- How to create invoices
- Do I need a payment contract?
- Should I require a deposit?
- How to accept invoice payments
- Tracking invoices
- Sending friendly reminders
- What if clients don’t pay?
How to create invoicesProfessional invoices build a cohesive look for your business and brand, as well as highlight the value of the work you’re providing. And QuickBooks streamlines the process with automatic prompts to help you fill in the required information. Here are the essential elements you should include in each invoice:1. Company informationList your contact information and your customers’ details—legal name, business address, phone and fax number (if applicable)—near the top or bottom of the invoice.2. HeaderInclude the title, “Invoice” at the top of your document so customers can immediately identify the communication. 3. Date, invoice number, and unique identifierInclude the invoice issuing date, as well as an invoice number or other unique identifier. This can be a simple file number, unique billing code, or date-based purchase order number.4. Customer purchase order (PO) numbers or billing codesAsk your customer about any unique details to include, such as an internal PO number or billing code. For many larger companies, these identifiers are necessary to keep track of payments.5. Itemized list of goods and servicesYour customer—and potentially, an auditor—should understand what goods and services you’ve provided with just a brief scan of the invoice. Include names, dates, rates, the quantity of the goods and services provided, as well as any price modifications, item descriptions, and your work processes.6. Payment termsInclude a due date and be aware that standard payment terms vary by industry, business, and client relations. Clarify that penalties—late fees or a percentage of the total bill—will be imposed if these terms are not met.7. Itemized feesList taxes, handling fees, or other charges, on separate lines. This is important for varying budgets and balancing your internal bookkeeping.8. Total amount dueMake sure your total amount due is clear and easy to find. 9. Instructions for payingProvide a clear set of payment steps specifying how you accept payments: online, wire transfer, check, or credit card. The more options you provide, the faster you’ll get paid.
Do I need a payment contract?A payment contract can clarify and solidify a customers expectations. A QuickBooks Payment Contract explains:
- How you charge
- The range of services you will provide
- Your payment terms
- If you charge deposits
Should I require a deposit?A deposit of between 30-50% can protect you if client troubles arise. Outline the parameters in your contract, make sure your clients are aware of your policy, and issue an invoice for the deposit amount. When the job is completed, issue a second invoice deducting the deposit amount from the total owed.
How to accept invoice paymentsCashCash transactions have no fees, but they cannot be tracked. It is also difficult to securely transfer large sums of money, so cash transactions are rare.CheckUse a standard checking account as there usually are no transaction fees. However, checks require that you manually update your books and your invoice tracking system. Automated Clearing House (ACH)An ACH transaction transfers funds from your customer’s bank account to yours electronically. ACH transfers are fast and secure. Your customers will need to supply their transit and account numbers.Credit and debit cardsQuickBooks users can accept both credit and debit cards. Transaction fees vary slightly based on the payment platform, but typically range from between 2.4–3.4%.Do you accept a lot of payments in person? With products like Square and the QuickBooks mobile card reader, you can take credit and debit card payments on the spot. And if you deal in online transactions, PayPal is a great option (and typically has fees of 2.9%). Plus, all integrate seamlessly with QuickBooks software.BitCoinLess common than traditional payments, crypto currency transfers are simple for QuickBooks customers—just turn on your PayByCoin feature.
Tracking invoicesIf you’re creating your invoices in Word or Excel requires meticulous organization, can leave you open to information loss, and error. QuickBooks’ features take the guesswork out of invoice tracking:
- Automatically generated invoice numbers
- Sorting invoices by client name
- Providing a clear balance sheet of sent invoices
- Identifying overdue invoices