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About invoices

If your customers don't pay you in full at the time you provide your service or product, or if they pay in advance, you need to track how much they owe you. Using an invoice helps you keep track of what your customers owe you (or your "accounts receivable").

What is an invoice?

In QuickBooks, an invoice is a form on which you record details about a sale to a customer who owes you money. It lists the services you're providing or the products you're selling (your "items"). It also shows the quantity and price or rate of each item. If you need to make automatic adjustments to prices (for example, discounts or markups), invoices will work for you.

Invoices are the most versatile sales form, offering more options than either sales receipts or statements. Many types of businesses use invoices, including general contractors, consultants, and mail-order firms.

Use invoices if you:

  • Prepare purchase orders or estimates and want to create a bill from them

  • Need to track how much your customers owe you

  • Receive payments in advance

  • Collect sales tax, discounts, or any other item that's calculated as a percentage of charges

  • Apply discounts or markups to item prices

  • Write detailed, multiple-line descriptions of services or products

  • Sell goods or services and want to keep a detailed record of each sale

  • Prepare estimates and then bill based on the estimate

  • Bill in installments against a purchase order with a preset total

  • Use group items or payment items

See also

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