This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
We’re pleased to present this guide for Sunrise Accounting, our best free accounting software and one of the leading small business accounting software. This course, the second in our free Sunrise tutorials, covers how to create invoices in Sunrise Accounting. We’ll also show you how to add and manage customers, set up your product list, send invoices, receive checks to apply to open invoices, and customize an invoice template—a feature available to Sunrise Plus users.
You’ll benefit most from this tutorial by following along in your own Sunrise account. If you haven’t yet subscribed to the platform, you can sign up for a free account or a free trial of Sunrise Plus for 14 days.
In the news:
Sunrise by Lendio has been renamed Lendio Accounting.
Step 1: Add and Manage Customers
With Sunrise, you can create a contact manually or import your contacts in bulk. Importing contacts is a great method if you’re switching over from a different accounting program as it’ll save you time in the long run.
The first step in importing contacts in Sunrise is to create your file for import. Sunrise will only import comma-separated values (CSV) files, so your contact list must be exported in CSV format. Detailed instructions on how to generate this CSV file can likely be found within the help feature of your former accounting software.
Once you have your contacts in a CSV file, follow these steps to import them into Sunrise:
Step 1: Access the Contacts page from the My Business tab on the left navigation menu.
Step 2: Click the More drop-down list.
Step 3: Click Choose CSV file and select the CSV file saved on your computer.
Sunrise will recognize the fields in your CSV file automatically. Once your file has been successfully imported, you’ll see a message that indicates the import was completed.
Add Contacts Manually
Step 1: From the Contacts page, click the green Create Contact button at the upper right of the screen.
Step 2: The next screen will show three tabs: Contact, Address, and More. Fill in the fields for each as described below.
- You’ll need to complete the following info for each section:
- Contact: Business or contact’s name, country, phone number, and whether the contact is a vendor or customer―it’s possible to select both
- Address: Street address, city, state, and ZIP code
- More: Fax number, website, tax ID, currency, payment terms, email attachment delivery mode, and tax-exempt option
- Step 3: When you’re done entering contact information, click Save. Note that all fields are optional except Contact and Country.
Step 2: Customize an Invoice Template
Sunrise Plus users can customize an invoice template by making changes to the language or appearance. This process can also be used to make brand-specific invoices so that you can represent your brand to customers each time you interact with them. Follow the steps below to make changes to your current template or create an entirely new template.
Step 1: In the left menu bar, click My Business.
Step 2: Select Invoice Templates.
Step 3: On the Templates page, select New Template to customize the template.
Step 4: Change the Template Name field if desired.
Step 5: Select the Appearance tab and complete the fields. These fields include:
- Font: You can change the font, increase or decrease the size, or select different font colors on the invoice.
- Header: The font type, size, color, and weight can be changed here.
- Borders and Margins: Sunrise allows you to customize both a primary and secondary border color. You can also adjust all of the margins.
- Logo: Indicate the logo alignment—center, left, or right—and upload an alternative logo if desired, which will overwrite your default logo.
- Background: Customize the background color and image. The PDF version will always have a white background.
Step 6: Select the Language tab and complete the fields. This isn’t a great design by Sunrise because of the excessive scrolling required to access each of the sections but just click on each field to change the language.
As shown in the image below, the fields include:
- Alternative Organization: Overwrite your default values by entering an alternative organization name, phone, and email.
- Alternative Settings: Customize the tax label here by entering a name for the tax you collect on your invoices.
- Email Messaging: You can customize email messaging for invoices, credit notes, invoice reminders, estimates, quotes, order confirmations, and recurring invoice update confirmations.
Step 7: When finished, click the Save button.
Step 3: Set Up Your Product List
Since product information is used for invoicing, setting up your product list is a crucial step in the invoicing process. To do this:
Step 1: In the left menu bar, click on My Business.
Step 2: Select Products.
Step 3: Click the green Create product button in the upper right corner.
Step 4: Fill out the following fields to create a product:
- Name of the product or service: Choose a name that’s memorable and distinct so you can select from the choices on a drop-down menu easily.
- Description: This data will be inserted into the invoice line item automatically if any information is entered in this optional field, but it can be overwritten if necessary. It’s fine to leave this field blank as well.
- Revenue category: This defaults according to your Chart of Accounts setup. Money can be applied to your general sales account or another tracking account that you have set up.
- Tax: If Normal Sales Tax is displayed, the system default will be inserted. If the item requires a special tax rate, use the drop-down menu to select from your tax rates.
- Prices: First, set up a rate in the Organization’s default currency. If you have customers who want to be billed in their home currency, you can set additional rates. When creating the invoice, you need to specify the currency before adding line items for the automation to work.
- SKU/Product code: You can enter an internal tracking number here, which is only visible to you.
- Image: If you’re selling physical products, this is where an image can be added.
- Archived: If the product isn’t currently offered, checking this box will stop it from displaying in the select menu.
Step 5: When you’re finished, click the green Save product button.
Sunrise cannot track the quantity of products purchased, owned, or sold. If you buy and sell inventory, you should explore other small business accounting software that can track inventory and calculate cost of goods sold (COGS).
Step 4: Create Invoices
Step 1: On the left menu bar, click on Income.
Step 2: Select Invoices.
Step 3: Click the green Create Invoice button in the upper right corner.
Step 4: Complete the requested information, as described below:
- Add Customer: If the customer has already been imported or created in the system, select from the list in the drop-down menu. If the customer is new, click + Create New.
- Template: You can change the template to use for this invoice here.
- Invoice Number: Invoice numbers can be entered either sequentially or manually. This can be adjusted from within settings.
- Invoice Date: The system will assign today’s date automatically, but you can change it if needed.
- Payment Due: If the customer has its own default due date, it’ll display here. Otherwise, you can change it.
- Reminders & Fees: Toggle this to On to enable payment reminders and late fees.
- Add a Message: You have the option to add a custom message for your customer.
- Add Product or Service: Click the drop-down menu to add a product or service. If products have already been imported or created in the system, you can select them. However, if adding products or services for a new customer, click Create New and complete the steps that follow.
- Description: This is an optional field for a brief description of the product or service. The information will fill in automatically when adding the product that has already been set up in Step 3. Any changes you make to the description will be used only on this invoice and not on future invoices.
- Quantity: This can refer to either the number of physical products or the number of hours in an hourly rate.
- Price: Enter the desired price for the product or service here.
- Allow Gratuity: Click on this switch to be able to allow gratuity on your invoices.
- Currency: When working with currencies, you should set the currency type before you start filling out the line items.
- Attach PDF or Image: Sunrise allows you to attach a file or image to supplement your invoice.
Step 5: Click either Preview, Save as draft, or Review and send.
Include Online Payment Option for Customers
Sunrise allows you to add a variety of online payment options for your customers. You can do this directly from the invoice by clicking on the Accept online payments section. In addition to Stripe, Square, and PayPal, you can accept credit cards and bank payments via SunrisePay. To accept credit cards with SunrisePay, follow the steps shown in the image below:
Send or Print an Invoice
You can send Sunrise Accounting invoices via email, create and copy a shareable link, and print or save it as a PDF. Also, you can mark the invoice as sent, even if you haven’t done so yet.
To send or print an invoice in Sunrise, click on the green Send drop-down menu in the upper right corner of the invoice screen. Select from these options:
- Send as email: Selecting this option will bring up a pop-up box. You’ll then be able to send the invoice via email to your customers through Sunrise. From this window, you can modify the email recipient, subject line, and message. The email will include a PDF attachment of the invoice.
- Copy shareable link: This option creates a link to the Sunrise Customer Portal. Copying the link allows you to share it with your customers, rather than sending it as a PDF.
- Print/Send as PDF: When you click on this option, Sunrise will ask if you want to mark the invoice as sent. Click either No or Mark as sent, and then print the PDF.
- Mark as sent: You can also select the option to Mark the invoice as sent in this section.
Step 5: Receive Checks & Apply Against Open Invoices
Recording a check payment in Sunrise can be done with a few simple steps. First, you’ll want to add checks as a payment method. You can do this by following these steps:
Step 1: In the left menu bar, click the settings wheel next to your company name.
Step 2: Select App Settings.
Step 3: Click the Payment methods tab.
Step 4: Click on the green Add payment method button in the upper right corner.
Step 5: Use the drop-down menu to select the payment method that you want to add. In the example below, we show how to add checks as a payment method.
Once you have added checks as a payment method, you’re ready to receive checks and apply them against open invoices. This can be achieved with the following steps:
Step 1: From the Invoices window, select the invoice that your customer has paid.
Step 2: In the Action column, click the drop-down menu next to Send Invoice.
Step 3: Select Enter Payment.
Step 4: Enter the payment date, amount of payment, and the account where the payment will be deposited.
Step 5: When finished, click the green Enter Payment button.
You have now learned how to create invoices in Sunrise Accounting, as well as how to customize invoice templates, set up your products list, send invoices, and receive payments. The next tutorial in our Sunrise course is How To Track and Pay Bills in Sunrise Accounting, which includes how to add and manage vendors, add and classify expenses, and track unpaid bills.