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QuickBooks Online Tools to Help You Deal with Late Payments, Right Now



The payment process doesn't always go so smoothly: life happens, invoices get lost and customers go radio-silent. Everyone has experienced this at some point and several QuickBooks Community members have shared their struggles with and triumphs over late payment issues.


One-off incidents are a headache. But what do you do about chronic late payers, clients who fall off the radar or fail to deliver on promises of even partial payments? Here are a few tips for resolving existing payment issues without compromising your business integrity.

Check the data on your end


Even with a robust payment system, misunderstandings and data entry errors occasionally occur. Practice empathy - remember, there are human beings on both sides of the transaction. Better to be safe than sorry – verify the following:

  • When did you send the most recent invoice? Are you sending invoices to the right person? Go to the Sales module and triple-check that you have the right email, address and phone number on file. 

  • Are all of your invoice data-fields clearly labeled and formatted? Data-field needs varies from business to business. Make sure you’ve included what's necessary to complete the transaction.

  • If you expect to be paid online, do you have online payments turned on? After you connect your financial accounts to QBO, click the Gear Icon (Gear Icon.jpg ), select “Account and Settings” and then the “Sales” tab. Scroll down to “Online Delivery” and make sure “Online Invoice” is selected from the “Email options for invoices” dropdown menu.

  • Quick tip – If you received a check payment, the data has to be entered manually. Whoever accepts the payment should enter this information into QBO immediately (if they don’t know the exact date, make a best-guess) so you don’t accidentally ask a customer to pay twice.




Keep an eye on open invoices


Take note of how many open invoices you have before they become an avalanche of overdue payments.

  • You can view all open invoice activity in the Sales Module - the total number of open invoices and total dollar amount owed are displayed in the orange and grey header boxes. To view overdue invoices by customer, go to the “Invoices” tab and sort the columns by “Status” or go to the “Customers” tab and click the grey “Open Invoice” box in the header.

  • Keep a paper trail. Go to the Reports module and search for “Open Invoices” in the search bar. Select the date range you need and click “Run report.”

  • If you received payment at the time of sale, create a Sales Receipt to close (and generate evidence of) the transaction. Click the Create (+) Icon and select “Sales Receipt” to keep all transactions on file. Here is a deeper dive into everything you can do with sales receipts.




Send Payment Reminders and Balance Forward statements as Batch Actions


Two weeks past due and you still haven’t received payment. Start by sending your client an email reminder. Digital mailboxes are deep; we’re all guilty of missing important emails from time to time.

  • When you are on the “Customers” Tab in the Sales Module, sort the list by clicking the orange and grey “Overdue/Open Invoice” box in the header. Check the boxes next to each customer and select “Email” from the “Batch Action” menu at the top of the list. Be polite and add the word “Overdue” somewhere in the subject line. 

  • You can edit your default email reminder by clicking the Gear Icon (Gear Icon.jpg ), selecting “Accounts and Settings,” the “Sales” Tab and then scrolling down to “Reminders.” To send this default message, go back to the “Customers” Tab, select “Overdue/Open Invoice” and click the Arrow Icon (Arrow Icon.jpg ) to “Send (a) Reminder.

  • If these emails go unanswered, it’s time to send a stronger message. Go to the “Customers” Tab and select “Create Statements” from the “Batch Action” menu. Choose “Balance Forward” from the dropdown menu at the top of the form. Users with open or overdue balances will appear in the “Recipients List” at the bottom. To learn more about creating balance forward statements, check out - How do I create a single open item or balance forward statement?


Before you go


What tools do you use to make sure you get paid on time? Share your success stories on the QuickBooks Community!


Still plagued by payment problems? For a roadmap to escalation, check out this guide: Frustrated by Late Payments? Some Tips for Tracking Down Your Dollars.


There is always something new to learn!

2 Comments 2
Level 11

QuickBooks Online Tools to Help You Deal with Late Payments, Right Now

Great article!

Automatic late fee/finance charges would be a great feature to have in QBO. Send them your feedback here.

Not applicable

QuickBooks Online Tools to Help You Deal with Late Payments, Right Now

Thanks @vpcontroller, glad you enjoyed it. 


Do you have any insight into dealing with late payments? Stay tuned for a (partial) answer to your feedback :). 

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