Entering information into the invoice fields

If you're creating or editing an invoice, here's some guidance on entering information into the fields. Xero helps by filling in some of them for you – though you can change them to suit your organisation.

Which fields can you edit?

You can edit invoices depending on their status.

Invoice statusFields
Awaiting approvalAll
Awaiting payment (excludes pay run invoices)All fields if no part-payments have been made.
Paid (excludes pay run invoices)Only fields that don't affect the invoice total. For example, you can edit the contact's name or invoice reference.

Invoice detail fields

Enter the customer name, date and other invoice details.


Enter the name of the customer you're invoicing.

If there's a previously approved or paid invoice for the contact, you can use the Add last items link to add lines from that invoice to the new one.

If you've assigned billable expenses to the customer, you're prompted to add any outstanding expenses to the invoice.

Changes made to the contact name will not automatically update the name on a repeating invoice template. The contact name will also need to be updated on the repeating invoice template.


The date displayed on the invoice.

If you're entering an invoice from a previous system, make sure the date is before your conversion date.

Due Date

Enter the date you want the invoice paid by.

You can use shortcuts to enter dates in Xero. For example, type '+30' to add 30 days to the invoice date.

Invoice #

The invoice number. You can edit the number, but it must be unique and the numbering might go out of sequence.

If you're adding an invoice from a previous accounting system, use the original invoice number.


You can add a reference to help you search for the invoice, and to match with your bank account transactions. It'll show on the invoice and any related customer statements.

If the customer uses the reference in their payment, Xero automatically matches the statement line with your invoice when you're reconciling.


Select a branding theme to apply to your invoice. Once you've set them up, you can choose which theme you'd like to apply to the invoice.

File attachments

You can attach any relevant files to your invoice.


If you have a Business Edition plan with multi-currency, you can select a foreign currency that you've already added or click Add currency to add a new one.

You can edit the exchange rate.

Amounts are

Select the tax setting to apply to the amounts. If the item has sales tax, select:

    • Tax Exclusive to add the tax to each item amount. You can adjust the sales tax manually. For example, if you're giving the customer a prompt payment discount. The difference between the two tax amounts doesn't show on the customer's invoice.
    • Tax Inclusive to include the tax in each item amount. For currencies without decimals, use this option. Each item shows as tax exclusive when approved. Xero automatically splits out the tax component for reporting.

Item line fields

Add, edit and delete the items you're selling.

You can set default information for individual customers. When you create a new invoice, the defaults are automatically entered into the fields. For example, the tax setting, account, and tax rate.


Select an existing inventory item or add a new item.


Enter a description of the item you're selling, or a heading to categorise the items below it.

You can enter the item's inventory code in the description to show it on the invoice.

If you're changing an item line with an account code into a description-only line, delete the line and add a new one.
QtyThe quantity of the item you've sold.
Unit Price

The price of the item. This can be a positive, negative or zero amount, as long as the total invoice amount isn't negative.

If you're entering an invoice in a foreign currency and you've selected an inventory item, the unit price of the inventory item will be the same as the base currency amount entered in your inventory settings. Adjust the amount manually so it matches the foreign currency you've selected.

Disc %

You can enter a percentage discount for the item.

If it's a tax inclusive invoice, the discount value is also tax inclusive and it's deducted from the tax inclusive unit price.

Image of a draft nvoice with a tax inclusive discount.

Once approved, the invoice shows as tax exclusive, and the subtotal and discount values (which are also tax exclusive) reduce.

Tax setting on amounts


Xero populates an account based on how you've created invoices in the past, but you can edit this suggestion. The account doesn't show on your customer's invoice if you use a standard branding theme, but you can include it using a custom branding theme.

You can edit the account on a paid invoice if the new account's tax rate is the same.

If you're editing an invoice with a deleted or archived account, you can't use that account again.
Tax Rate

Tax on the transaction (required only if you've selected Amounts are Tax Exclusive or Tax Inclusive).


The tracking category if you want to track items. It won't show on the customer's invoice.

Save & approve options

Select how you want to save or approve the invoice.


You can save a draft invoice, continue editing, submit for approval, or add another one. Depending on your choice, the invoice shows on the Draft or Awaiting Approval tabs.

Once saved, it can be emailed or printed. When all the fields are complete, it can be approved.


Depending on your user role, you can approve the invoice, add another, view the next one (if you have more than one in draft or awaiting approval), or print it. The invoice shows on the Awaiting Payment tab.

When you approve the invoice, you can allocate any existing credit the customer has (unallocated Awaiting Payment credit notes) to the invoice.

Once approved, you can send it to the customer, make payments to it, and reconcile it to your bank account.

Your pricing plan determines the number of invoices you can approve each month.