How to Prepare an Invoice in QuickBooks Online

By Elaine Marmel

You enter invoices in QBO to inform customers that they owe you money for goods you sold them or services you performed for them. In QBO, you can prepare invoices and send them using email or using the U.S. Postal Service.

When you prepare an invoice, you include information about what you’re selling to the customer by including items on the invoice. You create items for both services and products using the Products and Services list. To enter an invoice, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Transactions→Sales to display the Sales Transactions page.

  2. Click the New Transaction button and, from the list that appears, click Invoice.

    QBO displays the Invoice window shown here.

    The header and the Details portion of the Invoice window.

    The header and the Details portion of the Invoice window.
  3. Choose a customer.

    QBO displays the customer’s mailing address, payment terms, invoice date, due date, and Send Later option. The figure also shows a Crew # field that appears because the invoice was customized.

    If a pane appears on the right side, it displays transactions you might want to link to the invoice you’re creating.

  4. Double-check the Invoice Date, Due Date, and Terms, and make an appropriate selection in the Send Later check box.

    If you want to send invoices via email, you can set up your preferences in Company Settings; click the Gear icon beside your company name and choose Company Settings.

  5. Fill in the products and services the customer is buying:

    1. Click in the Product/Service column and select an appropriate item for the invoice you are creating.

      You can type characters in the Product/Service column and QBO will help you find the item.

    2. Optionally, edit the Description column for the selected item.

    3. Use the Qty, Rate, and Amount columns to supply the quantity of the selected item you are selling, the rate you’re charging for each item, and the amount the customer should pay. When you supply any two of the Qty, Rate, and Amount values, QuickBooks calculates the third value.

    4. If appropriate, check the Tax box.

    5. Repeat Steps a to d to add more items to the invoice.

  6. You can scroll down in the Invoice window, as shown here, and select a sales tax rate and, if appropriate, a discount amount or percent.

    Use the bottom of the Invoice window to handle sales tax, discount information, messages, and attac

    Use the bottom of the Invoice window to handle sales tax, discount information, messages, and attachments.

    You see the Sales Tax Rate option on invoices only if you have turned on the Sales Tax feature by choosing Sales Tax→Set Up Sales Tax Rates.

    You can also apply a discount to the invoice if you have turned on the company preference to display the Discount box; type a message to the customer; type information in the Statement Memo box, which QBO transfers directly to any statement you create in the future; and attach an electronic document to the invoice.

    If in the Company Settings dialog box, you turn on the preference to display the Deposit box at the bottom of the invoice, you can use it to reduce the amount of the invoice by the deposit amount paid by the customer.

    You can control whether the discount is a pre-tax or after-tax discount by clicking the switch that appears to the left of the Discount and Sales Tax Rate boxes. Clicking the switch swaps the position of the two boxes; when the Discount box appears on top, the discount is pre-tax.

  7. To attach an electronic document to the invoice, click in the Attachments box and navigate to the document or drag and drop the electronic copy into the Attachments box.

  8. At the bottom of the window, you can

    • Cancel the invoice or clear the window and start again.

    • Click Print or Preview to print or preview the invoice.

    • Click Make Recurring to set up the invoice as a recurring invoice you intend to send on a schedule you specify.

    • Click Customize to customize the invoice form.

    • Click Save to assign an invoice number and save the invoice in QBO.

    • Click Save and Send to assign an invoice number, save the invoice, and email a copy to the customer.

    A window appears, in which you can write an email message and look at a preview of the invoice. After you send your invoice, the email time and date-stamp information appears in the header.

    You can click the arrow beside Save and Send and then choose Save and New to save the invoice and start a new one, or choose Save and Close to save the invoice and close the Invoice window. The option you choose will appear the next time you display the Invoice window. In fact, in any transaction window, the choice you make appears the next time you open the window.