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What to include in your Australian small business invoice template

4-minute read

Looking for a smart Australian invoice template for your business? We’ve compiled some tips to help you send professional-looking invoices to your customers.

Key take-outs
  • Find a template or design your own
  • Include the correct information on every invoice
  • Make it easy for your customers to pay

It pays to look professional

You’ve done a superb job, your customer is delighted, but then you present them with a hastily handwritten invoice tainted with the residue of your clean up. Does this sound familiar?

 

Now imagine finishing up your job, spending a couple of minutes on your smartphone, and seconds later having a professional-looking invoice email arrive in your customer’s inbox.

 

This is the smart way to finish a project and leaves a great impression for the next time your services are needed.

 

You’ll find plenty of invoice templates online. Or, you could design your own using the Australian Tax Office voluntary standards, which explain what has to be included. 

 

Alternatively, you could use an online invoicing tool such as Biz Invoice. If you're a Westpac customer with a Business One Low Plan or High Plan transaction account or a foreign currency account1 (other than in Chinese Yuan RMB), you can access this complimentary tool through online banking. It takes minutes to set up a template, then each time you want to issue an invoice you go through these five simple steps on your smartphone, tablet or PC:

 

  1. On the Biz Invoice website page choose ‘Create an invoice’
  2. Choose a customer from your list (or add a new one)
  3. Choose line items from your list (or add new ones with prices)
  4. Select a due date
  5. Click ‘Send’

 

This sends an email to your customer containing a link to your professional-looking invoice. The invoice will feature the bank transfer details of your linked account, plus BPAY® information if you are an eligible sole trader who has set up that payment option (which incurs fees)2.

 

Please note, BPAY is not available with foreign currency account invoices. Payment can only be made using direct deposit via international transfer.

What needs to be on my invoice template?

The Australian Government Business website provides the latest information regarding what to include on invoice templates and the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website features examples of tax invoices.

 

If you’re using Biz Invoice, you can use its complimentary invoice template for online invoicing. The version available with Westpac Business One Low and High Plan accounts adheres to the government guidelines for Australian invoice templates.

 

If you choose to design your own invoice template, you may wish to use the below as a guide to the elements to feature. 

 

1. A unique identifier

Usually this would be an invoice number that rises sequentially with each invoice you send out. 

 

2. The date of the invoice

That is, the date of issue – which is not necessarily the date on which products or services were supplied.

 

3. Your information:

  • Business name – if you are a sole trader or freelancer you can use your personal name. With Biz Invoice you can customise your template with a logo and/or trading name.
  • Business address
  • Contact details
  • ABN/ACN
 
At the top you’ll need the word ‘Invoice’ – or the words ‘Tax invoice’ if you are registered for and charging GST 3.  
 
4. Your customer’s information
 

It is not compulsory to include the business name and address of your customer for invoices of less than $1,000 (including GST), but it makes sense to do so – and including the name of an individual may help get the invoice addressed quicker.

 

For tax invoices for sales of $1000 or more (including GST) you must include the buyer’s identity or ABN3.

 

To avoid repetitive writing/typing, with Biz Invoice you only have to enter customer details once into the tool, then choose from a list each time you generate an invoice.

 

5. Details of the goods/services bought:

 

If you are designing your own invoice template, you need to accommodate a brief list of the items sold and/or services provided including quantities and prices – along with the goods and services tax (GST) amount payable (if applicable). The GST amount for each item has to be displayed separately, or, if the GST amount is exactly one-eleventh of the total price, you can use a statement such as ‘Total price includes GST’.

 

For a non-tax invoice, include the statement ‘No GST has been charged’ or show the GST amount as zero3.

 

With Biz Invoice you can build your own list of standard items/services with their prices, to save more time when generating invoices – and add extra items/services as required. You can also incorporate discounts when generating each invoice, if you wish.

 

Please note that if linked to a foreign currency account, Biz Invoice will not calculate GST or any tax that may be required in your customer's country. These taxes can only be included in an invoice generated by Biz Invoice if they are entered manually as line items.

 

6. Payment due date and how to pay

 

To assist in you getting paid promptly, your invoice template should include these two important pieces of information.

 

With Biz Invoice you can set (and update) your payment terms, and also choose to send automatic payment reminders – to save you the time and hassle of chasing late payments. Your bank details are provided to encourage fast payment straight into your account – plus (for eligible sole traders) BPAY details if you have set up and selected that payment option when linking to an eligible transaction account2.

How can I help make it easier to get paid?

If you’re creating your own invoice template, make sure you include the payment methods you accept (i.e. your business bank account details and/or how customers can pay via credit card). When deciding on the payment methods to offer, it’s worth remembering that making it easy for your customers to pay may encourage faster payments.

 

Somewhere on your template, ask your customer to include the invoice number as a reference, so that it’s simple to reconcile their payment against your invoice. With Biz Invoice, if your customer’s payment description field includes the complete and correct Invoice ID, their payment will be reconciled automatically by the tool where the amount paid matches the total unpaid on the invoice – saving you even more time.

 

Please note that automatic reconciliation is not available when Biz Invoice is linked to a foreign currency account. These accounts require manual reconciliation to reflect the correct invoice status. 

Find out from bookkeeper Martine what she loves about the Biz Invoice small business invoicing tool.


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Things you should know

1. Westpac’s products are subject to terms, conditions, fees and charges; and certain criteria may apply. Before making a decision, read the disclosure documents for your selected product or service, including the Product Disclosure Statement and T&Cs for Westpac business bank accounts, foreign currency accounts and online banking, by clicking the above links; and consider if the product is right for you.

 

2. BPAY Eligible Account Holders: To be eligible to set up BPAY Payments with Biz Invoice you must be registered for online banking and be a Sole Trader who is the sole owner of the Westpac Business One Low Plan or Business One High Plan account to which Biz Invoice is linked. Each BPAY transaction will incur a transaction fee. Read the disclosure documents, including the Biz Invoice BPAY Sub-Biller Agreement Terms and Conditions (PDF 104KB) and Direct Debit Request including the Direct Debit Request Service Agreement (PDF 36KB), before deciding. Full details are available on application. This function is not available for linked Foreign Currency Accounts. 

 

3.  https://www.business.gov.au/Finance/Payments-and-invoicing/How-to-invoice

 

The information in this article (including any related to tax) is general in nature and does not take your objectives, financial situation or needs into account and does not constitute tax advice. Taxation considerations are general and based on certain taxation laws and regulations  as at 03.03. 2020  and may be subject to change. Consider its appropriateness to these factors; and we recommend you seek independent professional advice about your specific circumstances before making any decisions.

 

BPAY® is a registered trademark of BPAY Pty Ltd ABN 69 079 137 518.