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How to create and send invoices in QuickBooks Online

In this tutorial you will learn how to create an invoice in QuickBooks Online. These invoices can be converted from estimates or made from scratch, w

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In this tutorial you will learn how to create an invoice in QuickBooks Online. These invoices can be converted from estimates or made from scratch, which can then be sent to customers from within the platform.

We hope you find this free tutorial helpful as you explore QuickBooks Online, our best overall choice for small business accounting software. The tutorial is designed so that you can follow in your own QuickBooks account. For those who have not yet signed up for QuickBooks Online, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial or get a 50% discount for three months.

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This tutorial is part of our series of free QuickBooks tutorials. You can watch the video below or read the illustrated instructions that follow.

How to convert an estimate to an invoice in QuickBooks Online

You have already learned how to make an estimate. Now we’ll teach you how to convert that estimate to an invoice. If you want to create an invoice without first creating an estimate, go to the next section to learn how to create an invoice from scratch.

From the left menu bar, move to Sales, and then click Clients as shown below.

Arrow to navigate to clients in QuickBooks Online.

Go to Clients in QuickBooks Online


From the customers screen below the Transaction list tab, scroll down to find the customer to whom you have issued an estimate, and click on their name to display a list of customer activities. Then open the existing estimate by clicking on Treasure or anywhere on the gray entry line. In the screenshot below we want Estimate no. 1005 converts to an invoice.

Find the estimate you want to convert to invoice.

Find the estimate you want to convert to invoice

QuickBooks Online now opens the estimation screen you learned about in the last tutorial, How to Create Quotes, Bids, and Estimates in QuickBooks Online.

Estimating screen saver in QuickBooks Online.

Convert estimate screen into QuickBooks Online


Click on Create invoice at the top right of the screen to convert the estimate to an invoice.

Convert an existing estimate into an invoice in QuickBooks Online.

Convert an existing estimate into an invoice in QuickBooks Online

Do you miss Create Invoice Button?

The status of the invoice shown below the Customer field in the upper left corner must be either Pending or Accepted for the Create invoice button to be available.

You can choose to convert the entire estimate to an invoice or only a portion of the invoice. This is useful for progress billing on larger tasks. Choose which part of the estimate to convert to an invoice and then click on the green Create invoice button.

Select the portion of the estimate to convert to an invoice

Select the portion of the estimate to convert to an invoice

After clicking on the Create invoice button, QuickBooks Online will open the create invoice screen with all the fields automatically filled in from the estimate information. Then you can make any changes you want.

Invoice screen in QuickBooks Online.

Invoice screen in QuickBooks Online


If you do not send the invoice by email, click on the green Save button at the bottom right of the screen. To email the invoice, click Save and send. If you click Save and sendQuickBooks will automatically create an email based on the default settings you’ve created in our QuickBooks Online tutorial tutorial.

Email invoice template that you can customize before sending your invoice by email.

Email invoice template that you can customize before sending your invoice by email

You can customize the default email message for this invoice if you wish. The invoice is previewed on the right side of the email message and will be automatically attached. Click on the green Send and close button when you are ready to send the email. You will then receive a notification that the invoice has been successfully sent to your customer.


How to create an invoice from scratch in QuickBooks Online

You do not have to make an estimate to produce an invoice. If you do not need an estimate, you can create a new invoice by following these steps.

Step 1. Navigate to Create Invoice

Click New at the top of the left menu bar of your QuickBooks Online dashboard and then select Invoice in the first column below Clients.

Click Plus (+) sign New and select Invoice.

Click + New and select Invoice

Step 2: Enter new billing information

The create invoice screen should appear so that you can provide the necessary information for the invoice. This screen (shown in the animated GIF below) is very similar to the create estimate screen you learned about in the last tutorial.

Short video on Create Invoice Screen in QuickBooks Online.

Create billing screen in QuickBooks Online

The exact fields that will appear for your invoice depend on the settings you have selected in How to customize invoices, but below are the most common fields that you will need to complete:

  • Client: Select the customer and work, if applicable, who will receive the invoice. If it’s a new customer, click Add new from the customer drop-down list and provide the necessary customer information as shown in How to set up customers in QuickBooks Online. Once a customer is selected, the fields for email, billing and delivery addresses, terms and location should be filled in automatically.
  • Invoice date: The invoice date must be the date you want to send this invoice.
  • Date of service: Enter the date you provided the service or shipped the product.
  • Product / Service: Select the product or service you provided from your list of products and services. If it’s a new product / service, select Add new and provides all the necessary information as explained in the previous tutorial, How to set up the products and services list in QuickBooks Online. Once a product or service is selected, the fields for description, rate, tax and class should be filled automatically.
  • Decay: This field is automatically calculated when converting from an estimate or can be entered when an invoice is created. It shows the portion of the total amount currently owed for this product or service. This must be the full amount, unless it is a partial invoice.
  • Amount: Enter the quantity of each product or service sold. Once the quantity is entered, the amount will be automatically calculated as quantity times rate.

If you want to preview or print the invoice before saving or sending it, click the Print or Preview button in the bottom menu bar of the billing screen and then select the Print or Preview drop-down list as shown below.

Short video on Printing or previewing an invoice in QuickBooks Online.

Print or preview an invoice in QuickBooks Online.

When you click Print or Preview, you should see what your invoice looks like. Below is an example invoice we created for our fictional company, Paul’s Plumbing.

Sample invoice created in QuickBooks Online.

Sample invoice created in QuickBooks Online

Step 3: Click Save or Save and Send

Once you have provided all the required information and you are satisfied with the invoice, click Save or Save and send. If you need to send the invoice immediately, select Save and send and proceed as you did in Step 4 to convert an invoice of an estimate.

Why do I need to create invoices in QuickBooks?

When you create an invoice in QuickBooks, your financial statements reflect the revenue from the sale, as well as the receivables you owe the customer. QuickBooks Online will track your accounts receivable and provide tools to help collect payments from your customers, including built-in payment links and automated reminder emails.

QuickBooks Online invoices are tracked so you know how much each customer owes you and when payment is due. When a customer immediately pays for a service or product, a proof of sale must be issued to them instead of an invoice.

Invoices can be generated in QuickBooks by converting existing estimates into invoices. If you have not provided an estimate to the customer, invoices can be created from scratch.

Exit

Congratulations on learning how to create an invoice in QuickBooks Online. You can now create invoices from scratch or by converting accepted invoices. The next tutorial in our QuickBooks Online Training Course is How to Receive Payments in QuickBooks Online.

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