This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create an invoice in QuickBooks Online. These invoices can be converted from estimates or made from scratch, which can then be emailed to customers from within the platform.
We hope you find this free tutorial helpful as you explore QuickBooks Online, our best overall pick for small business accounting software. The tutorial is designed for you to follow along in your own QuickBooks account. To those who haven’t subscribed to QuickBooks Online yet, you may sign up for a 30-day free trial or get a 50% off for three months.
How To Convert an Estimate to an Invoice in QuickBooks Online
You’ve already learned how to create an estimate. Now, we’ll teach you how to convert that estimate to an invoice. If you want to create an invoice without creating an estimate first, skip to the next section to learn how to create an invoice from scratch.
Step 1: Navigate to Customers
Step 2: Find the Estimate
From the customers screen under the Transaction List tab, scroll down to find the customer you issued an estimate to, and click on their name to display a list of customer activities. Then, open the existing estimate by clicking on Estimate or anywhere on the grayed entry line. In the screenshot below, we want to convert Estimate No. 1005 to an invoice.
QuickBooks Online now opens the estimate screen that you learned about in the last tutorial, How To Create Quotes, Bids, and Estimates in QuickBooks Online.
Step 3: Convert the Estimate to an Invoice
Click on Create invoice on the upper right hand of the screen to convert the estimate to an invoice.
Missing Create invoice button?
The status of the invoice shown under 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 jobs. Choose what portion of the estimate to convert to an invoice and then click the green Create invoice button.
After clicking the Create invoice button, QuickBooks Online will open the create invoice screen with all the fields populated automatically from the estimate information. Then, you can make any changes that you wish.
Step 4: Click Save or Save and Send
If you aren’t emailing the invoice, click on the green Save button on the lower right side of the screen. If you want to send the invoice through email, click Save and Send. If you click Save and Send, QuickBooks will create an email automatically based on the default settings you created in our tutorial on How To Set Up Messages in QuickBooks Online.
You can customize the default email message for this invoice if you wish. The invoice is previewed to the right of the email message and will be attached automatically. Click the green Send and close button when you’re ready to send the email. Then, you’ll receive a notification that the invoice was emailed to your customer successfully.
How To Create an Invoice From Scratch in QuickBooks Online
You don’t need to create an estimate to produce an invoice. If you don’t 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 under Customers.
Step 2: Enter New Invoice Information
The create invoice screen should appear for you to 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.
The exact fields that will display for your invoice depend upon the settings you selected in How to Customize Invoices, but below are the most common fields you’ll have to complete:
- Customer: Select the customer and job, if applicable, that will receive the invoice. If this is a new customer, click Add new from the customer drop-down box 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 shipping addresses, terms, and location should populate automatically.
- Invoice date: The invoice date should be the date you wish to send this invoice.
- Service date: Enter the date you provided the service or shipped the product.
- Product/Service: Select the product or service that you provided from your list of products and services. If this is a new Product/Service, choose Add new and provide all the necessary information as explained in the prior tutorial, How To Set Up the Products and Services List in QuickBooks Online. Once a product or service has been selected, the fields for description, rate, tax, and class should populate automatically.
- Due: This field is calculated automatically when converting from an estimate or can be input when creating an invoice. It shows the portion of the total amount that’s due currently for this product or service. This should be the full amount unless this is a partial invoice.
- Quantity: Enter the quantity of each product or service sold. Once the quantity is entered, the amount will be calculated automatically as quantity times rate.
If you wish to preview or print the invoice before saving or sending it, click the Print or Preview button in the bottom menu bar of the invoice screen and then select the Print or Preview drop-down as shown below.
When you click Print or Preview, you should see what your invoice looks like. Below is a sample invoice we created for our fictitious company, Paul’s Plumbing.
Step 3: Click Save or Save and Send
Once you provide all the required information and you’re satisfied with the invoice, click Save or Save and Send. If you need to send the invoice immediately, select Save and Send and continue as you did in Step 4 of converting an invoice from an estimate.
Why Should I Create Invoices in QuickBooks?
When you create an invoice in QuickBooks, your financial statements reflect the income from the sale, as well as the receivable owed to you from the customer. QuickBooks Online will track your accounts receivable and provide tools to help collect payment from your customers, including built-in payment links and automatic reminder emails.
QuickBooks Online invoices are tracked so that you know how much each customer owes you and when payment is due. When a customer pays for a service or product immediately, they should be issued a sales receipt instead of an invoice.
Invoices can be generated in QuickBooks by converting existing estimates into invoices. If you didn’t provide the customer with an estimate, invoices can be created from scratch.
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.