Few things get more tedious than data entry that is repetitive. New things can be a little more interesting. But, entering the same bill or the same invoice over and over really gets old.
Since we’re focused on QuickBooks Online (QBO), let’s look at a way to alleviate some of that drudgery so the time saved can be better spent.
We’ll use the QBO sample company, Craig’s Design and Landscape Services. Besides landscaping and design, Craig’s business also has contracts for maintenance work. Invoices for this work need to be created and sent out each month.
Here’s one of those invoices.
Amy’s Bird Sanctuary has contracted with Craig’s for maintenance of their facility’s landscape at $250 per month. You can see the arrow in the screenshot indicating we can make this a recurring transaction.
Click on the link. A window opens offering a number of parameters that can be set. Let’s look at the screenshot below.
By default, QBO names the template, or the recurring transaction, with the customer’s name. Following the fields across the top, we decide to have QBO create this invoice five days in advance. We’ll choose ‘in advance of what?’ in a moment.
In the second row of fields, we specify the customer. Actually, QBO has already picked up this information from the invoice we are designating as recurring. You probably won’t need to specify anything here. We have a couple of options on the right. We have selected the option for QBO to automatically email the invoice each time the appropriate date arrives. That’s nice.
“Include unbilled charges” is an interesting option. If you incur charges on behalf of customers and mark them as such each time you enter into QBO, an invoice can be automatically created for all those charges at the interval you choose. Not for everyone, but could be a big time saver for some.
In the final row, we tell QBO what the appropriate time is that this invoice should be created. From the graphic, you can see that QBO will create this invoice each month, starting with March.
There is no end date. QBO will continue indefinitely until we tell it to stop. If you only wanted to create, say, twelve invoices over the course of one year, you could specify that here.
Recurring transactions can be changed at any time. On your lists menu, you will find that Recurring Transactions is one of your lists.
There is the recurring invoice we just created. Click the Edit link to change something about the recurrence parameters of the transaction.
From the drop down arrow next to the Edit link, you can also create an instance of the transaction or delete it.
Hector Garcia, CPA
Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor
7791 NW 46th St. Suite 109
Doral, FL 33166