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Use workflows in QuickBooks Online Advanced to send reminders

Learn how to set up workflows to send reminders to your customers or internal team.

In QuickBooks Online Advanced, use workflows to send reminders to the right people at the right time. With workflows, you can automate common tasks in QuickBooks like sending payment reminders to customers. You can also send reminders to your team to complete specific tasks, like reviewing open invoices.

You set the conditions to tell QuickBooks when to send reminders and to whom. Whenever the conditions are met, we’ll send out a reminder. Here’s how to create a new workflow for your customers or team. We'll also show you some examples of how you can use workflows.

Learn about workflow types

Some workflows automatically send reminders to customers so you don't have to. Others send reminders to your team to take action on a task.

You can have multiple workflows of the same type working at once. For example, you can have multiple Payment received workflows for different sets of customers.

Here are some common uses of workflows:

  • Automatically send unsent invoices: Send your customers invoices that haven't been sent yet.
  • Payment received: Automatically email customers to let them know you received their payment.
  • Payment due reminder: Automatically email customers to let them know their invoice payment is due soon.
  • Overdue invoice memo: Automatically update an invoice message with an overdue or customized stamp.

  • Invoice approval: Automatically create a task and send a notification to your team when a new invoice needs approval.
  • Unsent invoice reminder: Remind yourself or your team to send unsent invoices to customers.
  • Pay vendor reminder: Remind yourself or your team when a vendor bill is due.
  • Bank deposit reminder: Remind yourself or your team to record bank deposits.

Step 1: Create a new workflow

When you create a new workflow, you can use a QuickBooks workflow template. Or learn how to create your own custom workflow.

To create workflows from QuickBooks templates:

  1. Select the Workflows menu. Or select Settings ⚙ and then Manage Workflows.
  2. Select the Templates tab.
  3. Find the template you want to use, and select Create.
  4. Give the workflow a name, or use the default name.
  5. In the Conditions section, select the conditions. This determines what activates reminders. Note: You can set multiple conditions for some workflows. To add more, select Add Condition. All conditions need to be met to start the workflow.
  6. In the Actions section, select the actions QuickBooks will take when the conditions are met. This determines what happens after the template activates.
  7. Select the Send email checkbox to send the reminders as emails. On some workflows, you can also select the Send Mobile Notification checkbox to send a push notification to a user through the QuickBooks Online Mobile App.
  8. Edit the message in the Subject and Message body sections as needed.
  9. The highlighted fields are variables. The variables populate the reminder message with your company or the customer info. To change the variable, enter #, then select the variable you want to use like vendor, name, due date, or amount. Note: Erasing or overwriting the highlighted fields will affect all reminders.
  10. When you're done, select Save and Enable to turn on your workflow.

Here are some examples of workflows you can use for your customers or team and how to set them up:

Here’s an example workflow to let your customers know their payment is due in three days.

  1. Select the Workflows menu. Or select Settings ⚙ and then Manage workflows.
  2. Select the Templates tab.
  3. Find the Payment due reminder template and select Create.
  4. In the name field, enter Payment Due in Three Days.
  5. Use the Conditions ▼ dropdowns to add workflow conditions.
    • Condition #1: The invoice amount is greater than 0 (dollars).
    • Condition #2: The customer is within All, or you can select specific customers that get this reminder.
    • Condition #3: That is 3 day(s) before due date.
  6. Use the Actions ▼ dropdowns to set up the actions for the workflow.
    • In the For ▼ dropdown, select the team member you want assigned to the task.
    • Select the checkboxes to send email or mobile app reminders.
  7. Customize the reminder using the Subject and Message fields.
  8. The highlighted fields are variables. The variables populate the reminder message with your company or the customer info. To change the variable, enter #, then select the variable you want to use like customer name, balance, or amount. Note: Erasing or overwriting the highlighted fields will affect all reminders.
  9. If you’re still editing the workflow, select Save. If you’d like to launch the workflow, select Save and Enable.

You can use a template to create a workflow for approving invoices created by your team.

Whenever a non-admin creates a new invoice, QuickBooks checks if it meets the conditions of a template. If it does, the invoice's status becomes "Needs approval". Until it's approved, non-admins can't send invoices to customers.

To create a new invoice approval workflow:

  1. Select the Workflows menu. Or select Settings ⚙ and then Manage Workflows.
  2. Select the Templates tab.
  3. Find the Invoice approval template and select Create.
  4. Give your template a name.
  5. In the Conditions section, set the conditions. You can set the amount, customer, location, or a combination. This is what activates the approval process. Select Add Condition if you want to add more than one condition.
  6. In the Actions section, select the admin who needs to approve invoices from the For ▼ dropdown.
  7. In the Send to ▼ dropdown, select who you want QuickBooks to notify when an invoice needs approval. Note: you can choose more than one person in the Send to field.
  8. You can also tell QuickBooks what to do if an invoice isn't approved within a certain number of days. Enter the number of days in the within __ day(s) field. Then select the ▼ dropdown and choose Send reminder to approver or Auto approve the invoice. Note: If an invoice isn't reviewed after 30 days, it's automatically denied.

Now that your invoice approval workflow is set up, whenever non-admins create an invoice, an approval request is sent to the approver automatically.

Note: If an invoice doesn't meet your template's conditions, it doesn't need approval. The creator can send it directly to the customer.

Approve invoices

Here's what happens after a non-admin creates an invoice:

  1. When completing the invoice and selecting Save or Save and send, the non-admin will get an approval message.
  2. They’ll select Send for approval. This sends the invoice to the specified admin for approval.
  3. Then the admin can go to the Task menu and review their open tasks to approve the invoice.

The invoice creator can review the status of the approval by opening the invoice:

  • Pending approval: The creator already sent the invoice to the approver, but it hasn't been approved yet.
  • Denied approval: The approver denied the invoice. However, if the creator makes edits to the denied invoice, they can request approval again.
  • Approved: The approver approved the invoice. It becomes a regular invoice with no restrictions.

If an invoice is edited after it's approved, and it doesn't meet the templates' conditions anymore, the status may change. You can just send it through for approval again.

Note: If you downgrade your plan from QuickBooks Advanced, you won't be able to use workflows anymore. You'll need to approve anything pending approvals before you can change your plan.

Step 2: Review your team's active tasks

If a workflow notifies one of your team members to review or approve work, QuickBooks creates a task.

Go to the Task menu any time to see what work still needs to get done. Follow these steps to review open tasks.

Step 3: Manage your workflows

Here’s how to make sure your workflows are running the way you want them to.

  1. Select the Workflows menu.
  2. Select the History tab.
  3. Review your completed workflows.

If you want to edit, turn off, or delete a workflow:

  1. Select the Workflows menu.
  2. Select the My Workflows tab.
  3. Select the Actions ▼ dropdown. Then select an option.

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