Regrettably, the ‘Progress Invoicing’ feature, as implemented, does not live up to its promise.
The primary function of progress invoicing is to communicate the progress of a project or line item over time. At it most basic implementation, he minimum information required must include amounts previously and currently invoiced, as well as the amount invoiced to date. It can be expressed in amount and/or percentage of progress.
As currently implemented, the feature is merely a ‘fractional invoice’ based on a project estimate. Zero context of progress is presented to either the client or to the QBO user preparing the invoice. My clients continuously ask me for clarifications about the details of our invoicing. This is embarrassing for our business.
In the absence of a useful progress invoice, it would be helpful if there was at least a more detailed report that we could attach to an invoice. Unfortunately, the ‘Estimates & Progress Invoicing Summary by Customer’ report only offers top-line information, without the line item detail. Please consider and implement a report titled ‘Estimates & Progress Invoicing Detail by Customer’.
All progress invoicing is based on an estimate. The estimates contain most of the relevant information missing from either the progress invoice or a summary report. Unfortunately again, this information is unable to be even exported for manipulation elsewhere (i.e. CSV). Equally frustratingly, the print feature for estimates don’t include the most relevant columns (i.e. Invoiced, Remaining, etc.) … which might have substituted for the missing reporting detail. As an aside, the ‘Closed’ checkbox is non-functional and muddies the understanding of later invoices when line options are fully billed. There should be an option to hide/display ‘Closed’ items in an invoice.
Overall, the progress invoicing feature is fundamentally flawed. It should be re-engineered to at least a minimum level of utility. QuickBooks Online does not have far to look for inspiration … the feature is properly implemented on your QuickBooks Desktop platform. I look forward to a version with more feature parity in the very near future. Judging from the comments elsewhere on this message board, I am not alone in this request.