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Help speed up payments with a good trade invoice template

4-minute read

Getting paid in a timely manner is one of the most important parts of running any trade business. Therefore, it’s helpful to know that the way you write your invoices could actually help get you paid faster, while keeping you compliant with ATO requirements for invoice templates.

Key take-outs
  • Our 5 invoicing tips may help get your bills paid faster
  • The ATO requires specific information to be featured on invoices
  • Your GST status will affect what has to be featured on your invoices
  • Online invoicing can save time and money

How can a well written invoice help get me paid faster?

What you include on your invoice template and where it is displayed, can encourage customers to pay you promptly. Here are five tips for fast payments:


  1. Address your invoice to the person who approves invoices
  2. Use their name on the envelope or use their email address
  3. Add your number and/or email to address any queries ASAP
  4. Clearly state the date that payment is due
  5. Make paying you easy, with a choice of payment methods.


You could also consider offering a financial incentive – such as a discount or a coupon for the next job – for prompt payment.

What else needs to go on my trade invoice template?

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) requires certain information to be featured on invoices. The requirements for a sole trader, small business or partnership that charges GST are:


  • The heading ‘Tax invoice’ 
  • Your business and/or trading name 
  • Information about the goods and services provided, including quantities 
  • Your Australian business number (ABN)
  • The date of the invoice
  • The GST amount(s) either for each line item or as a whole.


If your invoice is for less than $1,000 and all items on it are subject to 10% GST, you can include the tax as a single amount using words such as ‘Total price includes GST’. If it’s for more than a total of $1,000, the GST amount must be featured beside each line item.

What about the requirements for a non-tax invoice?

If you’re not registered for GST and/or are not charging GST, the ATO requirements for what’s call a ‘regular (non-tax)’ invoice are simpler:


  • The heading ‘Invoice’ 
  • Your business and/or trading name 
  • Information about the goods and services provided, including quantities 
  • Your Australian business number (ABN)
  • The date of the invoice
  • Words such as ‘GST has not been charged’.


If you’re just starting out and are not sure about your business status or if you need to register for GST, you may find our Business basics for sole traders article helpful.

Does online invoicing have benefits I should be considering?

Having an invoice template that can be managed online has many potential benefits. Depending on the online invoicing tool or software you use, your business could save time and money in all these ways:


  • Spend less money on paper, printing and postage
  • Spend less time manually creating and sending invoices
  • Avoid typing the same customer and product/service details
  • Write and send invoices immediately when on the move 
  • Link your invoicing with your business bank account
  • Spend less time on invoice reconciliation
  • Send payment reminders automatically
  • Make tax time simpler with everything in one place.

Speedy payments are great for cash flow, so any way you can encourage your customers to pay promptly has got to be good for your business. Making sure your invoices are optimised for fast payments could be a worthwhile starting point.

Read more

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Cash flow management for sole traders

How can I improve my cash flow? Read our introduction to cash flow management and get some handy tips on ways to help improve cash flow in your small business.

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What is working capital, and how does it affect cash flow? Check out these tips on how you could get your assets working harder for your business.

Things you should know

The information in this article is general in nature; does not take your objectives, financial situation or needs into account. Consider its appropriateness to these factors; and we recommend you seek independent professional legal and/or financial advice about your specific circumstances before making any decisions. Westpac does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of any third-party templates. You should make your own enquiries and seek professional legal advice where required.