When you work for yourself, time is money. Whether you consult for a local non-profit organization, offer 3D digital design services or design new fashion trends in your basement, every precious minute you spend puts dollars in your pocket.
The challenge, of course, is finding the time to streamline operations so you can devote more time turning your creative vision into a reality. How often do we stop and think about leveraging tools to help us do more during the day, or better yet, automating tasks to keep our businesses running even after we’ve (hopefully) switched off and gone to bed?
Fortunately, when it comes to invoicing - crucial for every entrepreneur – you can create an invoice with QuickBooks Online in 90 seconds flat. Did you know your invoice helps shape your customer’s all-around experience and interaction with your brand? Just as important: certain invoicing features and practices can save you time and ultimately speed up your workflow.
Send digital invoices
Emailing invoices speeds up the sales process and prevents additional time lost recovering misplaced paper invoices. With digital invoicing, transactions are completed in minutes, not days.
Add the necessary customer data. Go to the Sales Module and click the “Customers” Tab. From here, you can edit the contact information that will automatically populate in invoice data fields. Instead of printing and packing invoices with shipments, simply click “Save and Send” and your invoices will send as an email!
Allow electronic payments
Can your customers pay you online? Setting up invoices so customers can pay with a credit card or bank transfer cuts down on your wait time and gives your customers more payment options – that’s an all-around win.
First, you must enable online payments. Click the Gear Icon () and select “Account and Settings.” Then go to the “Sales” section, scroll down, and click “Online Delivery.” Make sure “Online Invoice” is selected from the dropdown menu under “Email options for invoices.”
Assuming your financial accounts are already connected in QuickBooks Online, click the Gear Icon () at the top corner of the dashboard and select “Custom Form Styles.” While you are in the module, select the “Payments” Tab and then check which payment methods you want available to your customers (ACH bank transfers are free, fees for credit card payments – learn more). If you need to finish setting up your payment accounts, follow the blue “Finish your payments profile” link at the bottom of the form.
Once you are finished, a button will appear in emailed invoices and customers can make payments instantly!
If you find yourself sending the same invoices to the same customers, make them recurring transactions.
To create a recurring invoice from scratch, click the Gear Icon () and select “Recurring Transactions.” Select “New” and then “Invoice.” Fill out appropriate data fields, date ranges and intervals, and you are ready to go – invoices will automatically send based on your specifications.
Pro tip: You can also make standing invoices recurring invoices by selecting the “Make Recurring” option at the bottom of the open invoice form.
Use the mobile app to send invoices on the fly
The QuickBooks App is an extension of QuickBooks Online, so you can access your data from anywhere, at any time. The mobile app lets you review and update invoices instantly, and it automatically syncs the data shared between devices – no need for double data entry!
To send a new invoice from the app, click the blue () icon at the bottom of the app window. After you’ve added the contact details and clicked “save,” you can preview your invoice by clicking the preview button () in the corner before hitting “send.” Don’t worry, the new mobile invoice you just created will sync to QBO!
Pro tip: When it’s time to send an invoice, make sure you’re on a secure, password-protected network, not public or unprotected Wi-Fi.
Need a hand installing the app? Here’s the guide for installing on iOs and Android devices.
When you create a professional invoice that expedites the sales process, everyone wins. Your customers enjoy enhanced engagement with your business. You save time which, in turn, lets you focus on the business at hand.
Before you go
Does your business use custom invoices? What are your tips for speeding up operations?
More learning ahead
For a deeper-dive into how invoices can enhance your overall workflow, check out:
i have my invoices set up like this but it still doesn't automatically put the 'pay online' button on the invoice. i have to manually check them every time. is there a way to have them autoamatically checked every time so i can use the batch email feature?
A very warm welcome to the QB Community (despite it now being chilly December)! This is a great question. Just to clarify, you want the online paymentoption to appear automatically on all of your customer invoices?
There are a couple of settings you can check. First, make sure you have online payments enabled in your account settings so the option will always show up on invoices (bulk or otherwise). Click theGear Icon and select "Account and Setting," then "Sales" and then scroll down a few sections to "Online Delivery." Make sure the "Online Invoice" option is selected from the drop down menu - this turns the "Pay Now" button on by default.
Then head over to the Custom Form Styles module (Gear Icon> Custom Form Styles). Open up your default invoice template and go to the last tab in the editing module titled"Payments." Check the box next to whichever method you want to offer - credit card or ACH bank transfers (or both).
After this, the online payment option should be on by default. You can double-check by creating a new invoice and clicking "Preview" to see exactly how the invoice will appear for your customers.
I hope this helped, and again, a warm welcome to the QB Community. Please let us know about how your awesome custom invoice turns out!