Although you'll find many articles online on how to write and send invoices as a sole trader, we haven't seen many that focus on what sole traders and freelancers really care about: getting paid quickly.
As a freelancer, you want to be able to create invoices that are tax-compliant, easy to write up and send, and encourage your client to pay quickly. How do you do that?
In this article, we'll walk you through how to create an invoice quickly and easily (that won't require a ton of admin), and some tips to help you get paid more quickly.
Note: looking to create your first invoice right away? Download the Parpera App and create your first invoice now.
If you’ve done some research on invoices, you’ll see that you have two main options when it comes to creating an invoice: use a Word/Excel template, or use an invoicing tool.
You can probably create a free invoice template with Word, or download one from another site. Although these are completely customisable, you’ll need to keep copy pasting your information for future invoices. You also have to do your own due diligence to make sure your invoice is tax-compliant for your client. And if you want it to look professional, you’ll need to polish up those design skills!
The other option is to use an invoicing app or software. This option makes invoicing a lot easier, since the app takes care of all the compliance, design and will store your information so you don’t have to keep copy and pasting information.
It’s also a lot easier to keep track of who has paid and who hasn’t paid, and the invoice will be specifically designed to get you paid more quickly (more on that below) while offering clients multiple payment options. The downside is that you’ll likely need to pay a fee, and you’ll need to log into a separate software tool to create an invoice.
Which one is best for you? It really depends on your needs. If you’re sending less than one invoice per month, then a Word or Excel template might be enough. If you’re sending several invoices per month, then an invoice app or software will make the process a lot easier.
Would you rather use an invoicing app? Then let us introduce you to Parpera: an Australian digital money management platform that helps sole traders and freelancers manage and grow their businesses.
When you sign up to Parpera, you’ll be opening a business bank account with our partner, Volt Bank*, and have access to a host of financial tools to run your business directly from the Parpera App, such as invoicing, expense management and, soon, international payments.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a professional, tax-compliant invoice with Parpera:
Based on the hundreds of conversations with freelancers, sole traders and members of our community, we understand the need to make the registration process as streamlined as possible. With Parpera, you can register and open your sole trader bank account in under 10 minutes!
We offer a 30-day free trial, so you won’t have to commit to paying immediately (and cancelling is as easy as clicking a button).
Once registered, go to the “Invoice” section where you’ll find three tabs: Unpaid, Paid, and Drafts. Click on “Drafts”, then click on the plus button to create a new invoice.
Once you open a new invoice, select an existing client or add a new one. When you create a new client, you only need to insert the client’s name and email.
Details such as their address, business name, and Australian Business Number (ABN) are optional. However, if you are invoicing for services of $1,000 or more, you’ll need to include the client’s business identity or ABN to be tax compliant.
Once you’ve added a client, there’s no more worrying about copying and pasting their details again because we save them for future invoices. And since you already have a Parpera profile, we’ll automatically insert your business name, ABN, and bank details. This is how we help you create a tax-compliant invoice in seconds, with no errors.
Next, we’ll ask you to insert a few quick details such as:
The price will not add Goods and Services Tax (GST) automatically. If GST applies to you, you can simply select “include GST?” and we’ll automatically calculate it for you. Then, either add other services or items and select “Continue”.
If you’re a new sole trader or freelancer, you may wonder if you need to register for GST. In Australia, you’re required to register for GST when you earn $75,000 or more of gross income in a tax year.
If you expect to make $75,000 this year, make sure you register on time. The Australian government suggests checking your gross income every month and registering for GST within 21 days once you realise that you’ll exceed the $75,000 threshold.
Once you register for GST and reach the threshold, add 10% to your services. Here are two quick scenarios to clarify when to add GST.
Let’s say you have a gross income of $73,000 for the tax year. You’re about to issue an invoice of $1000, which will take your total gross income to $74,000. Since you don’t meet or surpass the $75,000 threshold, you issue the invoice with your requested price, without GST.
Now let’s say you have a gross total income of $75,000. Your next invoice is $1000, which will require you to add 10% GST to your service price, bringing the total price to $1100.
Ideally, you want to register for GST as soon as you know you’ll have to start paying it. This way, you won’t have to worry about getting an unexpected tax bill at the end of the year. Make sure to also warn your regular clients ahead of time, since they’ll be the ones paying GST.
Parpera will let you create an invoice for Australian tax purposes, whether or not you’re registered for GST. When you’re ready to start charging GST, simply click on the GST button, and we’ll take care of the rest.
Before hitting send, we’ll show you a preview of your invoice, which is attached as a PDF and sent as an automated email directly from the app. Check both the email and invoice details before sending; if you catch any mistakes, you can quickly fix your invoice or delete it entirely with a simple click.
In this preview phase, you can also add your email to receive a copy of your invoice email.
Once you’re sure your invoice is correct, just hit the “Send Invoice” button. In an instant, you’ll receive an “Invoice Sent” message. Click “Done” and that’s it.
Congratulations! In less than five minutes, you’ve just sent your first tax-compliant invoice with Parpera.
If you’re not required to register for GST, here’s what to include in your invoice according to the Australian Tax Office (ATO):
If you’re registered for GST, you’ll need to include all the above, plus a few more items for a tax invoice:
Parpera does this all automatically so you won’t have to figure out what to add on your invoice.
We know how annoying and time-consuming it is chasing after payments, which is why we’ve optimised Parpera invoices to make it easier for clients to pay you. Here are a few things that will help you get paid more quickly:
Plus, we have additional invoicing features coming soon:
You may also like to discover why we're the best Wave alternative in Australia.
We designed Parpera as an all-in-one invoicing and finance tool for sole traders to get paid faster and run their businesses more easily. You can open a business account in minutes and do bookkeeping directly through the app.
Above all, automatic business invoicing is the feature Parpera members love the most. Here’s why:
With Parpera, you’ll also have customer service at the click of a button if you ever need it, a free 30-day trial, and an easy way to cancel your membership, no questions asked.
Ready to create your first invoice with Parpera?
You now have all the invoicing information you need and know the steps to create an Australian, tax-compliant invoice that will get you paid quickly. If you’re ready to create a professional-looking invoice, download the Parpera app and sign up to our 30 free trial to try it out!