Having a structured and transparent invoicing system can be integral to the success of your business. It can help you to increase the realization of your accounts receivable and, therefore, improve your cash flow. After all, the faster you can produce an invoice for your customer, the faster you can get paid.
Having well-designed, standardized invoices can help your company save time by reducing the number of customer inquiries and minimizing data entry errors.
To get the most out of your invoices, check out some of the following tips:
- Create invoice numbers: You can either enter in your own numbers or let QuickBooks manage them for you. Creating your own numbers can be especially helpful if you have various classes of customers, such as retail and wholesale. QuickBooks will even remember the pattern and adjust the subsequent letter or number for you on the next invoice. To activate this feature, first click on the gear icon, then go to: Company Settings -> Sales -> Custom Transaction Numbers
- Include shipping information: For companies that are product-based or sell inventory, it can be helpful to include shipping information on an invoice. This feature allows you to track where your items are shipped, as well as see tracking numbers, methods, dates, and costs of shipping. To access this feature, click on the gear icon, then go to: Company Settings -> Sales -> Shipping.
- Add a location: By assigning this feature to your invoices, you can track which locations are responsible for generating revenue. As an added bonus, you can also filter your Accounts Receivable report by location to learn who owes you money. You can find this feature when you click on the gear icon, then: Company Settings -> Company -> Track locations
- Set a service date: Use this field to differentiate your invoice date from the date the service was performed or the product was sold. QuickBooks can even automatically enter in this field based on your timesheets. Click on the gear icon, then Company Settings -> Sales -> Service date to set your date.
- Include product/service description, quantity and rate: No matter your industry, these fields should always be used. They allow you to track what product or service was sold, the quantity that was sold, and the rate you charged. To set a product description, choose the gear icon then Company Settings -> Sales -> Show Product/Service column on sales forms. To set quantity and rate, choose the gear icon then Company Settings -> Sales -> Track quantity and price/rate.
- Select sales tax and discounts: If your state charges sales tax or you would like to offer discounts to your customers, QuickBooks has you covered. You have the option to apply the discount before or after sales taxes are calculated. To set up sales tax, you’ll need to access the left navigation bar and select Sales Tax. If you wish to set up discounts, click on the gear icon then go to Company Settings -> Sales -> Discount. Once there, use the up and down arrows to choose if the sales tax or discounts are applied first.
Contact me or another one of Kaufman Rossin’s Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors if you have questions about how to optimize your invoices.
Amanda Vecchio is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and entrepreneurial services professional in Kaufman Rossin’s Ft. Lauderdale office. Kaufman Rossin is one of the top CPA firms in the U.S. and offers QuickBooks training, accounting and consulting services for businesses in a variety of industries. Amanda can be reached at email@example.com.