Help speed up payments with a good trade invoice template
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.
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:
You could also consider offering a financial incentive – such as a discount or a coupon for the next job – for prompt payment.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
Westpac, for example, offers an online invoicing tool called Biz Invoice – which is included with our Business One Low or High Plan business transaction accounts. Its free invoice template can be customised with your business name and logo, features all the required fields for Australia, and has the option to include an ABN and GST. And it can all be managed on mobile, tablet, laptop and PC in online banking.
It’s also worth noting that with Biz Invoice you can choose to offer BPAY® payment in addition to bank transfers. This means you can accept credit card payments, which takes us back to where we started – helping speed up payments by making paying you as simple as possible.
This is what a Westpac Biz Invoice looks like for a typical trade business:
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.
Westpac’s products are subject to terms, conditions and fees; and eligibility 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 and online banking and consider if the product is right for you.
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.