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QuickBooks 2005: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore

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Chapter 8. Invoicing

Telling your customers how much they owe you (called accounts receivable) and how soon they must pay is an important first step in accounting. Because if money isn't following into your organization from outside sources, eventually you'll close up shop, closing your QuickBooks company file with it.

Although businesses use several different sales forms to bill customers, the invoice is the most popular, and, unsurprisingly, customer billing is often called invoicing. This chapter begins by explaining the difference between invoices, statements, and sales receipts—each of which is a way of billing customers in QuickBooks—and when each is most appropriate. Then, you'll learn how to fill in the QuickBooks versions of these sales forms, and how to get those forms into your customers' hands.

Choosing the Right Type of Form

In QuickBooks, you use three different sales forms to document what you sell, and each form has its own capabilities and limitations. Invoices can handle any billing task you can think of, so an invoice is the best choice if you have any doubts about which one to use. Table 8-1 summarizes what each of the three sales forms can do. The sections that follow explain what each form can and can't do in detail and when to choose each one.

Table 8-1.  Table 8-1: Sales receipts and statements have limitations, but an invoice always works.

Action

Sales receipt

Statement

Invoice

Track customer payments and balances

 

Yes

Yes

Accept payments in advance ...

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