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Chapter 8

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Receiving payments

Payments are expected to arrive after the customers receive their invoices (except for any invoices that were written as paid-in-full.)  Payments may be received into the cash drawer, where they are tracked in an Undeposited Funds account.  They may be directly deposited into a bank account. QuickBooks expects that if a customer is billed through receivables, payment will come through receivables. 

Receive Payments is on the  XE "receive payments"  XE "payments:receive" Activities menu.  First pick a Customer:Job.   Note that if a customer has multiple jobs, the jobs are effectively different customers. QuickBooks (through versions 5.0) will record one payment as being from one customer for one job.  (We can always hope for improvement.)  For payments applied to several jobs, the workaround is described below. 

Date should always be inspected, because it is sticky.  If the last transaction entered (anywhere in QuickBooks) was a non-current transaction, that date may be carried over.

Amount accepts entry of the amount of money received on the current transaction.  That bears repeating.  The Amount field entry should be the amount of money that came in the door on the current transaction.  (In some rare but very significant cases, this may be zero.) 

Pmt Method allows selection from a list, using the down-arrow.

Check No is a text field of eleven characters, and appears in some reports as Payment No.

Group with undeposited funds is typically used by a business, such as a janitorial service, that receives many small checks, and perhaps does not deposit them each day.  The undeposited funds check box moves payments to the Undeposited Funds account, effectively a cash drawer.

Deposit to (with a field for selecting a bank account) was added in response to suggestions from construction contractors and similar businesses, who may go weeks between receiving checks, and then deposit them promptly (very promptly.)  The deposit may be made not only before the transaction is recorded, but by being taken from the customer straight to the bank. 

TIP

Select the receiving account with the down-arrow.  You can use any account appearing in this list. 

Existing Credits will show the sum of any prior payments or credit memos that are available for this customer .  Note that prior credits and some other items are only displayed, and are not accessible for change.

Apply Existing Credits causes credits to be applied to any and all invoices with a check ( b ) in the left-most column. Several invoices may be selected, and amounts to be applied to each invoice may be entered.  However, if multiple credits are available, there is no control over the order in which they are applied.

Outstanding invoices for this customer and job will be shown.  The previous balance on each invoice will be listed.  The payment column will show either zeroes or amounts for the payments being applied to the invoices . If amounts are shown, a selection (in Preferences|Sales ...) has been made for Auto Apply .  Zeroes will appear if Auto Apply is not in use.

Auto Apply or Clear Payments (one or the other) will appear as a legend on one button.  Clicking on this button will either automatically apply payments, or clear the payments column to all zeroes. To make a permanent selection, select (on the menu bar) File|Preferences|Sales ... |Automatically Apply Payments.

Print Cred Memo button is usable to print a credit memo.  The illustration was set up with a payment of more than is owed, and the credit memo could be printed to advise the customer of this.

Discount Info XE "discounts:customer"  button gives access to allowance of discounts.  First, click in the Payment column of any invoice line.  Then click the Discounts button.  QuickBooks will calculate any discount earned under terms of the invoice, and the last date that discount should be allowed.  You have full control over any discount granted. Pressing Escape or selecting Cancel will exit without granting a discount.

A discount account is needed, usually an expense account.  You can set up a choice between several discount accounts. This is one of the values of computer accounting.  You are free to carry along exactly as much fine -grained detail as fits your business. The discount will be shown as an expense, incurred at the time it was applied.

Next, OK, or Control-Enter will complete the Receive Payments activity.

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No Signature on the customers check?  Do you have to send it back?  No.  Assuming that you have delivered value to the customer, and that the check represents payment for a valid business debt, go ahead and deposit it.  Above your endorsement, write Lack of signature guaranteed. The customer can ask his bank to reject the check.  That is quite unlikely, and if it should happen, you are only back where you started. If the customer merely was careless, you do not need to cause embarrassment.  On the other hand, if the customer was playing a game, trying to delay payment, it did not work.

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Last modified: May 21, 2004