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QuickBooks 2011 – Batch Invoicing

| September 22, 2010 | 58 Comments

One of the very useful features added in QuickBooks 2011 is Batch Invoicing, which allows you to create an invoice that you can send out to multiple customers in a few easy steps. Let’s take a look at this new feature.

Please note that this feature is not available if you have enabled the multiple currency feature in QuickBooks.

If you have an invoice that you want to send to multiple customers you can use the new Batch Invoicing feature. Before you start you want to make sure that all of your customers have settings for terms, sales tax rate, send method and email address (if you are planning on sending the invoices via email).

Select the Create Batch Invoices option from the Customers menu.

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In the first screen you will select the customers that you wish to send the invoice to. Double click on a customer in the list, or click the add button. I’ll address “Billing Groups” a bit later.

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The second screen is used to select the items that you wish to add to the invoice, along with some common features such as the invoice date, customer message and template.

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Note that when you select the template the columns that are displayed in this window will change to match that template. This includes the custom fields that you have added as columns.

The final step is to review the invoice information by customer.

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You can decide to drop a particular customer from the list if you feel that there is a problem. Note that the program is displaying the terms, send method and tax rate/code for each customer.

Click Create Invoices and QuickBooks will generate the invoices as listed. A summary window opens that will show the results.

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This is not a method to manage recurring or contract invoices, where you have an amount that you are going to send each month until a contract amount is met. That would be a nice enhancement, perhaps they’ll address this in the future.

Billing Groups

You have the ability to set up Billing Groups in this function. This allows you to create groupings of customers that you would want to use when creating a batch invoice. In the first screen you select the customers to add to the group and then click the Billing Group dropdown. Select Add New and create a name for the group.

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Once you have created a group you can create invoices for them. Note that you want to create the group name before you select the customers, as the list of customers is cleared when you create a new group name. Create the group name, add the customers, click the Save Group button to save the customers that you want to have in that group.

Tags: ,

Category: Invoicing, Program Updates, QuickBooks 2011

About the Author (Author Profile)

Charlie Russell is the founder of CCRSoftware. He’s been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70′s, focusing on inventory and accounting software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Look for Charlie’s articles in the QuickBooks and Beyond blog, as well as his California Wildflower Hikes blog.

Connect with Charlie at Google

Comments (58)

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  1. Bob Crook says:

    Very nice! Been needed for a long time for certain type businesses and organizations. Thanks for the always helpful info.

  2. Mary Pauly says:

    Thanks, for sharing, you always have great information to share about QB’s. I find your blogs highly useful in my own eduction and then for my clients as well!

  3. Charlie says:

    Thank you, Mary. It has been a real chore getting through all these QB 2011 articles…

  4. Blake says:

    Your blog is great!! I will be here often. Unrelated .. . what are you using to get your screen captures? I do graphic design, lots of writing/blog posting, etc. so always curious as to what others use.

    I’ve used Snagit by techsmith for years, but since getting my new Windows 7 system, i haven’t put it on yet (I’ve been using the built in “snipping tool” but it’s very limited.) Snagit is great, but just curious.

    Back to this post – it looks like QB 2011 will be worth me upgrading, based on this feature alone based on how we process invoices (I do them bi-weekly so the work piles up.) Thanks.

  5. Vicki says:

    From what i Understand though in order to use the Batch Invoicing. You must be billing all the customers in a certain group the same amoutnt before sales tax correct.

  6. Charlie says:

    Vicki, yes – but you have the ability to edit individual invoices after creating them, before you print or email them.

  7. Jeana says:

    I just discovered your blog today and it is a virtual treasure trove. Thank you for all the great information that you give.

    I know that you said Batch Invoicing should not be used as a Recurring Billing solution. I agree, however I have been searching high and low for a solution for this and have as yet to find one. I currently use Memorized Transactions (in QB 2008 pro – upgrading to 2011 at the end of December). Although this works, it’s really not very elegant. I have customers that pay for their services annually and others that pay monthly. All customers need to know what service dates the invoice covers. I’ve tried adding a date column to the invoice that increments each time the invoices are run, but it isn’t working correctly. SO, long story short. Do you have any ideas for me? I’m really surprised that no developers have addressed this issue yet.

    (I apologize for getting a bit off topic here, but I’m at my wits end.) Thank you for what you do and keep up the great work!

    • Charlie says:

      Jeana, you can look at this utility: http://www.q2q.us/idoverview.htm – but that might not be what you are looking for. That probably is more like the Batch feature in QB 2011. There may be others in the Intuit Marketplace, but I’ve not worked with any. The “date” column, is that the “service date” in your memorized transaction?

      • Lindsay says:

        Charlie, Like Jeana I am appreciative of all your info. And also like her, I upgraded to 2011 b/c of batch invoicing hoping that it would include a service date feature. For example, a have 10 amt of customer that pay $20/mo but each will have different service dates ( 1-3-12 to 2-2-12 and another customer will be 1-7-12 to 2-7-12) and therefore a ‘custom’ invoice needs to be updated every month even on the memorized invoices with a range of dates.
        Anything you know to solve this?

        Thank you!

        • Charlie says:

          Lindsay, batch invoicing is set up to send out the same invoice to a lot of people. That is different than what you are talking about.

          Look into memorized transactions – the service date column will update, usually, each time you generate a new invoice. That might not fit your service date RANGE requirement, though.

  8. Miranda says:

    I recently upgraded to QuickBooks 2011. I was very excited about the batch invoicing option but I can’t seem to get it to work. I do not have multicurrency enabled but the batch invoicing option is not avaliable to me in the customer drop down menu…… any thoughts on why??

  9. Charlie says:

    Miranda, from your email address, I’m guessing you are using the Canadian release? Unfortunately, the Canadian version differs from the US version, and it tends to be a year (or so) behind the US version.

  10. Judith says:

    I recently upgraded to 2011 pro from 2008- I wanted to use the batch invoices but I’m finding out that I can only use the batch if all my customers paid the same amount for monthly services?..I have lawn services bill on a monthly basis… How can I use the batch invoices with different monthly charges?…where can I setup the amount to be different for each customers?…

    • Charlie says:

      If they are the same amounts each month for a particular customer, you would normally use “memorized” transactions. Create the transaction for the customer, “memorize” it and set it to recur monthly. Do that for each one.

  11. Stuart says:

    We sell the same “package” multiple times in a month to various customers. Each invoice has approximately 12 line items. We sell the package maybe 20-30 times per month. (Same basic invoice – might need a line or two tweaked.) But each sale is to a different customer. Any thoughts on a way to do this? (QB Enterprise 11)

  12. Charlie says:

    Stuart, I would look into either “group items”, or “memorized transactions”. Depends on the details. You can create a group item that has your common elements, then add it to the invoice to include all the items of the package at one time. Or, you can create a master transaction, “memorize” it, and then use that memorized transaction as a base for new ones.

  13. Lane says:

    Just moved my company from Simply to QB Pro 2011.
    Starting to breath again, but, When making invoices in QB the date keeps reverting back to todays date even when I set preferences to use the previously entered date. Any help?

    I also do NOT have any “create batch invoices” line in my customer column.
    Any assistance most welcome.

  14. Charlie says:

    Lane, sometimes the dates work that way. I’ve never seen an explanation, and never had my hands on a system that did that, so I can’t say much. Try creating a new company file from scratch, instead of the converted one, see if that makes a difference.

    As far as “batch invoices” – from your email address I’ll assume you are using the Canadian version? Unfortunately, all the info here applies to the US version. The Canadian versions are always lagging behind the US version for new features. Don’t know when (or if) you’ll get this feature.

  15. Lisa says:

    Hi,

    Just new to QuickBooks Easy Start 2011. I am trying to email invoices but am having no success whatsoever. Any suggestions?

  16. Charlie says:

    Lisa, sorry, we never work with Easy Start. You should try the Intuit Community Forum for help with that.

  17. Emma says:

    I am using Quickbooks plus 2011 – 2012 and the option of Batch invoicing does not appear in my customer drop down menu…can anyone help?

  18. Charlie says:

    Emma, I take it that you are using the Australian version? In that case, a lot of the new stuff I describe here won’t apply to you. I write about the US version. The Australian version is very different. Intuit licenses code to Reckon in Australia – they do whatever the want to do with it. At the very least any new features up here would take a year (or more) to get down there. Often, unfortunately, features never get implemented down there. And, when you look at add-on products, you will find that many don’t work with the Australian version, because they decided to do things differently down there. Sorry!

  19. Mary says:

    I want to rebill my customers that did not pay on the first invoice but I do not want to create another invoice on their account. I simply want to rebill. Can this be done in the batch invoicing?

  20. Charlie says:

    Mary – batch invoicing will create a new invoice each time.

    For rebilling – you just want to send them another copy of the existing invoice? You can do that one invoice at a time, just clicking the print or send button. If you want to do that in a batch, the question would then be how you want to SELECT those to be sent another copy?

  21. Cheryl Boyd says:

    Hi, can get some suggestions? We want to start using quickbooks to track our member subscription invoices that are billed once a year and another notice every quarter have not paid. Now there are different levels of subscription which the would pay different amounts. What is the best way to set this up. I am going to import all the customer info but the big question would be how to set up the invoicing. And also how much can you customize an invoice? Currently they look alot like letters. Any suggestions and guidance would be appreciated.

    • Charlie says:

      Cheryl, that is a bit more than can be answered easily in a blog comment. And I would need to know a lot more about your subscriptions. “track” is a loaded statement, as that can mean many different things.

  22. Cheryl Boyd says:

    Hi i just want to be able to create the invoices every year for renewal. Is there recurring invoices that can be set up annually and that can be reprinted quarterly if they have not paid? Also is thereva away to create a very custom invoice? We dont want it to look like an official invoice more like a letter.

    • Charlie says:

      Cheryl, you can customize your invoices by clicking the “customize” button in the upper right (it might be hidden, if there is a >> button click that).

      You can “memorize” invoices and have them repeat on a regular basis.

  23. winston says:

    Hi

    Since I am in Canada, we finally just got access to the batch invoicing feature in QB 2012. Our invoicing is based on billeable time and costs from hours worked by our consultants. Does batch invoicing feature work with timesheets? Thanks

  24. Wolf Oeller says:

    Charlie, this is a little off topic but I’m looking for a way to send multiple invoices to one email address with a single email. As it is, when I send out 25 invoices, Quickbooks generates 25 separate emails, even if there are only 10 recipients among the 25 invoices. Do you know of a way? Thank you, Wolf

  25. @Wolf,

    QB has Customers>Invoice for Time and Expenses. This has to be set up under the Edit>Preferences>Time and Expenses.

  26. Tommy says:

    Hello, I have two customer types (lets call them type “A” and type “B”). Type A is billed (invoiced) $60 quaterly. Type B is billed $25 monthly. All the customers from each type are in as memorized transactions to repeat the invoicing process. If I were to purchase QB’s 2012 and try batch invoicing to raise or lower the invoice price collectively for customer types A and B, is there a way to over wright my current memorized transaction list to reflect the new invoice pricing? Or would this have to be done manually? In other words, is batch invoicing a one time thing with no way to automacilly repeat it unless you individually memorize the new invoices created from the batch process. If true, this still may be better then editing both the price and the memorized transaction one by one. Atleast batch invoice will get the pricing part done for me……Any thoughts or help would be greatly appreciated!!

    Would using batch invoicing to manually bill every month and quater be the wrong thing to do?? Manually editing the price for a group of 950 customers with the same price one by one really seems wrong!

    Thanks in advance, Tommy

    • Charlie says:

      Tommy, Batch Invoicing has no relation to Memorized Transactions.

      If all of your “type A” customers get the same exact bill – they all are charged $60 (or whatever), then Batch Invoicing works. It is a way to generate the identical invoice for all of the customers you identify. It doesn’t work in situations like a utility company where everyone gets a bill each quarter, but the amount varies from customer to customer.

      • Tommy says:

        Thank You for the quick response Charlie. My question really is centered on getting the process to repeat monthly or quaterly. If batching is not assiciated with memorized transactions, then must it be repeated manually each month? And therefor must I delete all the memorized transactions I have created to prevent double billing.

        Also, from your screen shot “Step 1 of 3″ I do not see a way to search for customers by “Customer Type”. Is “Customer Type” included in the search section, “look for” [______], “in”[__all fields__]drop down menu.

        • Charlie says:

          Type isn’t a serch field specifically, but you can add “Customer Type” as a column in the “search results” display – then sort by that column – then pick a range of customers that have that “type”.

          Yes, if you use batch invoicing to handle these customers then you would need to delete the memorized invoices.

  27. Doug says:

    I’m working in Quick Books 2010 and want to know if there is a way to run a puchase order batch for a project or job? Or do I need to manually enter each purchase order separately.

  28. Bobbi says:

    I’m trying to set up QB2011Pro for a 200 family educational co-op. Each family’s invoice will be different, but for that family, the invoice will be the same for 8 billing periods. I have two questions.
    1) Is it possible to set the invoices up over a few weeks and then send them all on the same day?

    2) Can I set up a batch for each family? It will mean I have almost 200 batches. If yes, when a student adds or drops a class, thus changing the invoice within the batch, will I have to delete and resubmit the batch or will changing the invoice be enough?

    Thank you!!

    • Charlie says:

      Bobbi, when you create then, you don’t have to print them right away. You can leave them marked as “to be printed”, and then you can use the batch print facility to print all of the ones that you have created, at a later date.

      This isn’t really set up for the kind of billing you talk about. This is designed for situations where a group of customers will all get the same invoice. 50 people that you bill the same about for. When you have individuals that have different charges then you are talking about a different situation. However, if you use the batch feature, you have the ability to alter any individual invoice before you print it.

  29. Crys says:

    Is batch invoicing the same in QB12? I have 50 customers that have the same totals due, however there is a monthly amount to be paid, should I use batch invoicing, however there are 3 different categories to be paid, ie tuition, books, and fees. Should I make 3 seperate invoices for each customer?

    • Charlie says:

      Crys, the feature is pretty much the same in QuickBooks 2012 and 2013.

      Batch invoicing is designed for sending the same charge to a group of people. If everyone has the same fee, this works. But if each customer has a different fee structure, this won’t work. For that you may want to look into Memorized Transactions (if each person gets the same fee each time you invoice, but different from other people). It all depends on what your fee structure is like.

  30. Brett Barry says:

    Unfortunately, all the invoices created using this method don’t have the box checked for “allow online payment.” Is there some setting I am missing? All the manual invoices I have created previously have this box checked automatically.

    • Charlie says:

      Brett, with QuickBooks 2011 I’m not sure you can control that. However, note that QuickBooks 2013 has better control over these features. You can set a global preference, and you can set individual preferences per customer to override that. Batch Invoicing in QB 2013 uses those settings.

  31. Jennifer says:

    Charlie, is this option available with QuickBooks Online Plus? I have a client (a Chamber of Commerce), who has over 500 members and doing annual dues invoices can be quiet time consuming and I would love to be able to do batch invoicing, but can’t find anything similar to what you outlines above with QB 2011. Thank you!

  32. Leslie says:

    Hi Charlie,
    Im trying to print multiple invoices from memorized transactions in order to safe time instead of openning one by one and then save it and print it… I need to know if there is a way to make it faster.

    I would appreciate any help

    Thanks
    Leslie

    • Charlie says:

      Unless you have the memorized transactions set up to automatically be created (using the “automate transaction entry” option) there isn’t a simple way to create multiples at a time. You may want to play with the automation feature to see if that works.

      Controlling the “to be printed” feature should help – although QB sometimes is a bit funny about that. If the original transaction has the “to be printed” flag checked when you save it, then you don’t have to print each individually after it is created, you can use the batch print feature.

  33. Hi Charlie,

    First, thank you for all your wonderful wisdom with the Quickbooks program. You are, indeed, the QB master! Congrats! Hopefully, you will be able to assist me with a minor issue regarding batch invoices.

    I am the office manager for a garage door company in Colorado…I have become quite the QB wizard myself, if I may say so! Our accountant actually offered me a position with his HOA, primarily as the QB-Queen. Annually, I am to create batch invoices for their dues. Unfortunately, my invoice date as well as the DUE DATE are the same date! (Oy-vey!) Now, I have 225 invoices with the incorrect due date on them…

    I am using Quickbooks Pro 2013. I am super new to this version. Furthermore, I know nothing I can do to correct this mistake. I would greatly appreciate your assistance.

    Highest Regards,
    Stephanie Lynn Young

    • Charlie says:

      Stephanie, there isn’t a batch way to correct this. You can either manually adjust them all, or ignore this, or go to a backup you created just before the batch process and redo it with the right values. No simple fix!

  34. Valerie Menker says:

    I have several very large billing groups and I need to confirm I have the correct customers in each group.
    is there a way to print a report or at least get total number of members in a billing group?

    • Charlie says:

      Valerie, there isn’t a way to get a report of a billing group that I’m aware of, at least that is straight forward. Best I can think of is really terrible – create a backup copy of your file, generate an invoice for the group with a special date or customer message, export the invoices for that date or message using a tool like the Transaction Pro Exporter (www.baystateconsulting.com), then in Excel take all the header info of those invoices to get your info. OR, possibly, use a reporting tool (there are several) to create a report from those invoices in QB. Then restore your backup file that doesn’t have the dummy invoices. LOTS OF WORK…

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