Customising invoices

Businesses often don’t pay invoices because specific requirements are missing. Get on the front foot and save yourself some time later by speaking to your client about their invoicing requirements and payment processes.

Understanding your client

Each business may have different systems and payment processing delegations. Understanding what they require and how they operate will help make it easy for them to pay.

You may like to ask them:

  • Do they require a specific invoice itemisation? For example, some businesses need each item listed individually on their invoice.
  • Do they require specific words or reference numbers to be included on the invoices?
  • Is there a specific person responsible for payment? If there is, get their name, direct contact details and establish a good relationship with them.
  • How are payments processed? For example, some businesses process invoices on a specific day of the month. Knowing this will help you schedule your invoice delivery.
  • Do they prefer a particular payment option? Electronic payment options will often be the fastest way to secure payment.

Remember that every interaction you have with your client is an opportunity to enhance your relationship which will increase the likelihood that you will be paid and secure future work.

More invoicing tips

  • Adding a specific payment due date will make it clear to both parties when payment is due. Avoid using generic payment terms like ‘due within 30 days’ or ‘due on receipt’.
  • Having a range of different payment methods available may also assist. An online payment system, or a credit card merchant facility, are commonly used methods of payment that are expected by a lot of clients. Mobile payment facilities may also pay for themselves if they help you to avoid chasing people for money later.
  • The Australian Tax Office provides further information about how to set out a tax invoice and business.gov.au provides further information about how to create an invoice.