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How to Review Open Invoices and Send Payment Reminders and Balance Forward Statements in QuickBooks Online

 

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Being proactive means keeping a close eye on open invoices. Knowing what customers owe you, developing clear policies, and planning accordingly are incredibly for sustaining your business.

 

In QuickBooks Online, there are a few tools and simple review techniques you can incorporate into your workflow that will help you professionally manage open and overdue payments.


Why do I need to review open invoices?

 

The primary benefit is obvious – you want to get paid. But managing pending payments isn't only about keeping the lights on. If overdue payments pile up, they can become an avalanche that spills over into the rest of your business, stopping your operation dead in its track.

 

Be proactive with your accounts receivable and get ahead of issues before they impact your cash flow. Designate an individual on your team to handle this process. Establish a regular review process and set policies for how to handle late payment using the available tools in QuickBooks.


Get started reviewing open and overdue invoices

 

You can view all open invoice activity in the “All Sales” section of the Sales tab. The total number of open invoices and total amount owed to you are displayed in the orange and grey header boxes.

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You can also chronologically sort invoices by “Status” from the “Invoices” tab.

 

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There’s also a report for reviewing open invoices. Go to the Reports tab and search for “Open Invoice Report.” Set the report to criteria to “All Dates” and “Current” so you see all current outstanding invoice.

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This report is effective because you get the data you need (invoice number, due date, and net terms by customer ) in a very clean format. You can save the report as a PDF (click the small gear icon in the corner) and send it to the member(s) on your team who need this information to follow up.

 

You can even schedule this report to go out on a regular basis. Start by emailing yourself a copy once a week and adjust as needed so you’re always on top of your accounts receivable. To schedule the report, click the “save customization” button in the corner.

 

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Give the report a name (in this case, I went with something simple: “Open Invoices Weekly Report”) and decide who gets access to the data.

 

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Go back to the Reports Tab and open your Custom Reports sub-tab. Your new report will be at the top of the list. Click the edit button next to the report to pull up this screen:

 

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Enable the “Set email schedule” option and set the recurrence for how often you’d like this report emailed to you and your team.

 

 

By the way, you can use this workflow to schedule any report in QuickBooks Online. 

 

 


 

Send Payment Reminders and Balance Forward statements as Batch Actions

 

Now you know how to stay on top of open invoices. What can you do to gently remind customers with outstanding balances?

 

There’s no single way to manage this process, but a rule of thumb is to practice restraint. Be firm but empathetic. Maintaining a positive relationship with your customers is arguably more valuable to your long-term success than the dollar amount you’d get from playing debt collector.

 

  • Start with an email. While you’re on the Customers sub-tab, sort the list by clicking the orange “Overdue” or grey “Open Invoice” boxes in the header. This filters for customers with open or overdue invoices. Check the boxes next to each customer you want to contact, click the Batch Action drop-down at the top, and select “Email.”

 

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  • Craft your email with care. If you’re sending anticipatory emails for soon-to-be-overdue invoices, be polite and remember that they have until the deadline (Net Payment terms) to pay. If you’re writing about recently overdue invoices, be professional but firm. Add the word “Overdue” somewhere in the subject line.

  • If you want to go straight to Reminder Messages, that’s another good option. Though less personal, they are a more efficient (and direct) way to tap your clients. You can edit your default email reminder message 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 reminder message, go back to the Customers Tab and again filter the list for “Overdue/Open Invoice.” On each customer line, you will see a “Send Reminder” action. Do this for every customer with an overdue invoice.

 

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  • If these go unanswered, you can send a stronger message – Balance Forward We definitely recommend trying the first two before moving onto this option.

    Go to the Customers sub-tab. You can either click the drop-down arrow on each customer line to create a single Balance Forward statement or check the box next to each customer and select “Create Statements” from the Batch Action menu.

    Choose “Balance Forward” from the drop-down menu. Customers 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.

Any other tips I should keep in mind to be successful?

 

  • Integrating regular reviews into your operations will prevent work from piling up. The payment process doesn’t always go smoothly, but you have the tools and techniques to make it less of a hassle.

  • If you’re at a point where you're dedicating large chunks of time managing your accounts payable, step back and evaluate your current procedures. What’s your relationship like with your clients? Is there an obvious reason why some customers aren’t paying on time? Do you make paying for invoices easy? How have you managed overdue invoices in the past? Is this the best practice going forward?

Check your Progress

 

What’s Next?

 

 

FTU Setting up for Success

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‎09-13-2018 09:58 AM
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Comments

Sorry that was no help, it is a simple thing.  I want to send statements to my customers that show all invoices and statements from the beginning of the year.....  I would think that all accounting packages would be able to do this.  Should this not be a very basic thing to do.  I have gone in to statements and hit save and send thinking that of course it would show everything.  I was very annoyed when my customers got back to say that none of the payments were included.  Come on what else is a statement only everything on the account.....................Am I missing something here.

Hey @Jellad,

 

Thank you for sharing your feedback on the article. The primary focus of this piece was how to manage current open invoices that have yet to be paid. It sounds like you want is a report that gives a summary of all Invoices, Estimates, Sales Receipts, and forms you've sent to a specific customer for a specific point in time. This is definitely possible in QuickBooks! 

 

There are a couple of ways to get this information. First, you can go to the Sales Tab and then the Customers subtab. Select the customer you are interested in from the list and you'll be brought to their profile page. At the bottom, you will see a list of all of their transactions. Check the boxes next to the transactions you want to include in a report, click Batch Action, and then select "Print Transactions." You can also export these to a CSV Excel file if you want to save some paper.

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The second way is to go to the Reports Tab and search for the Sales by Customer Detail Report. Set the date range to "This year" and then click "Run Report." This will bring up a list of all completed sales transactions by customer. If you want to narrow down the details even further, you can use the filters above the report or click the "Customize" button to add various criteria.

 

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Additionally, if you only want to see a customer's open or outstanding balance (not including completed transactions), search for the Customer Balance Detail report and follow these same steps. 

 

 

I hope this helps, please reach out if there are anything other topics you're interested in! I will also include a link to more resources on financial reports: Setting up for Success with QuickBooks Online: Financial Reports and Reporting Features

I would like to figure out a way to invoice my customers for partial payments but be able to show them their running total. For example if the total Estimate is for $5000 and they make an initial $1500 payment I'd like to be able to send them the next invoice showing the initial amount was $5000, they have paid $1500 and they owe this invoice another $1500 which will leave their balance due at $2000. Is there a way to do that ?