How to Create and Send Invoices in QuickBooks Online

Cody Cromwell
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What Is an Invoice?

An invoice is a financial message that you send to a customer to reflect your agreement to sell a product or service. In business, you create a sale and then send an invoice, usually within a day or two of the sale’s date, to record the details of your agreement.

When you've discussed a transaction, you'll give the customer an invoice number. The invoice's information includes the date, price, and who you're sending it to. The person or department who will be paying you for the product or service is listed as the payee.

Invoices are most often prepared by companies but can also be prepared by individuals.

It’s important to send all invoices for same transaction at same time to avoid confusion and any misunderstandings.

Why Should I Create Invoices in QuickBooks?

Before you can send invoices, you must first create them. The QuickBooks automatically creates invoices based on the transaction you’re working on and once you’re ready to send, you simply need to save them in the manner that’s easiest for you.

However, if you’re not working on the larger items, you may sometimes create multiple invoices for the same transaction within QuickBooks. In that case, you’re going to want to be able to send invoices easily and efficiently. To do that, you’re going to need to be able to create and send special invoice templates.

What Are Special Invoice Templates?

Special invoice templates are just that – special. They are used to label some of the larger transactions that QuickBooks typically creates similar invoices for. Taking the time to create an invoice template for items like running printing costs, mailing costs, or remote access services can help you streamline your invoicing and save time.

What Are the Benefit of Using Special Invoice Templates?

How to Convert an Estimate to an Invoice in QuickBooks Online

If you’re managing an accounting system in QuickBooks Online and your client requires you to send out a base estimate, you can convert this to an invoice. This is a major time saver.

To do it, follow these steps:

{1}. In the Create Invoices window, go to Invoice Options > Accounts Receivable.
{2}. Enter the invoice type and customer information.
{3}. Click (+) and change the Bill To field to a customer you make regular sales to and check the customer’s history to note the taxes and quantity.
{4}. Go to Create Invoice Items – Item.
{5}. For the Type, choose Estimate.
{6}. Select the line items on your estimate that you want to include on the invoice.
{7}. Click OK.
{8}. Repeat steps 4 through 7 for the other lines.
{9}. Click Save & Close at the bottom of the Create Invoices window.
{10}. Go to Create Invoice at the top of the Create Invoices window.
{11}. Insert a new Invoice if you haven’t created one already.
{12}. Under Payment Terms, select Other.
{13}. Click the Down arrow next to Payment Schedule.
{14}. Select Create Invoice at the top.

Open the Existing Estimate

Select the Service and click invoices.

Click on Create Invoice and select the service.

Select the Other or miscellaneous option that shows up and then click next.

Convert the Estimate to an Invoice

Before you share your new estimate with the client, you might want to convert it to an invoice to make sure everything looks just right. Find the File“Send Invoices command in the QuickBooks Ribbon, select the estimate from which you want to send the invoices and select Send Invoices. QuickBooks will prompt you to select a QuickBooks Invoice from the list of entities. Select the estimate instead. QuickBooks will automatically place the description, notes, time, date, and cost on the invoice and the client name, address, and contact person on the customer information.

Convert the Invoice to a Bill

To create a bill from the invoice, select the Bill from the drop-down menu in the Send Invoices command. Type your name and your company’s name as the bill recipient. Change the balance field to 54 instead of the estimate balance. QuickBooks will automatically create the due date, date the bill was created, payee, and review date.

How Do I Create an Invoice in QuickBooks Online?

To create an invoice in QuickBooks Online, a payment must first be set up and the payment terms must be selected. Once you've done that, you are ready to create the invoice.

Click on the 'invoice' tab in your QuickBooks Online account, which you can access through the top toolbar. You should see a list of your invoices in this drop-down menu. The top right hand corner should say 'Create'. Clicking this will allow you to access all of your invoices.

This will allow you to make adjustments to your invoices. You can change the invoice number, change the date, change the status, change the customer or payer. You can also click on the invoice amount field to reveal the Edit button.

When you click on the Edit button, you will be able to add lines to your invoices. This is also where you can attach documents or sometimes even billable expenses. There is a line for each line item in your transaction. If you have multiple charges, you can add them into more than one line on the invoices.

The last thing you need to do is check your invoice for accuracy. This allows you to preview your invoice and make sure the charges and totals make sense. Once you are happy with your invoice, click save.

Navigate to Create Invoices

Click the Invoices icon on the top menu bar.

Sign in and choose Create Invoices from the drop down menu.

Enter New Invoice Information

When you create a new invoice in QuickBooks Online, you have a few choices when it comes to the invoice amount. You can enter a fixed amount, or you can enter an amount that varies based on the amount paid. An itemized invoice is one where the invoice amount varies from time to time according to how much you’ve been paid for each item. In the past, you had to calculate the desired amount for each item by multiplying the item’s cost by the number of units ordered and distributing the cost amount to each item. However, new features in QuickBooks Online make calculating distribution amounts easier than ever for itemized invoices.

When preparing new QuickBooks Online invoices, you can select the itemized or fixed-amount invoice type. A fixed-amount invoice lists a single amount for each invoice item regardless of how much the customer pays. Itemized invoices are typically used for customer invoices when you’re selling goods and reselling the goods to the customer over the course of several transactions.

Print or Preview the Invoice

QuickBooks Online offers you the ability to preview and print your invoices. When you start generating an invoice, you will see an icon in the toolbar to the right of your invoice. Directly below that icon is a preview box. If you project has been fully set up in QuickBooks Online, the preview box will show you a sample of the invoice. If not, it will default to show you a blank invoice. You can choose to print or save the invoice by clicking on the corresponding toolbar icon.

You will receive an email notification when the invoice arrives at your customer’s email. Please be sure to set up your email notification properly and on a short enough interval.

Email the invoice

To a Customers, Vendors, or Employees.

QuickBooks allows you to email both your customers and your vendors using the Invoice Email function. You’re going to receive an email to your inbox so check your Spam folder also!

Note**: It’s often best to email your invoices when they are necessary instead of writing letters, since they will have useful information such as the delivery, return, and shipping address on them which can be useful when you are requesting a shipment to your destination.

For the purposes of this post, we are going to focus on the emailing of invoices to your customers.

Once you have created your invoice, click the Invoice tab and choose the Email Invoices action among the functions on the top of the screen. You will be redirected to the following screen.

Your customers will receive an email invitation from QuickBooks asking them to download their invoice. You can choose whether you would like to include any additional information or the amount of the invoice in this email. After clicking on the Send Invoices button, you will be taken to another page.

From this page you can select which companies that you would like to email. You can choose to view an alphabetical listing of all the companies you have a record of in QuickBooks, or you can sort by Account Name, Account Type, or Location.

Save and Email an Invoice in QuickBooks Online

If you’ve ever created an invoice in QuickBooks Online, you likely know that you can’t save it in the same way you would save your reports or other documents. You can’t go to the QuickBooks Invoice Center, click File>Save As, and save the new invoice as a blank version. Instead, the invoice is automatically saved as a draft.

What does that mean for you? It means that you have to decide whether or not you want to share the invoice with your customer. If you do decide to share the invoice, your customer can open it and review it. They can then sign or modify the invoice, or click Delete button if they don’t want to pay. If you don’t want to share the invoice, you can check the box at the top of the invoice and this will automatically turn the invoice into a draft. They won’t be able to open the invoice, view it in detail, or edit it.

You can also delete the invoice by right clicking it in the New Invoices window, selecting Delete Invoice, and confirming the deletion.

Wrap Up

QuickBooks Online allows you to create invoices and then send them out to customers or workers. You can also create invoices directly from Email, to which you’ve created a paperless job. In the description portion of your email, QuickBooks will include the invoice amount and either the due date or date by which you need the job completed. To the right of those fields, you’ll see the drop down menu for creating an invoice, or you can click Add Invoice. If you need to change an invoice, just select that invoice and click Edit.

Create Invoices directly from Email

If you would like to create an invoice directly from an email, click on the Customer:Job drop down menu and choose Create Invoice. You’ll be asked to provide the company name and address. You can also choose the currency you’re invoicing in.

When you enter the quantity and price of each item, QuickBooks will automatically calculate the total cost. You can add a shipping charge of 25% for shipping items outside your state of residence. If you are shipping more than one item, you can set up a separate invoice for each item by clicking the Add Additional Invoice button.