In between performing work and collecting payments, you have to keep track of who owes you how much (known as accounts receivable) and when the money is due. Sure, you can tack on finance charges to light a fire under your customer’s accounting departments, but finance charges are rarely enough to make up for the time and effort you spend collecting overdue payments. Far more preferable are customers who pay on time without reminders, gentle or otherwise.
Because companies need money to keep things running, you’ll have to spend some time keeping track of your accounts receivable and the payments that come in. In this chapter, you’ll learn the ins and outs of tracking what customers owe, receiving the payments from them, and dinging them if they don’t pay on time.
You don’t have to do anything special to create accounts receivable. They’re the by-product of billing and invoicing your customers. But receivables that are growing long in the tooth are the first signs of future collection problems. Some companies like to check the state of their accounts receivable every day, and with the Customer Center and built-in QuickBooks reports, you have two ways to do that in record time.
The Customer Center gives you a quick snapshot of the balance each customer owes, as Figure 9-1 demonstrates. (If you don’t see it, click Customer Center in the icon bar.)
Aging reports are reports that tell you ...