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Create Recurring Transactions in QuickBooks Online

Save time and avoid some of the repetition in your workday.

As you well know, bookkeeping involves repetition. Though the names and numbers change, you probably find yourself going through the same motions numerous times as you manage your company’s accounting data.

QuickBooks – both desktop and online — does its best to minimize the tasks that must be repeated. You could probably find a QuickBooks training course that focused on time-saving tips, since there are many. If you just dove in and started using QuickBooks without any instruction, you may not know about them.

One of the ways QuickBooks Online takes some of the tedium out of your daily accounting tasks is by its ability to create recurring transactions. The online and desktop versions handle this chore differently. In QuickBooks Pro or Premier, you would first memorize a transaction like an invoice and then set it up to recur on a schedule you designate.

Memorizing a transaction in QuickBooks Premier 2013

In QuickBooks Online, there are three ways that you can avoid some duplicate data entry by creating recurring transactions (QuickBooks Online calls these templates). These methods can be applied to all transaction types except bill payments, customer payments and time-based activities.

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We’ll explain the first, most complex of these options: Start from scratch. Make sure the Company tab is highlighted and click Recurring Transactions in the horizontal toolbar. Click the New button in the lower right corner.

Next, click the arrow next to the Transaction Type field and choose Invoice, then click OK. In the window that opens, select your customer first. Then go up to the top of the screen and give your template a name, something that you’ll easily recognize.  

There are three types of templates:

  • Scheduled. You would choose this option if your transaction occurs on a fixed basis with a fixed amount.
  • Reminder. If the transaction will occur regularly but the amount will differ each time, you can set it up to appear as a reminder on your QuickBooks Online home page.
  • Unscheduled. These recurring transactions don’t occur on a fixed schedule with the same amount, but you may want to have a template available to minimize data entry.

If you chose Scheduled or Reminder, you’ll need to click the Edit Schedule button over on the right. A window like this will open:

You’ll have to specify a schedule for some recurring transactions.

When you’re done, click OK. Fill out the transaction as you normally would, and then click Save Template. In the future, you can locate all of the templates you’ve created by going to Company | Recurring Transactions. It takes a bit of time to set these up from scratch, but they’ll be real time-savers down the road.

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