Do you want to use your own numbering sequence on your invoices or other sales forms?
In QuickBooks Online, you can track your transaction numbers either by letting the system automatically assign transaction numbers behind the scenes, or creating your own numbering scheme.
Why do I need to use Custom transaction numbers?
There are many practical use-cases for custom invoice numbers. For example, if your next invoice number will be Y2018-1001, you can establish a sequence and let QuickBooks automatically continue counting up sequentially, thus assigning the next one as Y2018-1002. Or, if you've been using a specific sequence for years - there's no reason to change what's worked well for your business and start over. Instead, make QuickBooks work for you and update it with the sequence you're already using.
If your business needs a more robust numbering system, such as a specific numbering sequence for each department or sales rep, enabling Custom transaction numbers will allow each team to type in the number sequence they need at will.
Get started with Custom transaction numbers
Before we begin, note that the Custom transaction number feature only affects sales forms, which include Invoices, Credit Memos, Sales Receipts, and Refund Receipts.
Note: All sales forms share the same numbering sequence except for Estimates . Estimates have their own separate numbering sequence from the other sales forms listed above. However, the basic workflow is the same.
Enable Custom transaction numbers setting
To turn on Custom transaction numbers, click Gear Icon , then go to Account and Settings, the Sales tab, and then the Sales form content section. You will arrive on the page below:
Check the box next to Custom transaction numbers and click Save and Done to save your work.
Now, whenever you create a new sales form, you will be able to click and edit the transaction number field which will now be visible.
Should I leave Custom transaction numbers off?
If you want QuickBooks to automatically assign sales transaction numbers for you, leave this option unchecked. When this setting is off, QuickBooks automatically assigns the next number for you. Leaving this feature unchecked will also prevent duplicate numbers. Even if you enable the feature and are about to use a duplicate, you will get a warning message.
If you don’t have the feature enabled, you’ll notice that your sales forms will not have a transaction number field displayed.
As you can see, a number has been assigned automatically - it is only displayed on the form temporarily (as a confirmation) when saving.
Should I turn Custom transaction numbers on?
If you want to access and edit the invoice number field as you are creating the form itself, enable the feature. You’ll see the form now has an invoice number field you can use to enter a number or letter/number combination.
Remember, QuickBooks Online will look for the last number used and add the next number in the sequence to the next sales form you create.
Any other tips I should keep in mind to be successful?
What does it mean when a numbering sequence is shared across different form types?
QuickBooks shares the same sequence for invoices, credit memos, sales receipts, and refund receipts. For example, my numbering sequence for invoices is ACCT-1001. If I create a sales receipt next, it will be assigned the number ACCT-1002. If I then create a credit memo , that will be numbered ACCT-1003.
Be aware of this when you're jumping between workflows and be cognizant of where you are in the sequence. If this won't disrupt any work streams, you can proceed freely, but if you use a different prefix/suffix for each type of sales form, you'll need to adjust accordingly.
Can I assign a number sequence and then turn the setting off so QuickBooks can take over assigning that sequence automatically?
Yes. If you begin a series and then disable the feature, QuickBooks will pick up where you left off. This will also help prevent users with limited permissions from changing the sequence on accident or creating transactions with duplicate numbers.
Keep in mind, turning this feature off only means the invoice number field is hidden from your sales form as it is being created. Transaction numbers are still printed on customer-facing forms.
What if I don’t want any numbers to appear on my sales forms?
No problem. You can do that by enabling Custom transaction numbers and removing the number that appears in the invoice number field when you create the invoice. QuickBooks will not assign or print any number on that form.
Note: You'll need to manually remove the number each time you want this result.
What about Custom transaction numbers for Purchase Orders?
You can set up Custom transaction numbers for Purchase Orders as well. However, the setting for this is located under the Expenses section of Account and Settings.
If you leave the setting off, QuickBooks will assign PO numbers for you automatically behind the scenes.
You can turn the setting on to use your own PO number sequence. Just like the Sales Form feature, QuickBooks will look for the last number used and add one to it for the next PO you create.
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