Issuing prompt invoices with clear instructions can help your business maintain cash flow.
Configure customer accounts for billing
Start the billing process with the first customer transaction. Contact your client and get the information you need to set up their account, including contact information for their company and accounting department.
Engagement letter for new clients
Check out our client engagement letter template. You can adapt it to your business and make it a policy that you give a copy to all new customers.
The letter includes information about the product or service you provide, the length of the contract, and information about how you will handle overdue payments.
What to include on an invoice
Your invoice should include the information the customer needs to pay you on time – and your own accounting details.
Your business details
Make sure your invoices include:
- company name (and trade name, if you have one)
- Web address
- e-mail address, telephone number and fax number
- Australian Business Number (ABN) or Australian Company Name (ACN)
Service and payment information
Your invoice should reflect the product or service you provided, the amount due and when. Include the following:
- billing date
- unique invoice number for your reference – it may be useful to add a code to your invoices that identifies the customer, date or job number
- detailed description of the goods and amount due
- Goods and Services Tax (GST), if applicable
- Payment details
Payment details will typically include:
- terms – for example, the number of days before the payment is due, the final due date or a discount for early payment
- options, such as direct deposit, credit card, EFTPOS and cash
- direct bank details including BSB and account number, account name, bank name and branch and reference number to be included in the description of the transaction
When invoicing a customer, it is common practice to include:
- customer contact details such as mailing address, email address and telephone number
- name of the person who placed the order
- name of the person who will pay the bill (this can help expedite payment)
- the customer’s purchase order (PO) number or the dates of the contractual agreement
Tax invoices for GST purposes
You must include certain information to create a valid GST tax invoice. For example, you must indicate on the invoice that it is a “tax invoice” and include the amount of GST.
There may be additional rules depending on the invoice amount.
Find out what you need to include on a GST invoice on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.
Use of accounting software invoices
If you use an accounting package such as MYOB or QuickBooks, invoices will be generated using the information you provided in your account setup.
Most accounting software allows you to tailor invoices to your needs.
Invoicing Best Practices for Prompt Payment
To ensure that invoices are paid on time:
- invoice on time – at regular intervals or as soon as the order is completed
- keep in touch – call to confirm goods have been received and there are no issues
- include your payment options and details on all invoices
- ensure customers are aware of business terms and your late payment policy
Use our financial policy and procedures manual template as a starting point for managing accounts receivable, payment terms, and debt collection.