Regrettably, the ‘Progress Invoicing’ feature, as implemented, does not live up to its promise.
The primary function of progress invoicing is to communicate the progress of a project or line item over time. At it most basic implementation, he minimum information required must include amounts previously and currently invoiced, as well as the amount invoiced to date. It can be expressed in amount and/or percentage of progress.
As currently implemented, the feature is merely a ‘fractional invoice’ based on a project estimate. Zero context of progress is presented to either the client or to the QBO user preparing the invoice. My clients continuously ask me for clarifications about the details of our invoicing. This is embarrassing for our business.
In the absence of a useful progress invoice, it would be helpful if there was at least a more detailed report that we could attach to an invoice. Unfortunately, the ‘Estimates & Progress Invoicing Summary by Customer’ report only offers top-line information, without the line item detail. Please consider and implement a report titled ‘Estimates & Progress Invoicing Detail by Customer’.
All progress invoicing is based on an estimate. The estimates contain most of the relevant information missing from either the progress invoice or a summary report. Unfortunately again, this information is unable to be even exported for manipulation elsewhere (i.e. CSV). Equally frustratingly, the print feature for estimates don’t include the most relevant columns (i.e. Invoiced, Remaining, etc.) … which might have substituted for the missing reporting detail. As an aside, the ‘Closed’ checkbox is non-functional and muddies the understanding of later invoices when line options are fully billed. There should be an option to hide/display ‘Closed’ items in an invoice.
Overall, the progress invoicing feature is fundamentally flawed. It should be re-engineered to at least a minimum level of utility. QuickBooks Online does not have far to look for inspiration … the feature is properly implemented on your QuickBooks Desktop platform. I look forward to a version with more feature parity in the very near future. Judging from the comments elsewhere on this message board, I am not alone in this request.
Thank you for being a member of our QuickBooks family and sharing your feedback on the Progress Invoicing feature in QuickBooks Online. I'm happy to hear that you've enjoyed using the Progress Invoicing feature in QuickBooks Desktop, but as you know, QuickBooks Online is different so features do not work in exactly the same way. Progress Invoicing in QBO can be a very helpful feature and I'd be happy to give you some more information on it's intended use.
In QuickBooks Online, Progress Invoicing provides you with a means to split an estimate into multiple invoices, rather than just one. It allows you to request partial payments from your customers at a time. You also have the option to Add project estimate summaries to a progress invoice which will give your customer an overview of how much they've been invoiced so far. For more information on what the Progress Invoicing feature is capable of in QuickBooks Online, the article below is great one to review:
Since I know you'd like more from progress invoices, I encourage you to submit the feedback that you've shared here with our product development team. They work hard to implement new features and upgrade existing features so that they best suit the needs of customers like you. You can share your thoughts with them by navigating to the Gear icon, then selecting Feedback. I'm going to pass the word along on my end as well, because I want to make sure that your voice is heard.
However, what you are describing is partial or split invoicing as it bears no context of time. Progress invoicing requires the minimum details of previous and current. I can accept that the feature requested is currently unavailable, but I feel strongly that it is misleadingly misnamed.
The estimate summary feature is similarly underwhelming, since it is not applied at the line item level of detail.
Overall, I’ve found QBO to be a potent replacement to the Desktop version, but in this respect, it still needs work. I have previously filed feedback requests saying the same. With luck, additional QBO users will add their voices and votes towards implementation. As it stands currently, it is such a showstopper, that I am evaluating alternatives.
I hear what you're saying FQ_Conrad, and while I'd hate to see you go, it's important to me that you choose the best accounting software for your business. As you suggested, the more users that contribute their voice on this subject to our product development team, the better. I encourage other users to weigh in on this thread and to provide their advice as well.