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Preparing QuickBooks Collection Letters Using Microsoft Word

It’s probably one of your least favorite tasks, but at least QuickBooks automates the process.

No one likes chasing down past-due invoices and statements. But it has to be done to keep your cash flowing moving in a positive direction.

You can make calls, of course, and you or someone on your staff probably do that occasionally. But it’s also good to formalize the process in terms of a letter. When you learn to use QuickBooks’ tools in this area, you might not dread this part of your job quite so much.

Working with Word

You may have learned about the integration between QuickBooks and Microsoft Word in a QuickBooks class, or maybe you’ve experimented with it on your own. Either way, we’ll run through the steps required to prepare a targeted-but-personalized mass collection mailing.

Open the Customers menu and select Customer Center. Look for the Word icon in the toolbar and click the down arrow next to it, then select Prepare Collection Letters. This dialog box opens:

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You’ll have to select the recipients of your collection letters.

First step: Set filters for the customers who should receive a letter. Active or inactive? One for each Customer or Job? How far behind do they need to be to get a letter? Click on the buttons next to the correct selections, then click Next, and the resulting list will be displayed. You can sort it by Customer or Amount. Click Next again.

The dialog box that opens lists the collection letter templates that are included with QuickBooks. You can edit these templates or create your own, but you’d be wise to take a QuickBooks training course or watch a QuickBooks video to learn how to do that.

You have six options here:

  • Formal collection
  • Formal collection for job
  • Friendly collection
  • Friendly collection for job
  • Harsh collection, and
  • Harsh collection for job.

Highlight your preference and click Next. In the dialog box that opens, you’ll enter the name and title that should appear in the signature field. When you click Next again, QuickBooks will generate one document that contains all of your letters, one to a page. Your customer data will appear in the correct fields on each letter (name, address, overdue invoice information, etc.).

Any changes you make on the letters themselves will not affect the original template. You have to edit the original template if you want them to stick.

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The QuickBooks Harsh letter template

Now you’re ready to print or email your collection letters.

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