Issuing prompt invoices with clear instructions can help your business maintain cash flow.

Set up customer accounts for invoicing

Begin the invoicing process with the first customer transaction. Contact your customer and get the information you need to set up their account, including contact details for their business and their accounts department.

Engagement letter for new customers

Check out our customer engagement letter template. You can adapt it to your business and make it a policy that you issue a copy to all new customers.

The letter includes information about the product or service you're providing, the contract period and information about how you'll handle overdue payments.

What to include on an invoice

Your invoice should include information the customer needs to know to pay you on time – and details for your own bookkeeping.

Your business's details

Make sure your invoices include your:

  • business name (and trading name, if you have one)
  • postal address
  • web address
  • email address, phone number and fax number
  • Australian business number (ABN) or Australian company name (ACN).

Information about the service and payment

Your invoice should reflect the product or service you've provided, the amount due and when. Include the following:

  • invoice date
  • unique invoice number for your reference – it can help to add code to your invoices that identify the customer, date or job number
  • itemised description of goods and amount due
  • goods and services tax (GST), if it applies
  • payment details.

Payment details will usually include:

  • terms – for example, the number of days before payment is due, the final due date or a discount for early payment
  • options, such as direct deposit, credit card, EFTPOS and cash
  • direct banking details, including BSB and account number, account name, the name and branch of the bank and the reference number to be included in the transaction description.

Customer's details

When invoicing a customer, it's standard practice to include the:

  • customer's contact details such as postal address, email address and phone number
  • name of the person who placed the order
  • name of the person who will pay the invoice (this can help speed up payment)
  • customer's purchase order (PO) number or contract agreement dates

Tax invoices for GST purposes

You must include certain information to create a valid tax invoice for GST. For example, you must state on the invoice that it's a 'tax invoice' and include the GST amount.

There might be extra rules depending on the amount the invoice is for.

Find out what you need to include on a GST invoice on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.

Using accounting software package invoices

If you're using an accounting software package such as MYOB or QuickBooks, invoices will be generated using the information you've provided in your account set up.

Most accounting software packages allow you to tailor the invoices to your needs.

Invoicing best practice for fast payment

To have invoices paid on time:

  • invoice in a timely manner – at regular intervals or as soon as the order is completed
  • stay in contact – call to confirm goods were received and that there were no issues
  • include your payment options and details on all invoices
  • make sure customers are aware of the terms of trade and your policy on overdue payments.

Use our financial policy and procedure manual template as a starting point for handling customer accounts, payment terms and debt collection.