Speed up payments with a good trade invoice template
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.
What you include on your invoice template and where it's displayed, can encourage customers to pay you promptly. Here are five tips:
You could also consider offering a financial incentive – such as a discount or a coupon for the next job – for prompt payment.
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:
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.
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:
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 called 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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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 https://help.eftposair.westpac.com.au/compatibility/, 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.