

VAT reverse charge notes

  • Description: Used for European Union reverse charge tax scenarios.
  • Configuration: Set up on the Tax Settings page.
    Learn more about VAT Reverse Charge Notes


Enable PDF invoice attachments in email notifications by navigating to Configuration > Invoice Settings > Email Settings. Select "Attach PDF" and save your changes. PDFs of invoices can also be downloaded from the Admin Console or Hosted Pages. Note: Customization of PDF invoices is currently not available.


  • Initial Subscription: The first invoice is included in the "New Subscription" email.
  • Automatic Collection Invoices: Subsequent invoices are sent using the "Payment Confirmation" email. Invoices with a $0.00 total are not sent.
  • Manual Collection Invoices: These always trigger the "New Invoice" email template.
  • Resending Emails: Invoice emails can be resent using the Resend Last Email button on an invoice. Enable PDF attachments for all invoice-related emails in the Invoice Settings.


The line items Recurly creates on an invoice are prorated in the event of an immediate subscription change and include the option for proration in an invoice refund. All proration calculations are down to the second, although the line item dates are listed by day. Learn more about immediate subscription change proration.

Collection method

Recurly uses the collection method for charge invoices to determine whether to process payment immediately with the billing information on file or to merely issue the invoice. The collection method can be set at either the invoice level or the subscription level.

Automatic collection

Posting an invoice with automatic collection instructs Recurly to attempt payment with the billing information on the account (e.g., credit card, bank account, PayPal, Amazon). For new subscriptions and the Purchases API endpoint, a successful transaction is required for the invoice to post. For renewals and the Post Invoice API endpoint, the invoice posts and processes the automatic payment respective of the invoice terms. If a decline is returned, the invoice enters the Past Due status and begins the dunning cycle.

Manual collection

Posting an invoice with manual collection prompts Recurly to issue the invoice without attempting any payment. External payments can be manually entered later, or customers can pay the invoice using an automatic method via our Make a Payment button on the hosted invoice.

Note: Once a manual invoice is paid, or an attempt is made to pay it, with the billing information on the account, it converts to automatic collection. It is currently not possible to record a manual payment on an automatic collection invoice or convert a charge invoice from automatic to manual collection.

To manually record an external payment, view the invoice in the Admin Console and enter the payment details in the left sidebar. A manually paid invoice can be reopened.

Modify subscription's collection method

Changing the subscription's collection method affects the collection method of the next charge invoice for that subscription. It does not alter the collection method of any already issued invoices for the subscription.

To change the collection method of a subscription, view the specific subscription in the Admin Console and select "Edit Subscription" from the Subscription Actions dropdown at the top right. Scroll down to the "Invoicing" section on the Edit Subscription page and select the new value in the Collection Method dropdown. Save your changes. Note that changing the collection method applies immediately, regardless of whether "On next renewal" is selected under Plan Effective Date.

The "Dunning," "Stop Collection," "Refunds," "Testing," and "Account Hierarchy Invoice Display" sections are clear and well-structured. Here’s a review focusing on grammar and tone:


When an invoice enters a Past Due state, it initiates the dunning cycle. For automatic collection invoices, this occurs after the first transaction decline. For manual collection invoices, it starts 24 hours after the invoice's due date. Automatic and manual collection invoices each have distinct dunning cycles and associated email templates: "Payment Declined" for automatic and "Invoice Past Due" for manual collection. Within your dunning settings, you can choose to either fail the invoice at the end of the cycle or leave it past due. Note: With Account Updater enabled, Recurly will continually run Account Updater on the associated account and attempt to collect payment indefinitely.

Learn more about Dunning Management and Automated Transaction Retry Logic.

Stop collection

To write off an unpaid invoice, use the Stop Collection option in the Invoice Actions dropdown on the invoice details page. This action changes the invoice state to Failed and removes the amount from the customer's account balance. With Credit Invoices enabled, failing an invoice creates a corresponding write-off credit invoice, balancing the failed invoice to zero. Stopping collection also halts the dunning cycle, including all automated emails and payment retries, as well as activities performed by Recurly's Account Updater.

Once failed, an invoice cannot be reopened. This applies to manual collection invoices due to the existence of the write-off credit invoice.

Note: Failing an invoice does not automatically cancel the related subscription. To stop future billings, cancel the subscription separately.


Refunds are processed at the invoice level. Options include changing a subscription, refunding a specific invoice, or refunding the last invoice while terminating a subscription. These actions generate a refund credit invoice with credit line items against previously paid charge line items. Directly refunding an invoice allows you to distribute the credit as a payment refund or retain it as a credit balance for future invoices.

To refund an invoice, select "Refund Invoice" in the Invoice Actions dropdown in the Admin Console.


Invoices created in a sandbox environment display a "TEST INVOICE" watermark. This watermark is exclusive to sandbox invoices and will not appear on production invoices.

Account hierarchy invoice display

Invoices within an Account Hierarchy show "Primary Account" for the parent account and "Linked Account" for child accounts. This naming convention appears on the invoice PDF in customer emails, the Hosted Account Management invoice display, and the Recurly App Admin UI.