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Set up and send progress invoices in QuickBooks Online

by Intuit Updated 1 month ago

Learn how to send invoices over time as you work off a quote in QuickBooks.

Progress invoicing lets you split an quote into as many invoices as you need. Instead of asking for full payment at the beginning of a project, you can invoice customers for partial payments. As you complete work, add items from the initial quote to progress invoices. This keeps project payments organised and connected from start to finish.

Your quotes or invoices will look different depending on whether you have the old or new quote and invoice experience. Find out which experience you have.

Step 1: Turn on progress invoicing

If you haven’t already, turn on progress invoicing.

  1. Go to Settings Settings gear icon. and select Account and settings.
  2. Select the Sales tab.
  3. In the Progress Invoicing section, select Edit ✎.
  4. Turn on the Create multiple partial invoices from a single quote switch.
  5. In the Update your invoice template? window, select Update.
  6. Select Save, then Done.

Now you can create multiple invoices from your quotes.

Step 2: Create a progress invoice template

Once you have turned on this feature, QuickBooks creates a default progress invoicing template. Use the premade Airy new style template any time you create a progress invoice. To create a new template, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings ⚙, then select Custom form styles.
  2. Select New style dropdown and then Invoice to create a new invoice template. Or, to update one of your existing templates, find the template and select Edit.
  3. Give the template a memorable name, like "Progress invoice template."
  4. In the Design tab, select Change up the template or Dive in with a template.
    • Select the Airy new template. This is the only template that works for progress invoices.
  5. Select Edit print settings or When in doubt, print it out.
    • Make sure the checkbox for Fit to window envelope or Fit printed form with payslip in window envelope is unchecked.
  6. Select the Content tab. 
  7. Select Edit ✎ on the table section of the form (the second section with Activity, Rate and Amount).
    • Select the Show more activity options link. 
    • Select the Show progress on line items checkbox if you want to show item details on the progress invoice.
  8. Select Edit ✎ on the footer section of the form (the third section with Total and Balance Due).
    • Select quote summary if you want the invoice to display the quoted amount, the amounts of individual progress invoices, and the total amount invoiced so far.
  9. Select Done. You’ll be taken back to the Custom Form Styles page.

If you send a lot of progress invoices, we recommend using this as your new template for all invoices. To add the template you just created as your default template:

  1. If you're not there already, go back to Custom form styles.
  2. In the Action column, select the dropdown menu ▼ next to the template. Then select Make default.
  3. To confirm your choice, select Change template.

Note: If you only want to use this template for a few progress invoices, you can have a different default template for regular invoices. Then, when you’re creating a new invoice, you can use the progress invoice template by selecting Customise directly on the invoice form.

Step 3: Create a quote

  1. Select + New, then select Quote.
  2. Select your customer.
  3. Fill out the rest of the quote.
  4. Select Save and newSave and close, or Save and send.

Note that the totals in the remaining column of your quote don't include VAT, discount, or shipping costs.

Tip: If you use the Projects feature (QuickBooks Online Plus) and want to add a quote to a project, add it before you start creating progress invoices.

Edit progress invoice

If you need to edit an item on a progress invoice, make your changes on the original quote, not the invoice itself. You can make changes as long as you haven’t invoiced for the total quote amount.

Step 4: Create progress invoices from the quote

There are a few ways to create progress invoices. All methods give you the same results.

Create a progress invoice from the quote

  1. Go to Sales, then select All sales (Take me there).
  2. Find the quote on the list.
  3. Open the quote and select Create invoice ▼ from the dropdown.
  4. Decide how much you want to invoice for, then select Create invoice. You can charge for a percentage or a specific amount. If you choose Custom amount for each line, enter a specific amount for each item on the invoice.
  5. Fill out the rest of the invoice.
  6. Select Save and new, Save and share link, Save & Share (WhatsApp), or Save and close.

Connect a quote to a new invoice

  1. Select + New, then select Invoice.
  2. Select your customer from the dropdown menu. If the customer has an open quote, QuickBooks will open the Add to Invoice sidebar.
  3. Find the quote in the sidebar and select Add.
  4. Decide how much you want to invoice for, and select Copy to invoice.
  5. Fill out the rest of the invoice.
  6. Select Save and new, Save and share link, Save & Share (WhatsApp), or Save and close.

Your original quote won’t change when you create a progress invoice. QuickBooks keeps a record of both.

Don’t worry about accidentally sending too many invoices

After you’ve invoiced for the total quote, the quote status automatically changes to Closed. If you try to invoice for more than 100% of the total quote, you’ll only be able to add what’s left of the remaining balance.

Need to unlink a progress invoice?

If you want to disconnect a progress invoice from the original quote, select the bin icon next to the quote line item within the invoice. QuickBooks will ask if you want to unlink the entire invoice. If you do, select Yes, unlink it.

Step 5: Keep track of your progress invoices

Review your quote, progress invoices, projects, and reports to stay organised.

Review quote

You can see all of your progress invoices on the original quote.

  1. Go to Sales, then select All sales (Take me there).
  2. Find and open the quote.
  3. Select the blue linked invoice(s) to see the invoices you’ve already created.

Review progress invoices

If you do projects for customers and bill them as you go using progress invoicing, you can include an quote summary on their invoices. This keeps your customers in the loop and lets them know how much they’ve been invoiced for and their remaining balance.

Check projects

If you add quotes to projects, you can see everything in the Transactions tab of a project page.

Run reports

The Quotes & Progress Invoicing Summary by Customer report gives you a complete list of all quotes and connected progress invoices.

  1. Go to Reports (Take me there).
  2. Search for and open your Quotes & Progress Invoicing Summary by Customer report.

Transactions are organised by customer. Quotes have positive totals and the progress invoices have negative totals.

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