Creating an invoice is easy, but it's cash flow you should think about

March 25, 2024
minutes to read
Jelina Rosin
Table of Contents

  • Do you feel like you waste a lot of time chasing late invoices?
  • Is cash flow important to you?
  • Would getting paid faster help you and your business?
  • Would you like to eliminate as much admin as possible regarding your invoicing process?

An online invoice generator might be handy, but it probably won't get you where you want to be.

Let’s dig in…

In this article, we'll show you how business finance management solutions like Thriday can get you paid faster and pave the way for success.

How the Right Invoicing Software Gives Your Business Superpowers

Professional invoicing is more than just a piece of paper; it's a powerful tool that can transform how you get paid. Here's how it can supercharge your Australian business:

Less manual work, more time for you

Do you spend countless hours creating invoices from scratch? 

Professional invoice templates with pre-filled information like your ABN and business details allow you to create invoices quickly and efficiently. Many online invoicing solutions let you create an invoice but lack important features like automatic reminders, saved clients and recurring invoices. 

These key features free up valuable time you can spend on more important things.

Thriday takes this a step further. With its library of customisable invoice templates, you can create professional invoices in seconds. 

Thriday also automates repetitive tasks like sending follow-up emails, freeing up valuable time you can spend on more strategic tasks for your business, like client acquisition or developing new service offerings.

Customise your invoice template with brand colours and logo
Customise your invoice template with brand colours and logo

Error-free invoices = stronger relationships

Manual invoicing is error-prone. A simple typo in a BSB or account number or a misplaced decimal point can create confusion and delays. These errors can damage credibility and lead to disputes with clients and vendors. It's not good if the goal is to get paid faster.

Professional invoicing software mitigates this risk.  

Pre-filled templates with your ABN and business details and automated calculations ensure accuracy and consistency in every invoice.  This reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings and strengthens trust with your partners and vendors. When invoices are accurate, payments are processed more smoothly; your business is more efficient, saving you time and money.

Thriday goes beyond basic accuracy checks. It offers features like built-in tax calculators specifically for Australian GST, ensuring your invoices comply with ATO regulations. This mitigates the risk of errors and penalties resulting from human error while showcasing professionalism to clients and vendors. 

Tax compliance saves you from penalties

Australian businesses registered for GST must display their ABN and the words "Tax Invoice" on all invoices. Professional invoicing software can automate these details and ensure your invoices comply with ATO regulations, saving you from potential penalties for non-compliance.

Thriday simplifies GST compliance for Australian businesses. Its invoicing templates automatically include the required information, like your ABN and "Tax Invoice" wording.  Invoicing software is just one part of Thridays' all-in-one financial management platform, which calculates your tax and GST obligations as your invoices are paid and as you make expenses, so you always know how much you owe the ATO.

Streamlines record keeping and reporting for tax time

Invoicing solutions online often integrate with accounting software, simplifying record keeping and allowing you to track income and expenses easily. This can save you valuable time and ensure accurate financial reporting for tax purposes, making tax time a breeze.

Thriday integrates seamlessly with your Thriday bank account* and expense management features. Come tax time, you'll have a clear and organised record of your income and expenses, and you’ll feel super organised. 

To help you better understand how Thriday can help you with that, check out how it automates BAS and tax

Easy tracking and better visibility with real-time data 

Ever feel like you're flying blind when it comes to your finances? Traditional invoicing methods can make tracking outstanding payments difficult and help you gain insights into your cash flow.

Thriday offers real-time and data-driven reporting insights, giving you a clear view of your financial health at all times. Invoicing is just one element of good cash flow management; by combining invoicing, banking, accounting and tax into one platform, you can manage your cash flow end to end. The best part is we’ve automated the rules and calculations in the background, so you don’t have to be a numbers person.

You can also add custom tags to Thriday invoices. This is great for adding project or income categories. You can then compare income and expenses for specific projects or categories to better understand profitability.

What Are The Main Components of An Invoice?

1. The Invoice Header

Your business header serves as the official introduction to your invoice. It should prominently feature your business name, contact details (phone, email, and physical address), and, importantly, your ABN (Australian Business Number).  

Including your logo is optional but adds a professional touch. Thriday allows you to use pre-formatted layouts that automatically include all the essential header elements.

2. Client or Invoice recipient Information

Accurately including the client's name (or business name), contact information (phone, email), and physical address (if applicable) is crucial for directing the invoice correctly. This information also becomes essential for your record-keeping, making tracking which clients have received which invoices easier. 

Thriday invoice software has features that allow you to save frequently used client information, saving time and reducing errors when creating new invoices.

3. Invoice Details

This section contains specific details for tracking and referencing the invoice. The invoice number should be a unique identifier, allowing you to easily locate this specific transaction in your records. The invoice date specifies when the invoice was sent, and the due date sets a clear timeline for the client to make payment.

4. Invoice line items or billable items

The body of your invoice specifies the products sold or services rendered. Each item should have an adequate description, the quantity provided, and the unit price (the cost per individual item). This level of transparency prevents confusion for the client and justifies the overall charges. 

Thriday provides structured fields for product/service descriptions, quantities, and pricing, promoting clearer invoices and quicker creation times.

You can save billable items to reuse later.

5. Taxes

In Australia, businesses that are registered for GST are required to include GST (Goods and Services Tax) on their invoices. Make sure to state the current GST rate (10%) and calculate the GST amount based on the subtotal of goods/services provided.  

Indicating the total amount due, including the subtotal and GST, ensures the client knows the exact amount they must pay. Thriday's invoice templates have built-in GST calculations, saving you time and minimising the potential for errors.

6. Payment Information

Provide a clear outline of your preferred payment methods (like bank transfer or credit card), making the process as smooth as possible for your clients. If you have specific terms or conditions, such as late payment fees, state them in this section. Finally, including your bank account details offers your clients an easy and direct way to transfer funds.

Thriday gives you the ability to offer early payment incentives and charge late payment fees. Optimising for profit and cash flow in business is key.

Before You Start: Key Questions to Ask Yourself

First thing first, don't settle for just any invoice solution! Consider these crucial questions to ensure your chosen software meets your needs:

  • Will it get me paid faster? Look for features like automated payment reminders, early payment incentives, and bank integration for automatic reconciliation.
  • Is it compliant and legal? Does it allow you to accurately display your ABN (if applicable) and handle GST (Goods and Services Tax) calculations? 
  • Will this invoicing software be a good representation of my brand? Will it allow you to add a logo, change colours or choose templates?
  • Will it save me time? Does it offer features like client and item saving, automatic numbering, and organised record-keeping?
  • Are you registered for GST? Many businesses will charge GST accidentally because it’s the default setting on free invoice generators; this can land you in hot water with the ATO as you’re collecting tax you’re not legally allowed to collect.
  • Will this waste my time, or will it save me time? You end up with folders of documents with different naming conventions, and it all turns into a mess. With a professional invoice tool like Thriday, everything is organised, invoices are sequentially numbered, you can save clients and billable items, and your life is just way simpler. 

How to Create a Professional Invoice Using Thriday To Get Paid On Time [Step-by-Step]

Step 1: Template Selection

Start with the perfect invoice look. Choose from Thriday's selection of pre-designed templates for a professional touch. If you want to highlight your brand, create a customised template that showcases your logo and brand colours.

Step 2: Client Management

Seamlessly manage your client information. Save new clients quickly by providing their names, contact details, and ABN (if applicable). 

Returning clients? Save time by selecting them directly from your saved address book, ensuring all the details are correct.

Thriday customer
Thriday customer

Step 3: Itemising Your Services/Products

Clearly outline what you're charging for. Provide concise descriptions of the services you provided or the products you sold.  Don't forget to include the quantity of each item and its corresponding unit price. Remember to factor in GST for Australian businesses – Thriday can help with those calculations.

Step 4: Setting Up Payment Reminders

Automate reminders to help ensure timely payments. Schedule automatic email reminders to give your clients a friendly nudge about upcoming or overdue invoices. Customise the messages within these reminders for a professional and personalised touch.

Automatically send late invoice payment reminders
Automatically send late invoice payment reminders

Step 5: Review and Send

Before hitting 'send', take a moment to review. Double-check all the invoice details, including client information, item descriptions, quantities, prices, and tax calculations. Utilise Thriday's electronic invoicing option for quick email delivery and a streamlined, paperless process.

Send via SMS where possible. We all know everyone reads their text messages!

Step 6: Sit Back and Relax (Almost!)

Once payment is received, Thriday automatically reconciles the income within your records. Let Thriday assist with forecasting your tax obligations and provide real-time financial reports so you can keep a close eye on your cash flow, profit & loss, and other important financial metrics.

Notes: Any relevant information for the client, like project reference numbers or special instructions

Payment Terms and Conditions: Include a link to your website with detailed payment terms and conditions (e.g., late fees policy)

Making an Invoice FAQ

Q: What if I don't have an ABN?

You're generally not required to have an ABN unless you run a business or enterprise. However, if you invoice a business without an ABN, they must withhold 47% of your payment for tax purposes. You may be eligible for an exemption under specific circumstances. 

Q: Do I need to keep copies of my invoices?

Yes! Keeping copies of your invoices (both issued and received) for at least five years is mandatory. These records are crucial for tax reporting, audits, and managing your business finances effectively.

This can get very messy without dedicated business invoicing software. A simple invoice generator won’t give you the ability to save invoice records automatically for audit purposes.

Q: What file format should I use for invoices?

PDF is the most common and recommended file format for invoices in Australia. PDFs are secure, easily readable across devices, and preserve the invoice's original layout.

The downside of PDFs is that they’re hard to read and use on phones.

Thriday generates both a PDF and weblink version of the invoice. The PDF is attached to the invoice email, and the weblink is included in both the email and the SMS, which makes it super easy for your clients to pay you.

Important Note: Tax laws in Australia can be complex. Always consult the ATO website or seek professional advice from an accountant or tax advisor for specific situations.

Key Takeaway

Remember, cash flow is key. Anything you can do to improve the speed at which you get paid is a win.

Sometimes, the admin tasks get overlooked, but your time is money when it comes to your business, so the more you can automate, the better.

Thriday empowers you with the platform to control your cash flow right through from invoice sent to tax paid. And the best part is we can save you a huge amount of time and money along the way. 

DISCLAIMER: Team Thrive Pty Ltd ABN 15 637 676 496 (Thriday) is an authorised representative (No.1297601) of Regional Australia Bank ABN 21 087 650 360  AFSL 241167 (Regional Australia Bank).  Regional Australia Bank is the issuer of the transaction account and debit card available through Thriday. Any information provided by Thriday is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether Thriday is appropriate for you.

Why waste time on financial admin when Thriday can do it for you?

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