Add or edit a repeating sales invoice or bill

Create a template for the invoices you send and bills you receive regularly. Xero automatically creates, saves, and emails recurring invoices for you based on your custom template. You can show the invoices and bills on the Draft or Awaiting Payment tab each time they’re created. All you have to do to complete them is approve any drafts, and pay or reconcile any awaiting payment.

Your user role determines if you can add an invoice or a bill.

Create a repeating template

Save and approve options

Notes for repeating invoices and bills

Repeating template details

Edit the Approve for Sending message (sales)

Save a repeating template

Delete a repeating template

Image of a repeating invoice

Create or edit a repeating invoice or bill template

The initial process is the same for both invoices and bills

You can create a new repeating sales invoice or bill template in several different ways:

  • Click the New Repeating Invoice or New Repeating Bill button on the Repeating tab.
  • Select the 'New Repeating Invoice' option from the New Invoice button or 'New Repeating Bill' option from the New Bill button from other tabs in Sales or Purchases.
  • From a contact details screen, select 'New Repeating Sales Invoice' or 'New Repeating Bill' from the + New button to create a new repeating template for that contact.

    Create sales invoices, bills or statements for this contact

  • Use an existing invoice or bill of any status as the basis for a repeating template. Open the invoice or bill and select 'Repeat' from the Invoice Options drop-down.

Invoice options drop-down.

Notes about repeating invoices and bills

  • Xero automaticallys assigns invoice numbers to sales invoices.
  • All fields are mandatoryexcept End Date and Reference. If the invoice or bill details are likely to vary for each one, enter text or numbers as placeholders and update to the final date, amount or description before approving or sending it.
  • You can attach a file to bills when you edit a repeating bill instance, but not when you set up the template. If you're creating a repeating bill from one with an attachment, the attachment isn't copied to the repeating bill.
  • Reorder the line items by dragging and dropping them into a different order.

For automatically emailed repeating invoices:

  • 'Reply to' email address setting:
    • When the 'Reply to' email address is set as the logged in user, the repeating invoice email is sent using the name of the user who last updated the repeating invoice. Replies go to the email address of the user who last updated the repeating invoice.
    • When the 'Reply to' email address is for a unique email name and email address, the repeating invoice email is sent using the name set and replies will go to the email address set.
  • If the user who last updated the repeating invoice template has been deleted, the repeating invoices s/he set up to be approved and sent automatically will not be sent automatically any more. They will go to the Draft tab instead. Another user will need to save the template for the emails to be automatically approved and sent again.
  • 'Approve for Sending' sales invoices are automatically emailed as an online invoice, PDF, or both (depending on the message set up or the email template you selected), if they are dated after today's date. Invoices dated in the past will go into the Awaiting Payment tab ready to be emailed in the usual way.
    Add, edit or delete email templates for emails you send from Xero
  • If you have invoice reminders turned on, 'Approve for Sending' sales invoices that are marked as sent will have invoice reminders set up automatically.
    Invoice reminders
  • If an invoice is 'bounced back' from a customer's email address (for example, if that email address no longer exists), the user who last updated the repeating invoice will receive the notification.

Enter or Edit

The fields for editing a repeating invoice or bill template are the same as for creating a new one.

Editing any fields will affect the next invoice or bill to be generated and none that have already been generated.

Specify or change the details for your repeating invoice or bill

Specify the details for when and where the sales invoices or bills will be generated.

  • These fields are blank or have default entries if you are starting a new repeating invoice or bill, whether from scratch or basing it on an existing one.
  • You can edit this information for an existing repeating invoice or bill series.

Image of the schedule fields for a repeating invoice.

Frequency

How often the sales invoice or bill will be generated in months or weeks. The default is to generate an invoice or bill every 1 month which you can change. Enter a whole number from 1 upwards.

Annually repeating invoices and bills can be created by using the drop-down menus to select 52 weeks or 12 months.

Invoice or Bill Date

The date you want the sales invoices or bills to start generating from. This can be a date in the past, today or future.

  • A past date will mean that a series of past-dated invoices or bills will be generated for you based on all the information you enter into this template. Enter any date back as far as the start of your previous financial year in Xero (specified in Financial Settings). If your accounts are locked you won't be able to set up a repeating invoice or bill that is automatically approved or approved and sent (see below) where the start date is before the lock date.
  • 'Approve for Sending' invoices dated with today's date, or a date in the past will not be automatically emailed.

  • A future date means that the first invoice or bill will be generated and displayed on the relevant tab for you on that date. There will be no invoice or bill to view until then.
  • 'Approve for Sending' invoices dated from tomorrow onwards will be automatically generated and sent on that date, and will then appear in the Awaiting Payment tab.

Next Invoice or Bill Date

If you are editing an existing template, this is the date the next sales invoice or bill is due to be generated.

  • You can change this date if you want to alter the course of the template.
  • If invoices or bills have already been generated in the past from this template and you change the next invoice or bill date to a past one, all of them will be generated again from that date (essentially duplicating those already created). If this is your intention, you may or may not need to delete or void the original invoices or bills generated.
Due Date

Specify the due date for each sales invoice or bill by setting a specific date or number of days after the invoice or bill date.

Image showing due date options.

  • Enter a whole number to be a specific day in a month or number of days after the invoice or bill date to be the due date.
  • Choose how the day or number of days will be applied from the list - you can have a due date that occurs on the day specified in either the current or next month, or a set number of days after the invoice or bill date.
  • Use these combinations with invoices or bills that repeat on a monthly or weekly basis.
  • If you want the invoice or bill to be generated and due on the same date e.g. if you are entering something for your records only and don't actually send or receive an actual invoice or bill, you can enter that it's due 0 days after the invoice or bill date.
End Date (optional)

Specify the last date that a sales invoice or bill in this template should be generated.

File attachments

Attach a file to your template

Your file is attached to the template only - not to each invoice or bill.

Set up the details of the invoice or bill

Enter or edit the details of the sales invoice or bill which will act as a template for them to be generated each time.

Except for the Reference and Description fields, the fields behave the same as for adding a new invoice or bill. See Add a sales invoice or Add a bill.

Add placeholders to your Reference and Description fields

Placeholders are named markers where content will appear when a document is generated. The value of the placeholder will depend on the date your repeating invoice or bill is generated. You can have more than one placeholder in a field.

Place your cursor in the Reference or Description field to see the Insert Placeholder link. Click the link to select the placeholder option.

Week displays the number of the week of the calendar year, for example, 46. Weeks start on Monday.

You can add or subtract within the placeholder to change the placeholder value. For example, [Month-1] will display the previous month to the invoice or bill month.

Click Preview placeholders to see how your placeholders will appear in your invoice or bill.

Options: Draft, Approve, Approve for Sending

Options: Save As Draft/Approve/Approve for Sending

Purchases: When you are creating repeating bills, you have the following options:

If you choose 'Save As Draft', repeating bills will automatically go into your Draft tab. If you choose 'Approve', repeating bills will go straight to the Awaiting Payment tab.

If you add a tracked inventory item to your repeating bill, you can only Save as Draft.
Tracked inventory

Sales: When you are creating repeating sales invoices, you have the same options as above, plus one other:

If you add a tracked inventory item to your repeating invoice, you can only Save as Draft.
Tracked inventory

If you select the 'Approve for Sending' option, invoices will be emailed as an online invoice, PDF, or both, to customers automatically on your designated dates. What is sent depends on the message set up or the email template you selected.

Add, edit or delete email templates for emails you send from Xero

If your pricing plan has a limit on the number of invoices or bills you can approve each month and you've reached the limit, then repeating ones set to either of the approve options will be saved as draft and appear on the draft tab. For more information about invoice or bill limits see Xero pricing.

You can select multiple repeating invoices and action them as a group.

Save As Draft

Choose this option if:

  • Details of the sales invoice or bill generated vary each time (which means you need to edit each one)
  • You need to approve each invoice or bill individually
  • You have one or more tracked inventory items on the invoice or bill.

Invoices or bills will be generated according to the template and displayed on the Draft tab in Sales for you to edit and/or approve for before sending to your customer or the Draft tab in Purchases for you to edit and/or approve before paying your supplier.

Next: set up the other template details and save

Approve

Choose this option if the details of the sales invoice or bill generated are the same every time and don’t need to be processed in any way before approving for payment.

Invoices or bills will be generated according to the template and displayed on the Awaiting Payment tab. Remember you still need to send the invoice to your customer, or make payments on the bill before you can reconcile it.

You cannot select this option if you have added a tracked inventory item to your repeating invoice or bill.

Next: set up the other template details and save

Approve for Sending (Sales only): edit email message

Choose the Approve for Sending option if the invoice does not need to be processed in any way before sending to your customer. Invoices will be automatically emailed out to your customer on the date of the invoice and go straight to the Awaiting Payment tab in Sales. Your customers will receive an online invoice, PDF, or both, depending on the message set up or the email template you selected.

Add, edit or delete email templates for emails you send from Xero

You cannot select this option if you have added a tracked inventory item to your repeating invoice or bill.

Enter or change information in the Edit Message window:

Next: set up the other template details and save

Status

Sales invoices or bills generated from the template behave just as invoices or bills created individually behave depending on their status.

  • Any part of an invoice or bill that has a status of Draft can be edited or deleted, and are not included in reports.
  • Invoices or bills which have the status Awaiting Payment are included in graphs and reports and can be edited and voided.

    Edit & work with awaiting payment bills

    Awaiting Payment sales invoices

  • Invoices or bills which have the status of Paid cannot be edited, except to change the Contact address, account or tracking codes.

Select

Save button

Save

Save the new or updated template – once saved, sales invoices or bills will be automatically generated either in the past or future depending on the template.

  • The template will be saved and displayed on the invoices or bills Repeating tab with details of when the next invoice or bill will be generated. If you created a template starting on a date earlier than today, those invoices or bills will already be generated and displayed on the relevant tab and the 'Next Invoice Date' will show the date of the next time the invoice or bill is due to be generated.

Image of the repeating invoice list

  • Invoices or bills generated will appear on the Draft tab (if you specified 'Saved as Draft' when you created the repeating invoice or bill) or the Awaiting Payment tab (if you specified 'Approve' or 'Approve for Sending' when you created the repeating invoice) according to the frequency specified in the template starting on the date specified in the template.
  • Automatically created invoices or bills can be edited, copied, printed, deleted or voided just like ones created individually.
  • If an invoice or bill has been automatically generated as a repeating transaction, this will be indicated on the invoice or bill itself and the template for it can be accessed from there.

Cancel button

Cancel

Exit the template you are creating without saving it or any changes you have made to an existing template.

Delete button

Delete

Delete an existing repeating sales invoice or bill and all future scheduled ones to be generated after today’s date.

  • Delete from the repeating invoice or bill itself
  • Or delete from the Sales or Purchases Repeating tab.

Any invoices or bills already created from the template will not be affected.

Add Note button

Add Note

Enter a note specific to this template at any time in History & Notes.

Show History and Notes button

Show History

If you are editing the template you can view the changes that have been tracked for the template in History & Notes once it has been created.

Image showing the history section below an invoice.

  • Your repeating sales invoice or bill template will have details of when it is to be generated and what is to appear on each one.
  • Invoices or bills will be automatically generated and displayed on the Draft or Awaiting Payment tab ready for you to complete processing. (In the case of 'Approved & Sent' invoices, the next step will be to record payment.)
  • If you are editing an existing repeating invoice or bill, changes will be applied to the next one to be generated and all others after that.
  • All fields (except End Date and Reference) are mandatory.