Fixing Invoice Mistakes with QuickBooks 2005

You use the QuickBooks invoice form to bill customers for the goods that you sell. No one is perfect, so you don't need to get worked up over mistakes that you make while entering information in invoices. If you do, however, here are some ways to fix common errors.

If the invoice is still displayed on-screen

If the invoice is still displayed on-screen, you can just move the cursor to the box or button that's wrong and then fix the mistake. Because most of the bits of information that you enter in the Create Invoices window are short and sweet, you can easily replace the contents of some fields by typing over whatever's already there. To start all over again, just click the Clear button. To save the invoice after you've made your changes, click Save & New.

If you need to insert a line in the middle of the invoice, right-click to display a shortcuts menu and choose Insert Line or Delete Line from the shortcut menu that appears.

If the invoice isn't displayed on-screen

If the invoice isn't displayed on-screen but you haven't yet printed it, you can use the Next and Previous buttons to page through the invoices. When you get to the one with the error, simply fix the error as described in the preceding section. If you make an error fixing the invoice, you can click the Revert button to go back to the saved invoice. The Revert button replaces the Clear button when you're viewing an existing invoice — that is, an invoice that you've already saved.

If you've printed the invoice, you also can make the sort of change described in the preceding paragraphs. For example, you can page through the invoices until you find the one (now printed) that has the error. And you can change the error and print the invoice again. You may not want to go this route, however, if you've already sent out the invoice. You may want to consider fixing the invoice by issuing either a credit memo (if the original invoice overcharged) or another invoice (if the original invoice undercharged). The reason you might want to issue a credit memo or another invoice is that life gets awfully messy if you or your customer has multiple copies of the same invoice floating around and causing confusion.

Deleting an invoice

You also can delete invoices. Procedurally, deleting an invoice is easy. You just display the invoice in the Create Invoices window and choose Edit --> Delete Invoice. When QuickBooks asks you to confirm your deletion, click Yes. But read the following paragraph first. You may not want to delete the invoice. . . .

Even though deleting invoices is easy, it isn't something that you should do casually or for fun. Deleting an invoice is okay if you've just created it; only you have seen it, and you haven't yet printed it. In this case, no one needs to know that you've made a mistake. It's your secret. But the rest of the time — even if you've created an invoice that you don't want later — you should keep a copy of the invoice in the QuickBooks system. By doing so, you have a record that the invoice existed, which usually makes it easier to answer questions later.

"But how do I correct my books if I leave the bogus invoice?" you ask. Good question. To correct your financial records for the invoice that you don't want to count anymore, simply void the invoice. The invoice remains in the QuickBooks system, but QuickBooks doesn't count it because it loses its quantity and amount information. Good news — voiding an invoice is just as simple as deleting one. Just display the invoice in the Create Invoices window and then choose Edit --> Void Invoice.

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