Invoicing is one of the main functions for many small businesses. I want to make sure you're able to create invoices quickly and easily in QuickBooks Online so you can get back to doing what you love - running your business!
My first recommendation is to edit each line item in the order that the columns dictate in the system. For instance, enter your Product/Service, then the Quantity, then Amount, then Sales Tax, etc. Working from left to right will create the best workflow.
Editing one line item shouldn't have any impact on the other line items on your invoice. If you're noticing that editing a line item causes other items to be altered, please clear the cache and cookies in your web browser to remove any stored Internet files that may be causing bugs in your browser. The steps are different depending on which browser you're using, so take a look at instructions here.
If the issue persists, try using Google Chrome's "Incognito Mode". Learn more about what that is and how to use it here. You can also try using a different browser type all together.
If you're still experiencing issues with invoicing, please reach out to our phone support team at 855-253-1536 from Monday - Friday, 9am - 8pm EST, and Saturdays 9am - 6:30pm EST. Our tech support agents have the ability to share your screen remotely, to help you navigate the account.
You're also welcome to comment below with more details if you're still experiencing trouble. I'd be happy to help work through this with you.
Have a great day.
I'm not entirely sure, but I think what the op was reporting is what I'm also experiencing:
Once a line item is created on an invoice - that is, filled out with Description, Qty, Amt, etc. - changing the Product/Service for that line causes the rest of that line to be erased. This is a big deal. Given that these descriptions are going to clients, there can be a lot of thought and editing involved in getting the description field just right. Also, if there are multiple lines on an invoice, remembering in the moment exactly what amounts were billed is not always easy to do.
This has always been an issue for me, both in the standalone application and the browser, and clearing browser cache and cookies doesn't fix it.
What is the reason for this behavior? If it's not by design, can we please get this fixed?
Thanks for sharing your experience with creating invoices. I know having your products showing all the right information on your invoices is important. I can explain why this has been happening.
When you create your Products, there's a box that you can enter the Description you want on the sales forms. You can also enter the Sales Price and Tax Code. Whether you enter something or nothing in these places it becomes the default for the Product. When you change the product, QuickBooks will automatically update your default choices for you.
If you follow the workflow that my colleague AddieC suggested above you should find this is no longer an issue. Enter the Product/Service first and then change the description, quantity, and price. The other option would be to edit your products to include the description you want your customers to see. This Add product and service items to QuickBooks Online article also has the information for editing your products, if you'd like more details.
I hope you found this helpful. If you have any further questions I'm here. Have an amazing day!
Thanks for your quick reply. If I'm understanding your response, there's a default Description that is stored with each Product/Service entry which can be used as a generic description of a product or service.
A few things that I’m wondering - why would the default values overwrite whatever is already in the description box? If I’ve typed something into the field already, wouldn’t it be assumed that I want to keep this text? Even if I’d forgotten that I’d already written the same thing as a default value, I’ve already written it, so why replace it? Also, if no default text exists, whatever is already in the description field is simply erased. Why would that be acceptable logic? Also, don’t most service businesses customize their invoices and line item descriptions and occasionally switch product/service classification in-process?
Also, as a rule, why wouldn't there be a way to bypass the default entries? If I so much as look at an invoice funny and try to exit, I get something like, 'Would you like to lose all of your changes?’ or, worse, ‘THERE’S A LINK TO THINGS ON THIS INVOICE THAT YOU’VE CHANGED, SAVE OR DELETE???!!!’ But if I change the Product/Service on a line that already has Description and Amount fields entered, they’re simply replaced with default text or blanks (if no defaults). Doesn’t feel thought out.
But the biggest usability flaw here, in my opinion, and what made me finally post about this, is when Product/Service is blank and Description and Amount is not. You might say, 'well, just make sure you don’t do it that way.’ Yes, I’ve trained myself to do that, actually. But there’s at least one case where it’s unavoidable - when using the ‘create invoice’ feature for a billable expense, which conveniently creates an invoice with this expense information in it. That sounds cool and helpful. When I do that, the line item that is automatically created for the expense has the description text and amount info that was entered on the Expense item. Nice. Except the Product/Services field is blank. That’s because there is no Product/Service field on the Expense form, I’m assuming. Ok. But, select a product or service from the dropdown and…well, you see where this is going.
So, if I am doing all of this right, and I’m the first to say that I’m not sure I’m doing anything right in the app most of the time, I'm struggling to understand the logic of Product/Service default text. I’d say I’ve wasted way more time on this post than it’s worth, but I’d guess I’m still way under the number of minutes I’ve lost copying and pasting Description and Amount texts that were disintegrated by overly helpful Product/Service entries.
My conclusion here is that the programming logic of this behavior should be made smarter wrt usability, especially, as is the case for automating expense invoices, when application features like ‘Create Invoice’ added to help the user. Am I wrong?
Well, I think I've found one issue w/ my usability that solves the 'create invoice' scenario - there's no 'Product/Service' for an expense, so I shouldn't be selecting anything there. I think that's right?
I still think the field logic is questionable regarding default field overwrites, so I'd welcome some elaboration on that.
Thanks for reaching out once more. I can provide more insight into why the description is changed when you modify a product or service in an invoice line in Quickbooks Online.
The description is meant to be a specification based on the product of that line. If you change the product or service, that description no longer applies to the new product so therefore it is changed for the default description or nothing if there isn't one by default.
You are correct when it comes to creating an invoice based on a billable expense, The line is already set up to be correct as is so there is no need to add a product or service to it.
If you were to want to see this feature added to future updates of QuickBooks Online, you can leave feedback by navigating to the Gear Icon, then Feedback. Our developers consider the comments made in that section when designing new features.
If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out here.
Thanks for adding your energy to this AJR2, I lost the energy with it, when it was clear I wouldn't be able to fix my workflow.
Where this comes from on my end is:
- Receiptbank loads a billable expense (linked to a customer or project)
- Expense it validated in quickbooks, maybe a mark up is added and definitely more detail on the nature of the expense
- Then, come invoicing, I have to apply the right product/service (to align with the type of project or client, I have specific breakouts for different projects)
- Which is where the problem arises...at this point, all the work that went into the description is blasted away
- very tedious to re-add in the description, especially if you have hundreds of billable expenses
Glad to help, thank you for starting the thread in the first place. And, YES! I agree it's a big loss of time and I do think it's a result of overly rigid use case definition, which I find is the case for a lot of the functionality in QB. I think even a simple warning yes/no dialog would be ok, although probably classically frowned upon in UX and maybe even accounting circles. Given the number of warnings messages in the application, though, that's one I'd welcome. :)