Automated Invoices and Recurring Templates in QuickBooks

QuickBooks Online and desktop have built-in tools that help you save you time and minimize errors in transaction entry. 

Both the desktop versions of QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online work hard to save you money, time and repetition. Examples of this are generally outlined in QuickBooks training courses. Take advantage of these many tips and tricks, and you’ll have extra hours available to focus on making your business flourish.

One of these is the use of automation in your transaction creation. Your business undoubtedly has incoming bills or invoices that are processed every month. Sometimes, the identical transaction occurs at the same time every week, month, quarter, etc. Other times, it recurs at regular intervals, but the amount changes.

QuickBooks Pro and Premier use Recurring or Memorized Transactions for this task.  Say that a customer pays a set amount every month as a retainer fee. You’d create an invoice with all of the details and then click the Memorize icon in the toolbar in QuickBooks 2013 and above (Edit | Memorize in earlier versions). This window opens:

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You have three options for managing recurring transactions in QuickBooks Pro 2014’s Memorize Transaction window.

It’s critical that you understand the difference between your three options here, as it would have an adverse effect on your cash flow and customer/vendor relationships if you were dispatching payments and/or invoices incorrectly. If you want to use this feature and aren’t absolutely sure you understand it, consider taking a QuickBooks course.

Here are your options:

  • Add to my Reminders List. Easy enough. Your Reminders List will include a message about this transaction five days in advance of the due date, 24 more times. You must process it manually.
  • Do Not Remind Me. Click on the button next to this choice if you just want to create what’s called a recurring template, a transaction that you can call up, edit and send whenever you need to.
  • Automatic Transaction Entry. Use this with caution, as QuickBooks will dispatch this transaction without any intervention from you.

QuickBooks Online lets you automate invoice entry, not only by setting up scheduled, recurring invoices but also by grabbing unbilled activities from all customers at specified intervals. To set this up, click on the little gear icon in the upper right corner of the screen and select Company Settings. Click on the Invoice Automation link in the vertical left pane to reach this section of Preferences.

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You can instruct QuickBooks Online to automatically create invoices for all customers with unbilled activity at specified intervals.

You have four options:

  • No automation. This is the default; you simply create invoices on your own, when you need to.
  • Remind me to create invoices. The right vertical pane of QuickBooks Online contains items that need your attention. You can set up a regular schedule of reminders that will appear here, telling you that you need to create invoices for unbilled activities.
  • Create invoices and tell me about it. At intervals that you specify, QuickBooks Online will automatically create the invoices and post a message on your home page.
  • Create invoices and don’t tell me. Again, use caution here. QuickBooks Online will both create and email invoices as scheduled by you. It will leave a reminder on the home page about invoices that need to be printed.

This automation only applies to invoices in QuickBooks Online. But you can create recurring templates for other types of transactions, like bills, similar to how it’s done in the desktop versions.

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Both QuickBooks Online and desktop versions contain tools for creating recurring (memorized) transactions.

Automated transactions can be very helpful, time-saving tools. But again, be careful if you choose not to be notified. QuickBooks training can clarify these operations for you.

 

 

Hector Garcia

Accountant and Enrolled Agent

Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Member of Intuit Trainer/Writer Network & Accountant-VIP

hector@qbkaccounting.com

hector@qbkaccounting.com

hector@qbkaccounting.com

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