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5 ways to speed up your invoicing

Posted 6 years ago in Small business by Xero
Posted by Xero

Do you spend a lot of time entering invoices? Here at Xero, we’re committed to helping you shave hours off your invoicing workflow. Here’s a grab-bag of ways you can use Xero to speed up your invoicing. Some ways might not suit you, it’s a case of picking the ones that make sense for your business.

1. Create new invoices by copying old ones

Seems so simple doesn’t it? But you’d be surprised how many people type the same details each time they enter an invoice. If you’re creating an invoice you know is similar to one you’ve entered before, then find the old invoice and copy it. The old invoice doesn’t have to be exactly the same amount or the same customer — just adjust the new invoice how you’d like it.

copy old invoices

How to copy a invoices to a new quote

2. Set up repeating invoices

Do you invoice your customers for the same service every month? For example, do you charge monthly management fees, rental, or subscriptions? If so, then set up repeating invoices. Xero will automatically create and email invoices to your customers each month — you don’t have to do a thing!
repeating invoices

How to set up a repeating invoice

3. Create items you can reuse again and again

Do you sell a set range of services to all your customers? If so, set up items in Xero — fill out the description and price for your services, for example, an hourly rate or a packaged price. Then, each time you enter an invoice, simply select your item and Xero fills in the invoice fields for you — no more retyping.
create items to reuse

How to create an item

4. Invoice groups of customers in one go

Do you invoice the same type of service to groups of customers? For example do you charge monthly support fees to customers on a particular price plan? If so, then set up contact groups in Xero. You enter just the one invoice for a contact group and Xero automatically creates identical invoices for every customer in the group — a huge time-saver!

invoice groups

How to set up and invoice a contact group

5. Default your data entry as much as you can

Xero has a range of default settings that automate your invoice data entry for each of your customers.  Sure, they take a bit of time to set up but you’ll save many hours in the long run. Go to Contacts and click on a customer — set default fields such as tax rate, currency and due date.  Each time you invoice that customer, Xero automatically fills in these fields for you.

default data entry

How to set defaults for your customers


June 25, 2016 at 9.39 pm

I use set up item (number 3) , makes it quicker and seems to be the only way I can get Xero Smart List’s to work with my own scan options. .

Ros Black
June 27, 2016 at 2.06 pm

Thanks for your feedback Michael. Yes using items means Smart Lists become very useful.

June 30, 2016 at 6.57 pm

Great tips for sales invoices! For AP invoices, try some of the Xero add-ons. Datamolino finds all the figures and includes invoice descriptions. It can do line items automatically as well. So even less retyping.

Brian Curran
July 3, 2016 at 11.11 pm

We export billing data from our database and email it to CSV2Cloud. Invoices are created automatically in Xero so all we have to do is review a small sample then approve and email them all out. Saves us 1 full day per month, easily…

James @ Wan Ling Tea House
July 4, 2016 at 7.09 pm

Sounds great. Would you have time to outline a little more about how you achieve this? Thanks.

chris allfree
July 3, 2016 at 11.41 pm

I am a mobile surgical veterinarian and I use the Quote section to establish templates for specific surgical procedures. I then copy to an invoice and modify accordingly. This prevents me from forgetting disposables or implants used and saves time. I even have home care information and attach files for clinical information so I no longer need a separate database for clinical records.
Very mobile and keeps invoicing simple. Well done.

Colleen Sullivan
July 4, 2016 at 2.39 pm

Another thing which would make invoicing faster is to allow for GST total over ride. This really is needed. I have to enter two lines at the moment, one being a negative amount and the other being a positive amount, to coincide with the GST quoted on a customer’s carbon copy invoice which the sales staff have calculated. Unfortunately some calculators and software round up whilst others round down. This is why we need this over ride function. it not only takes up time doing this but also looks very unprofessional.

Ros Black
July 5, 2016 at 6.21 pm

Jan, Brian and Chris – thankyou for sharing your time-saving invoice tips.

Colleen – thankyou for your feedback. We will continue to monitor demand for this override ability in this community feature request:


July 5, 2016 at 10.57 pm

Some good tips, thank you. One thing that would save us a lot of time is simplifying invoicing for a deposit on a job (instead of using a draft invoice, prepayments etc).

Dan Rutherfurd
June 3, 2018 at 8.02 pm

Invoicing for contact groups has really assisted me in streamlining receipting for my local scout troop. Instead of having to create entries for each person, I can now simply raise an invoice for the contact group and if someone decides not to go to camp I can void the invoice which is still quicker than raising an individual invoice for each person.

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