Many businesses rely on invoices to get paid. If your business is one of them, you probably know the frustration of late customer payments.

QuickBooks Online makes invoicing easy, with tools that let you:

  • Send electronic invoices by email
  • Get paid via e-check or credit card
  • Track how long each invoice has been unpaid
  • Send payment reminder emails

But there is another tool in the QBO toolbox that helps you get paid faster: customer statements.

Plan A: The Invoice

You enter into an informal contract with a customer when you send an invoice. You expect that you will receive payment in a timely fashion for goods or services you’ve sold.

That probably works most of the time. But what happens when it doesn’t, when you’ve sent a reminder and are still waiting? And what do you do when a customer orders frequently and is confused about what’s been paid and what hasn’t?

Plan B: The Customer Statement

If you’re using QuickBooks Online, you can easily send a statement, a list of sales transactions, credits, and payments. There are three kinds of statements:

  • Balance Forward. This document emphasizes what’s currently owed by displaying it at the top. Below that is a list of sales transactions that occurred between two dates you specify.
  • Open Item. You select a date, and the statement shows all transactions that were completed before it.
  • Transaction Statement. There’s no total balance here, just the amounts billed and received for every transaction.

Setting Up Statements

 There are three way to create statements. You can:

  • Click the Plus (+) icon at the top of the screen.
  • Dispatch one while you’re in a customer record.
  • Launch a batch action from the Customer

Before you create your first statement, though, make sure QuickBooks Online is set up the way you want it to be.

  • Click the gear icon in the upper right of the screen and select Your Company Account and Settings.
  • Click the Sales tab and scroll down to Statements.
  • Click Statements to open the options there.

Creating Statements

  • Click the Plus (+) icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
  • Click Statement, which is located under Other on the far right.
  • Under Statement Type, select Balance Forward.
  • Below that is the Customer Balance Status Do you want to see customers with open balances, those who have overdue invoices, or all customers?
  • Select a Start Date and End Date.
  • Click Apply, and QuickBooks Online will display a list of matching customers.
  • Next, you can Print the statements or Save and Send.

Two Other Options

 There are two other ways to create statements. For option 1:

  • Click Sales in the left vertical toolbar.
  • Highlight the Customers tab by clicking on it.
  • Hover your cursor over a customer and click the down arrow at the very end of that line.
  • From the list that opens, select Create statement.

You can also hand-pick multiple customers to receive statements.

  • With the Customers window open, click in the box in front of your choices.
  • Click the down arrow next to Batch actions at the top of the list.
  • Select Create statements.

The mechanics of creating statements in QBO are fairly simple. But you don’t want to send an inaccurate one to a customer. Make sure your transactions are up to date before you generate any statements, and choose your date ranges carefully.

As always, we’re available to help with this task – or any other area of QuickBooks Online that might be challenging. Contact us today.

Joe Gibbons, CPA is managing partner of Gibbons & Gibbons, P.C., a Northern Virginia-based accounting and business advisory firm that specializes in working with law firms and other professional service providers.

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