What impression do you want your invoices to leave on your customers?
A customized invoice, even semi-stylized ones, is an opportunity to enhance the perception of your business. The Custom Form Styles module in QuickBooks Online lets you edit the layout, design, and data fields that appear on your invoices.
There’s nothing wrong with plain invoices. Customers aren’t going to abandon your brand because you use generic sales forms. Invoices do, however, make them think something.
Unlike other branding solutions, this one requires very little effort and has no added cost. You don’t need an MFA to create an eye-catching invoice template. Anyone with QuickBooks Online Essentials and QuickBooks Online Plus can use the Custom Form Styles module to create an attractive, professional-looking invoice.
Why do I need to customize my invoices (and other sales forms)?
Customizing invoices give your communications a bit of texture. Simple changes, such as layout and logo location, can make the difference between staying top-of-mind or getting lost in the noise of email inboxes.
As ProAdvisor and ParkWay Inc. CTO Matthew Fulton reminds us, “It can be easy to forget that to someone else, your invoice is no different than the other 9 forms in front of them.”
You also need to provide customers with the right information. Consider those on the receiving end of an invoice - at a minimum, customers deserve an invoice with relevant information presented in a clear format.
Get started creating customized invoices
To begin, click the Gear Icon () and then select Custom Form Styles. From the Custom Form Styles dashboard, you can manage and edit templates for Invoices, Estimates, and Sales Receipts.
While you can create multiple iterations of a form from a master, you can only apply one template at a time.
Let's create a new template from scratch. Click the New Style button and select “Invoice” from the drop-down.
There are four sections of the customization module: Design, Content, Emails, and Payments. You’ll spend the majority of your time in the Design and Content sections.
The Design Tab
The Content tab
The Emails tab
The Payments tab
When you’re done editing the template, you can click Preview PDF or Save and Exit to return to the Custom Form Styles dashboard.
The first invoice template you create will become your master default template. To change the default form, click the Arrow Icon () next to the form you want to designate and select “Make Default."
Designing Custom Invoice Templates
When designing your invoice, ask yourself the following:
Creating a custom logo
When you first create your QuickBooks Online company file, you can add your business logo. This same logo will appear on all of your invoices and sales forms, so take pride in its design and presentation.
Logo edits should be made outside the program before uploading the image. Note that square and circular logos with white backgrounds tend to look the best on invoices. Logos files have a few technical requirements:
Customizing data fields
You can add, remove, or rename certain data fields from the Content Tab. To edit a section, click on the pencil icon () on the preview form. Each section has its own set of customization features.
There are numerous available customization options. We won’t go over everything, but we will highlight a few important areas:
The “Products/service” line in the data table section includes item categories by default. You can turn these off, but product categories provide customers with more information and you get better data (learn more about item categories – Introduction to Categories in Products and Services).
Any other tips I should keep in mind to be successful?
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