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Set preferences for sales and invoicing

SOLVEDby QuickBooks8Updated September 26, 2023

Learn how to set up sales and invoicing preferences in QuickBooks Desktop for Mac.

QuickBooks Desktop for Mac can process transactions based on the preferences you set. These settings let you control how QuickBooks behaves when you enter a sale.

Here’s how to start setting your preferences.

  1. Go to QuickBooks, then select Settings.
  2. On the Preferences window, select Sales & Invoicing. Check out the details of each preferences below and set them accordingly. 
  3. When you’re done, close the Preferences window.

Sales and Invoicing settings


Select Customer and/or job estimates are prepared to create a new estimate, or display an existing one. When estimating is on, you’ll see the Estimate button on the Customer:Job list.

Note: QuickBooks will keep your estimates even if the setting is off.

  • Select Warn me about duplicate estimate numbers, if you want QuickBooks to warn you when the estimate you’re recording has the same number as an existing estimate. 

Note: Checking for duplicate numbers slows QuickBooks a bit when you record an estimate. If you’re  not concerned about duplicate numbers, clearing the checkbox lets QuickBooks record estimates faster.

  • Select I want to create progress invoices from estimates, if you want to invoice a customer progressively through a project. 

Note: If you use progress invoicing, you may have a situation where an item on one of your invoices has an amount of 0. If you don't want to have these items appear on the invoice, select Don't print items that have zero amounts.

Usual FOB

Free on Board (FOB), is the site you usually ship your invoiced products from.

In the Usual FOB field, enter the name of your FOB site. This lets QuickBooks automatically fill in the FOB field on each sales form where the field appears.

Usual Shipping Method

In the Usual Shipping Method field, enter the shipping method to let QuickBooks automatically fill in the Ship Via field on each sales form where the field appears.

Default markup percentage

In the Default markup percentage field, set the percentage markup to calculate the sales price of items that have both a cost and a sales price.

Note: You don’t need to enter a % sign. You'll see the effect of the default markup percentage when you create inventory part, non-inventory part, service, and other charge items. 

When you enter the item's cost, QuickBooks automatically calculates the sales price and enters it in the Sales price field. For example, your item cost is $10.00, and you set the markup to 25%, QuickBooks then fill in the sales price as $12.50.

Track reimbursed expenses as income

Select Track reimbursed expenses as income, if you want to track an expense and your customer's reimbursement for the expense in separate accounts.

  • When this preference is on, QuickBooks adds this checkbox and field to the New and Edit Account windows for expense accounts.
  • When this setting is off, QuickBooks doesn’t let you track customer reimbursements in a separate income account. The income you receive for reimbursable expenses posts to the expense account, thus canceling the original expense.

Automatically apply payments

Select Automatically apply payments, if you want QuickBooks to automatically apply a customer's payment to their outstanding invoices.

If the amount received is less than the customer's outstanding balance, QuickBooks applies the payment to the oldest invoices first.

Note: When this setting is off, QuickBooks won’t apply customer payments and you must specify how to apply a payment when you’re in the Receive Payments window.

Automatically calculate payments

Select Automatically calculate payments, if you want to check the invoice first and have QuickBooks automatically calculate the total amount in the Amount Received field.

  • When this preference is on, QuickBooks continues to automatically calculate the Amount Received based on the invoices you select or deselect for that payment.
  • When this preference is off, QuickBooks doesn’t automatically calculate payments. You need to select Auto Apply to see the results of your payment on the amounts for selected invoices.

Warn about duplicate invoice numbers

Select Warn about duplicate invoice numbers, if you want QuickBooks to always check and notify you of duplicate invoice numbers.

Note: The warning causes QuickBooks to take more time to record an invoice. If you’re not concerned about duplicate numbers, do not select this preference.

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