Add or edit a repeating invoice or bill

Depending on your user role, create a template for the invoices you send and bills you receive regularly. Xero automatically creates and saves recurring transactions, and emails recurring invoices for you based on your custom template. You only need to approve any drafts, and pay or reconcile those awaiting payment.

You can access the repeating template from the transactions Xero creates to edit, copy, print, delete, or void them.

How repeating invoices and bills work

  • All fields are mandatory except End Date and Reference.
  • Xero automatically assigns numbers to invoices.
  • You can attach files to the template. They're not attached to each transaction. If you want to attach a file to a repeating transaction, you'll have to do that each time it's created. If you create a repeating bill from one with an attachment, the attachment isn't copied to the other transactions.
  • Drag and drop the item lines to reorder them. Unused lines are removed when you save the transaction.
  • Repeating templates are shown on the Repeating tab with the date of the next transaction.
Your pricing plan determines the number of transactions you can approve each month. If you reach the limit, repeating transactions that were set to approve are saved as draft.

Add or edit a repeating template

  1. Create a new template or open an existing template:
    • In the Sales or Purchases screens, click New and select New Repeating Invoice or New Repeating Bill.

      Image of the New Repeating Invoice option on the Sales screen.

    • From the Repeating tab, click New Repeating Invoice or New Repeating Bill. To edit an existing repeating template, locate the template in the list and click into it.

      Image of the New Repeating Invoice button on the Repeating tab.

    • From a contact's details, click New and select Repeating invoice or Repeating bill to create a repeating template for the contact.

      Image of the Repeating sales invoice option on a contact's details screen.

    • In the Sales or Purchases screens, click Invoice Options or Bill Options on an existing transaction, then select Repeat.

      Image of the Repeat option on an existing invoice.

  2. Enter or edit your information in the repeating transaction fields.

    To set up an annual repeating template, under the Repeat this transaction every option, select:

    • 52 and Week(s) - if the invoice is to be repeated on a particular day of the week
    • 12 and Month(s) - if the invoice is to be repeated on a particular calendar date

  3. Click Save.

If you're editing an existing template, your changes are applied to all subsequent transactions. You can view your changes in the History & Notes.

Repeating transaction fields explained

This section provides guidance and tips on some of the repeating transaction fields.

Field Description
Repeat this transaction every

When and how often the transactions will be created eg weekly or monthly.

Invoice Date/ Bill Date

The date you want the transactions to begin. It can be in the past (going back to the start of your previous financial year in Xero), today's date, or in the future.

If you use a past date, a series of past-dated transactions are created. If your accounts are locked and the start date is before the lock date, you won't be able to set up a repeating transaction that's automatically approved, or approved and sent.

Future-dated transactions are created on that date and shown on the relevant tab.

Invoices that are approved for sending with today's date or a past date, aren't automatically emailed. Future-dated invoices are sent on that date and shown on the Awaiting Payment tab.

Next Invoice Date/ Next Bill Date

Editing existing templates only.

The date the next transaction is due to be created.

If transactions have already been created from this template and you change the next transaction date to a past date, all transactions are created again from that date. You may want to delete or void the original transactions.

Due Date

The date that the transaction is due to be paid.

If you want the transaction to be created and due on the same date, enter 0 and select the days after the invoice date option.

End Date

(Optional) The last date that a transaction is created for this template.

Save As Draft

Select Save As Draft if:

  • The transactions will vary so you can edit each one when it's created
  • You need to approve each transaction separately
  • The template has tracked inventory items


Select Approve if each transaction can be approved immediately for payment. They'll show on the Awaiting Payment tab. You'll still need to send each invoice to your customer, and wait for invoice payment or pay a bill before you can reconcile.

You can't use this option with transactions that have tracked inventory items.

Approve for Sending

Invoices only.

Select Approve for Sending if each invoice can be sent immediately to your customer.

If they're future-dated (after today's date), invoices are automatically emailed as an online invoice, PDF, or both, to customers on the date of the invoice. They'll show on the Awaiting Payment tab. The email that's sent depends on the message set up or the email template you selected.

Invoices dated in the past go to the Awaiting Payment tab ready to be emailed.

You can't approve repeating transactions that have tracked inventory items.

If they're marked as sent and you have invoice reminders turned on, invoice reminders are set up automatically.

If an invoice 'bounces back' from a contact's address (for example, if the address no longer exists), the user who last updated the repeating invoice receives the notification.

Edit email message

Invoices approved for sending only.

  • To
    • If you enter a new email address, it's saved as the primary person for the contact. If you add further addresses, they're not updated for the contact.
    • You can choose to update the template if you change a contact's email address that's used on an approved for sending invoice.
  • Reply to
  • If this is a unique name and address, all emails and any replies use the unique user information.

    If this is the current (logged in) user, all emails and any replies use the email address of the user who last updated the repeating template.

    If the user who last updated the template has been deleted, approved for sending invoices are no longer sent automatically - they're saved as draft instead. You'll need to save the template as Approve for Sending again.

  • Email template
  • The template used for the message that's sent with the invoice.

    The available templates include the Xero default (Repeating Invoice: Basic) and any templates you've added.

  • Show placeholder info
  • Click Show placeholder info to see the placeholders for the email type. You can you can add these to the subject or message.

  • Subject
  • Xero populates the Subject field with the text and placeholders set up in the selected email template. You can edit these directly in the field, or customize the subject in an email template to reuse later.

  • Message
  • Xero populates the Message field with the text and placeholders set up in the selected email template. You can edit these directly in the field, or customize the message in an email template to reuse later.

    Remove the [Online Invoice Link] placeholder from the message if you don't want your customer to receive the online invoice link.

  • Include PDF attachment
  • Select this checkbox to send a PDF attachment with the repeating invoices.

  • Send me a copy
  • Select the checkbox to send yourself a copy of each email.

Reference/ Description

If the transaction details should vary, enter placeholders so you can update the information before approving or sending it.

Put your cursor in the Reference or Description field, click Insert Placeholder and select the placeholder option.

Inserting Week into Reference field shows the number of the week of the calendar year. For example, 46. Weeks begin on Sunday.

Image of the Reference field's placeholder options.

You can add and subtract in a placeholder to change the value. For example, [Month-1] will display the previous month to the transaction month.

Preview placeholders

Shows how the placeholders will appear in the transaction.

Image of the Preview placeholders link.

When previewing the placeholders, Xero will use today's date as the basis date not the transaction date.

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 if required.

If you set up repeating invoices or bills to be automatically approved, there must be an exchange rate for the transaction date before it can be saved as approved. Invoices or bills that have been automatically approved can't have the exchange rate edited.

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.
    • Tax Inclusive to include the tax with each item amount. Each item shows as tax exclusive when approved. Xero automatically splits out the tax component for reporting.

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