QuickBooks templates can not only help you get your work done faster, but they can also help you gather data so you can make better business decisions and strategize more effectively.
In the case of saving time, you can have different templates for different situations, customers or vendors. You may customers requiring certain information appear on an invoice or you may want an invoice for a fixed price look different than a time & materials invoice. Or if you order the same part from different vendors, you can have a customized template for each vendor, so that appropriate information automatically appears.
While I love saving time, I also love the power templates give you to mine your QuickBooks data so that you can make more informed decisions. This often involves using Custom Fields.
To see what forms are available for customization, open the Lists menu and select Templates to open this window:
The only one not listed is the Payroll template and here’s my article on how to use that.
While Intuit won’t let you actually customize their originals, you can copy one and edit from there.
When you edit a template, you see the editing options on the left, and a preview of your invoice will display on the right. As you make modifications to the template, the preview will change to reflect them.
The first screen you see when you edit a template is the Basic Customization screen. Here you can set some defaults, rename the template, etc.
The real power though is when you click on Additional Customization!
Header: The Header is the top portion of the template and deals with the Customer. In the case of the sales templates (estimates, sales orders, invoices), any information you want to track regarding your Customer, is done here. If you have any Custom Fields, they will show at the bottom of the list of list of fields. If you want to get sales dollars on your custom fields, or sales rep, you MUST have the field checked to show on the screen. It does NOT need to show on the printed template (or what your customer will see). FYI, while the Other field seems nice, you can’t access that information from a report, but you can access your Custom Field. The header in Purchase Order will deal with the Vendor. Notice you can also rename the field for the template.
Columns. This shows what you are you billing the customer for (or the Vendor billing you in the case of PO), so this pulls from your Items list. The fields at the bottom here are Custom Fields for Items (not customers or vendors). (Notice you again get to choose what will appear on the on your screen vs what will actually print out. You can also choose the order in which the fields appear.
Progress Columns: For those of you who progress invoice either from Estimates or Sales orders, the order of columns needs to coordinate with the order you have on the Columns Tab
Footer: Typically you might want fields like Total, Balance Due, and Payments/Credits, a Message (this can be seasonal or specific to a group of customers) and a long text (often additional information such as Tax ID or how to make payment payable or finance charge policy).
And if you have overlapping fields or want to further modify the appearance of the invoice, you can use the Layout Designer. It’s a little clunky when compared to designing software, but compared to what is was years ago, it’s great in letting you make so many changes. .
Once your templates are all setup, you can easily choose which one to use and then see how helpful the changes are!
If you have questions on how to maximize your use of templates or have questions, please contact our office.