For many small businesses, trying to keep up with accounting, invoicing, and general bookkeeping tasks can be a major challenge. SMB owners often find themselves tasked with ongoing bookkeeping work, and it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks. Fast forward to the end of the year and you’ve got thousands of dollars in undocumented expenses, a stack of unpaid invoices, and an unclear sense of your financial picture.
Fortunately, there are software solutions out there to make your life easier. QuickBooks Online offers a robust suite of tools for SMBs looking to take charge of their accounting, including a long list of QuickBooks Online Apps integrations that expand upon the base feature set offered by QuickBooks.
Of course, getting started with any new software solution is a little intimidating.
While QuickBooks offers features for SMBs, there are some fundamental tasks which you’ll want to tackle first. In this tutorial, we’ll look at how to perform two of the most essential tasks in QuickBooks for any business: creating and sending invoices to your customers, and setting up automatic reminders to ensure that those invoices get paid.
5 Steps: How to Create QuickBooks Online Invoices
Some tasks in QuickBooks Online are more complicated than others. Fortunately, creating invoices is a fairly straightforward process. Let’s break it down step by step.
1. Access Your QuickBooks Online Account
First, log in to your QuickBooks Online account. This will bring you to your main QuickBooks dashboard. Navigate to the Invoicing Page on the left side of your screen in your QuickBooks Online account desktop view, you’ll see the Invoicing menu item. Select Invoicing, and you’ll automatically be brought to the Invoices screen.
2. Send Your First Invoice with customer details
Once you click on the “send your first invoice” option, you’ll be prompted to fill in customer details. If you already have customer data entered into QuickBooks, you can select a customer to have their data automatically populated into the invoice here. Otherwise, you can create a new customer and click Save in order to add this customer to your database. Be sure to enter the customer’s email address in addition to their name and other information.
3. Populate the Invoice
Next, you’ll want to choose the payment terms for the invoice, such as Net 15 or Net 30. This refers to the number of days following the invoice date which the customer has to pay the invoice before it’s considered overdue.
Once this is done, you’ll want to enter the products and/or services sold to your customer. If you’ve already created various products and/or services in QuickBooks Online, they’ll be available to select here. Otherwise, you’ll need add them. When adding a new product or service, you’ll fill in its name, SKU (if applicable), category, and more. You can even include a picture of the product or service.
4. Select Your Invoice Layout
Once you’ve entered all of the above information, you’re almost ready to send your first invoice. You may want to change any default formatting, but one of QuickBooks' limitations is you are stuck with their branding and color scheme.
As a QuickBooks Online App integration, Biller Genie offers the ability to both customize your invoices with your company’s logo and color scheme as well as send branded invoicing emails that match your organization’s aesthetics.
5. Set Up Online Payments
If you’re looking to email your invoice to your customer, it’s a good idea to set up an online payment option beforehand. Adding an online payment option enables you to include a payment link in your email invoices. You can do this in QuickBooks under Payment Options, but QuickBooks sends emails with a payment link that says "QuickBooks" all over it. It's a bit over-generic. It may not seem like a big deal, but it lacks a visual impact that gives more attention to the email if it had your brand and customization.
Here is what a QuickBooks invoice email looks like.
You can compare to one created by Biller Genie. This one includes the overdue payment reminder.
It's similar email that goes out when a new invoice but you now have the ability to view, print, pay, and login all on your company’s branding and letterhead.
One last thing to think about when you do this last step: with just QuickBooks, a customer who fails to pay an invoice immediately will have to later dig through their inbox to find the appropriate invoice and payment link, which leads to a lag time responding (paying you). An easy way to get around this is to set up an online customer payment portal.
One of the benefits of using Biller Genie with QuickBooks is your customers now have access to their own secure online payment portal from your website homepage. Inside, they can view all past invoices, save payment methods, and make instant payments -- all without having to track down old invoice emails and repeat filling in their information.
That's it! You’re ready to send your first invoice!
In a perfect world, every customer would pay their invoice right away. But in reality, many customers fail to pay invoices upon receipt. As a result, you’ll find yourself needing to send email reminders to ensure that invoices get paid.
In our next blog in our "How do I do this in QuickBooks" Tutorial, learn how to set up automatic payment reminders.
Biller Genie expands upon the functionality by turbocharging QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop to make your life as a business owner easier. Ready to get started? Click here to try your FREE Biller Genie account today!