Customizing Your Invoices and Sales Forms

In the QuickBooks universe sales forms are invoices, estimates, and sales receipts. You can customize the design of your sales forms by editing the master form template or by creating individual templates for each type of form. 

You can also create several templates for each type of form. For example, you may want to create an invoice template for billing for services and an invoice template for billing for products. 

To customize the design of your invoices and sales forms first you need to open your list of forms.

  1. Go to Gear-> Custom Form Styles

  2. To edit the master form template, go to the line that says Standard and click Edit. The master form template will be applied to all other forms you create. 

  3. If you want to create a new invoice, estimate, or sales receipt template click on the New Style button at the top and choose Invoice, Estimate, or Sales Receipt. 

Now it’s time to customize your sales forms. You’ll start in the Design tab. 

  1. Change up the template: Choose from five invoice templates. You can toggle between templates to see how the look and style of the invoice changes. 

  2. Make logo edits: Upload a new logo. Then adjust the size and placement of your logo on your invoice. If you don’t want your logo to show up on the invoice, click Hide logo. 

  3. Try other colors: Select a color from the color pickers or enter in a HEX code. I recommend using a HEX code that matches your company’s branding. 

  4. Select a default font: Use the dropdown box to select a font and font size. 

  5. Edit print settings: Change the page margins. Unless you’re using letterhead paper it’s unlikely you will need to change the page margins. If you’re using letterhead paper to print your invoices, check the Use letterhead paper box. 

The next tab is Content. When you click on this tab you won’t see any editing options until you click on one of the pencil icons on the preview invoice. 

Top Section

  1. Header: Use the checkboxes to select the information you would like to appear in the header of your invoice. You can also adjust how the information will appear.

  2. Form:
    a. Form names: If you want the name of the sales form to appear on the sales
        form, check this box. You can also customize the form names.
    b. Form numbers: Check this box if you want to assign numbers to your sales
    c. Use customer transaction numbers: Check this box if you want to customize
        your form numbers. If this is not checked, your forms will still have numbers but
        they will be automatically generated by QuickBooks. If you use a specific
        naming convention for your sales forms check Use custom transaction numbers
        and edit the transaction number when you generate a sales form.
    d. Display: Select the fields you want to be displayed. You can also add a custom
        field by clicking Custom Field and editing and checking the custom field boxes. 

Middle Section

  1. Account Summary: Check this box if you want your customer’s previous balance and total charges to appear on your invoice.

  2. Columns: Check the columns you want to appear on your invoice. As you adjust the columns the preview invoice will reflect your changes.

  3. Edit Labels and Width: Click here to adjust the name and size of each column. To adjust the size use the slider bars to adjust the width of each column. 

  4. Show more activity options:
    a. Group activity by: You can group the lines on the invoice by day, week, month,
        or type of item. You can also add a subtotal line after each grouping.
    b. Collapse activity rows: Check this to remove service dates from your invoice
        and combine invoice lines that have the same rate and item.
    c. Show progress on line items: If you are using the Progress Invoicing feature in
        QuickBooks and want to show your progress on each item in the email you
        send to your client, check this box.
    d. Show markup on billable expenses: If you markup items and then bill your
        customers for them and you want your customers to see the markup, check this
    e. Show billable time: If you use QuickBooks to track your billable time or your
        employee’s time, make sure this box is checked along with Include hours and

Bottom Section

  1. Display
    a. You can choose to add a discount or deposit box to the bottom of your invoice,
        under the subtotal line. When you generate an invoice you’ll be able to add
        discount and deposit details directly to the invoice.
    b. Estimate summary: Check this if you want a summary of your estimate to show
        up under your sales forms. 

   2. Message to customers on
        a. Use the drop-down box to select which sales form you are setting the default
            message for.
        b. Edit the message you would like to appear on your invoice. It’s often helpful to
             include your late payment policy and general payment instructions here. 

   3. Add footer text:
       a. The footer text appears at the very bottom of the invoice. 

Now you’ll move on to the Emails tab. This is where you create default email messages for your sales form. You can also edit the message each time you send a sales form via email. 

  1. Sales form type: Select the type of sales form that you’re editing the default email message for. 

  2. How your invoice appears in emails: When you send your sales form you can have all the details included in the email as an itemized breakdown or you can just include the total amount with a link to itemized details. You can also choose if you want to attach a PDF version of your sales form. 

  3. Standard Email:
    a. Select the sales form you are creating a standard email for.
    b. Subject: Edit the subject.
    c. Use greeting: If you want to use a greeting such as Dear or To, check Use
        Greeting and select the greeting. In the next drop-down box, select how you
        would like your customer’s name to appear after the greeting.
    d. Message to customer: Type your sales form message here.

   4. Reminder Email:
       a. Subject: Edit the subject.
       b. Use greeting: Check if you would like to use a standard greeting and select
           how you want your customer’s name to appear after the greeting.
       c. Message to customer: Type your reminder message here. 

The last tab is the Payment tab. If you are using Intuit payments to receive digital invoice payments you will select your default payment options. You can choose Bank Transfer or Credit Card. You can also change your payment options directly on the invoice. 

I recommend you preview your invoice as a PDF before saving it to make sure everything looks correct. Sometimes when you change the column width sizes the invoice labels come out funky which is why previewing it ahead of time is a good idea. Once you are happy with your invoice, press Done. 

Set Up Your Products and Services in QuickBooks

Before you can start creating invoices in QuickBooks Online, you’ll need to set up your products and services list. 

  1. Go to the Gear-> Lists-> Product and Services

  2. Click New

  3. Choose a product type. Your options are:
    a. Non-inventory part: Products that you sell that you are not tracking inventory for
        in QuickBooks Online.
    b. Service: Services that you provide.
    c. Bundle: Collections of products or services that you bill together as a single

   4. Name: Enter the name of your item as you want it to appear on your invoice.
   5. SKU: Enter to SKY code for your item. SKU codes are used for physical products.
   6. Category (optional): You do not need to assign a category for your items, but if
       you have a lot of items and it’s difficult to navigate your Products and Services list,
       then categorizing them helps you stay organized.
   7. Sales Information: Check I sell this product/service to my customers. Enter in the
      default description that you want to appear. You can also edit the description on
      your sales forms.
   8. Sale price/rate: Enter the sales price or your rate per unit for the item.
   9. Income account: Choose an the income account that relates to your item. This is
       the income account that will be credited whenever you bill someone for the item.
  10. Purchasing information: Leave unchecked.
   11. When you have completed the information click Save and close. 

Creating and Sending an Invoice in QuickBooks Online

Digital invoicing is awesome because it streamlines the billing process and ensures that all the math on your invoice is correct! You can easily see who has paid you, who hasn’t, and which invoices are overdue. Plus, your invoicing is integrated with QuickBooks Online, which means your income is updated as you create and send an invoice. 

Here’s a walkthrough of how you generate an invoice:

  1. Click on the + menu -> Invoice or click on Sales-> Invoices -> New Invoices

  2. Customer: Type in the name of the customer you are generating the invoice for. If the customer is not already in QuickBooks you will need to add them. If you have your customer’s email and address on file then QuickBooks will automatically fill in the customer email field and billing address field. 

  3. Online Payments: Check the online payment options you will accept (note: these options only work with Intuit Payments)

  4. Terms: Select the billing terms that you will give your customer. If you don’t see the terms you offer, select Add New and set up a new term. 

  5. Invoice Date: Type in the invoice date. You can backdate and future date invoices. 

  6. Due Date: The due date will automatically adjust based on your terms but you can customize the due date without impacting the terms. 

  7. Invoice Number: If you are using custom invoice numbers type in your invoice number, or let QuickBooks automatically advance the invoice number for you. 

  8. Product/Service: Type in the product or service that you are billing for. Or select one from the drop-down list. If your product or service isn’t set up yet, click Add New.

  9. Description: Text will appear in this field if you have set up a description with your product or service item. If not, you can enter in text here to describe the work completed or product. 

  10. Qty: Enter the numbers of units you are billing for. 

  11. Rate: The rate will automatically adjust based on the item. If you are charging a different rate than the default, change it here. 

  12. Amount: QuickBooks will generate this amount, which is Qty multiplied by Rate. 

  13. Add lines: Add additional lines to your invoice. 

  14. Clear all lines: Reset the activity section of your invoice.

  15. Add subtotal: Add a subtotal line to your invoice. You can add as many subtotal lines as you want. After you click Add subtotal drag the subtotal line under the lines that you want to subtotal. 

  16. Message on invoice: This will default to the message that you set up for your master form style. You can also edit the message. 

  17. Message on statement: If you send customer statements, enter in a description of this invoice which will appear on the statement.

  18. Attachments: You can attach documents to an invoice, such as contracts, work samples, or receipts. 

You can still send invoices the old school way by downloading PDFs and emailing them to your customers. Or you can send your invoices via QuickBooks Online which allows your customers to see a digital version of their invoice and pay online.

Here’s how to send an invoice via QuickBooks Online:

Via mail or as a PDF

  1. At the bottom of the window, click on Print or Preview. 

  2. A window will appear with a preview of your invoice. To print it, click Print. To save it as a PDF, click Download

Via QuickBooks Online

  1. At the bottom of the window, click Save and Send. 

  2. A window will appear with your default email message that you set up when you customized your master form template. If you’d like to edit the message, click inside the box and start typing. 

  3. Click Send and Close to send your invoice. 

Send your customers a link to the invoice

  1. If you’d rather send your customers a link to the digital invoice you generate a link inside of QuickBooks. At the bottom of the window click on the white arrow next to Send and Save. 

  2. Choose Save and Share Link.

  3. Click Copy link and close.

  4. You can now paste your link in an email to your customer. 

Viewing Open and Overdue Invoices

One of the best parts of digital invoicing is quickly seeing which invoices have been sent, viewed, and which are overdue. When you have an organized list of who owes you money it’s easy to stay on top of your payments and maintain healthy cash flow in your business. 

You can view a summary of your open and overdue invoices on your dashboard in the square tile called Invoices. Here you’ll see a bar graph and dollar value of your overdue invoices and open invoices (called Not due yet). If you click on the graph you will be taken to a list of all your invoices. 

In this window, overdue invoices always appear at the top of the list, followed by open invoices, and then paid invoices. There is also a bar graph at the top representing overdue, open, and paid invoices. Clicking on a section of the bar graph will filter the invoice list with the corresponding status. 

If you click on the status of an invoice a detailed summary of the invoice payment progress will appear. There are four stages to the lifespan of an invoice in Quickbooks:

  • Sent: The invoice has been sent to your customer.

  • Viewed: You customer has opened and viewed the digital invoice. 

  • Paid: The invoice has been paid but the money has not been deposited into your bank account. This is especially helpful when a customer pays via credit card and you are checking to see if the merchant processor has deposited the funds into your account. At this point, the invoice is considered Closed in QuickBooks. 

  • Deposited: Payment for the invoice has been deposited into your bank account. This is the final stage of your invoice’s lifespan. 

Sending Invoice Payment Reminders

You can send invoice payment reminders with just one click in QuickBooks Online. Here’s how:

  1. Go to your invoice list by either clicking on the bar graph in the Invoice tile on your dashboard or going to Sales->Invoices.

  2. Find the invoice that you want to send a reminder for. In the Actions column, click on the small black arrow next to Receive payment. 

  3. Choose Send Reminder. 

  4. Your default invoice reminder message will appear. If you’d like to edit the message or subject line click inside the box. 

  5. When you’re ready, press Send. 

If you have multiple invoices that you need to send out payment reminders for you can batch the process. 

  1. Go to your invoice list by either clicking on the bar graph in the Invoice tile on your dashboard or going to Sales->Invoices.

  2. Check the check boxes next to all the invoices you want to send a reminder for. 

  3. Click Batch Actions. 

  4. Choose Send Reminders. 

  5. Note: When you batch send reminders you do not have the option of editing the email’s subject line or message. Instead, QuickBooks will use the default reminder message you set up in your master form styles. 

Receiving Payments for Invoices

Whenever you receive a payment for an invoice, unless it’s through Intuit Payments,  you will need to log the payment in QuickBooks and close out invoice. This ensures that your list of open and overdue invoices is accurate and up to date. 

  1. Open the Receive Payment window by click on the + menu-> Receive Payment.

  2. Customer: Type in the name of the customer whose payment you are receiving. A list of their open invoice will appear. 

  3. Payment date: Enter the date of the payment

  4. Payment method (optional): Enter the payment method. If the payment method doesn’t appear on the drop-down list choose Add New and select a new payment method. 

  5. Reference no. (optional): For checks, enter the check number. For digital transactions, you can enter the transaction ID number. 

  6. Deposit to: This is the account that you are going to deposit the payment into. You have a few options here:
    a. Select Business Checking if you will be depositing this payment immediately to
        your checking account.
    b. Select Cash if you were paid by cash.
    c. Select Undeposited Funds if you plan to bundle this payment with others into a
        single deposit (for example you will go to the ATM and deposit three checks at

   7. Amount received: You can type the amount received or you can select the      
      invoices that were paid by checking the checkboxes next to the invoice. If you
      were paid for multiple invoices at once check all the invoices paid. The amount
      received box will update with the sum of the invoices checked.
       a. For partial payments, adjust the payment amount in the Payment column. For
           example, if only half of a $1,000 invoice was paid you would enter $500 in the
           Payment column. The amount received box will update with this information. 

    8. Click Save and new to record the payments.  

Here’s a shortcut to speed up the process of receiving invoices:

  1. Go to your invoice list by either clicking on the bar graph in the Invoice tile on your dashboard or going to Sales->Invoices.

  2. Find the invoice that was paid. Choose Receive Payment. 

  3. When you use this method the customer name is filled in and the invoice that is being paid is already selected. 

  4. Enter the payment date, payment method (optional), reference no (optional), and deposit to account. 

  5. Click Save and new.

Using Intuit Payment Processor for Digital Invoice Payments 

QuickBooks Online has its own build in payment processor, Intuit Payments. Signing up for Intuit Payments allows customers to pay their invoices online using a credit card or bank transfer. The payment link is embedded in the digital invoice. You can also process credit cards via an app on your mobile device with a card reader attached and set up recurring payments for your customers. 

There is no fee for ACH payments for invoices (woohoo!) and the credit card processing fee for invoice payments is 2.9% + $0.25 per transaction. 

One of the benefits of using Intuit Payments is that your customer’s payment information is synched inside of QuickBooks. You will not need to receive a payment for the invoice because QuickBooks automatically closes the invoice at the time of payment. QuickBooks will also automatically enter the merchant processing fee and record the payment deposit in your bank register. In other words, it does all the heavy lifting for you when it comes to recording your invoice payments.  

To use Intuit Payments you must apply for an account. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Gear-> Accounts and Settings.

  2. Click Payments.

  3. Click Learn More.

  4. Click Set up Payments. 

  5. Fill out the application form. 

  6. Once your account has been approved you will be able to accept digital payments on your invoices. 

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