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Speed up payments with a good trade invoice template

5-minute read

Getting paid promptly 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 you get 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's displayed, can encourage customers to pay you promptly. Here are five tips:


  1. Address your invoices to the people who approve them
  2. Use their names on the envelope or use their email addresses
  3. Add your mobile number and/or email to address any queries
  4. Clearly state the payment terms and due date for payment
  5. Make paying you simple, with a choice of payment methods (see next section).


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

What payment methods might get me paid quicker?

Letting customers pay you the way that's most convenient for them might help avoid overdue invoices. You could offer a number of options in the payment details section of your invoice template, which could include:


  • Bank-to-bank online payments (listing your bank account BSB and account number on your invoices)
  • Bank-to-bank transfer using PayID® (featuring just the ABN or mobile number you've registered for the service rather than your bank account details)
  • BPAY® if the scale of your business merits applying for an account
  • Paying by post with a cheque
  • Paying by credit card.


TIP: A simple way to take in-person card and mobile wallet payments is to have a mobile app such as Westpac EFTPOS Air on your compatible smartphone or tablet1 – with no extra hardware required. Plus, you can use the app to issue invoices.

What else needs to go on my trade invoice template?

The Australian Taxation 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 name and/or trading name 
  • Information about the goods and services provided, including quantities 
  • Your Australian business number (ABN)
  • The invoice number and 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 called a ‘regular (non-tax) invoice’ are simpler:


  • The heading ‘Invoice' 
  • Your business name and/or trading name 
  • Information about the goods and services provided, including quantities 
  • Your Australian business number (ABN)
  • The invoice number and 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.

Where can I get a free invoice template?

A quick search online should give you plenty of options for various invoice templates, including versions in Word, Excel and Google Docs formats. Just make sure that the one you choose features all the mandatory fields listed in this article – and has the capacity to add extra wording that may help get you paid faster.


If you're using accounting software such as MYOB or Xero, they might provide a blank invoice template you could adapt and add your logo to – but make sure it's one that's suitable for use in Australia.

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 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 for recurring invoices
  • 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



To sum up

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

6 common invoicing mistakes to avoid

Are poor invoicing practices undermining your business cash flow? Here are 6 common invoicing mistakes businesses make, and how you can avoid them.

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.

Improving your working capital cycle

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

This information does not take into account your personal circumstances and is general. It is an overview only and should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon. Consider obtaining personalised advice from a professional financial adviser and your accountant before making any financial decisions in relation to the matters discussed in this article, including when considering tax and finance options for your business. Westpac does not endorse any of the external providers referred to in this article.


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


PayID® is a registered trademark of NPP Australia Limited.


1. Compatibility: To use EFTPOS Air your iPhone or Android device will need to be Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled and running on one of the supported iPhone Operating Systems (iOS) or Android Operating Systems (OS) listed at, which may change from time to time. Tap to Pay on iPhone requires iPhone XS or later running iOS 16.4 or later and a supported payment app. Some contactless cards may not be accepted by your payment app.