Chapter 3. Setting Up Customers and Jobs

You might be fond of strutting around your sales department proclaiming, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something!” As it turns out, you can increase your self-satisfaction by quoting that tired adage in your accounting department, too. Whether you sell products or services, the first sale to a new customer can initiate a flurry of activity, including creating a new customer in QuickBooks, assigning a job for the work, and the ultimate goal of all this effort—invoicing your customer (sending him or her an invoice, which shows the services and products that you sold and how much the customer owes) to collect some income.

The people who buy what you sell have plenty of nicknames: customer, client, consumer, patron, patient, purchaser, donor, member, shopper, and so on. QuickBooks throws out the thesaurus and applies one term, customer, to every person or organization that buys from you. To be precise, a customer in QuickBooks is a record of information about your real-life customer. QuickBooks takes the data you enter for customers and fills in invoices and other sales forms with your customers’ names, addresses, payment terms, and other information. If you play it safe and define a credit limit, QuickBooks even reminds you when an order puts customers over their limits.

To QuickBooks, a job is simply a record of a real-life project that you agreed, perhaps begged, to perform for a customer—remodeling a kitchen, designing an advertising ...

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