Everyone has to void an invoice upon occasion, and QuickBooks makes it fairly simple. The annoying part is that big “PAID” stamp that QuickBooks pastes across the invoice when you void it. Today I’ll pass on a few tips on how to make this look a bit cleaner.
We’ll start with an invoice, using the standard Intuit Product Invoice template.
For some reason the customer decided that they didn’t want to order this item, and they haven’t paid for it yet, so we want to remove it. The simplest method is to simply delete the invoice. When viewing it, press ctrl-D and the invoice will be deleted. Great! Simple! QuickBooks makes it easy for you, reversing all of the activity in the invoice for you automatically. However, many businesses would prefer not to delete invoices this way. There can be many different reasons. Perhaps you don’t want to see “Deleted” in the audit trail. Maybe you need to keep track of each invoice number that has been issued. Possibly you want to track the activity for a customer who cancels orders on a regular basis. Deleting an invoice isn’t always the best approach.
QuickBooks again makes things easy for us by providing a simple void procedure. Simply locate the invoice and right click on it. In the context menu that pops up you will see an option to “void invoice”. Great! Simple! QuickBooks makes it easy for you, reversing all of the activity in the invoice automatically by setting the quantities to zero rather than deleting the invoice. However, there can be one annoying problem. If you use the “status stamp” on the form, you’ll see that your voided invoice will be marked as “Paid”.
You can turn off the status form for this template, but that affects all invoices that use the template, which might not be what you want to do. So, how to fix this? Simply create a new invoice template that is a copy of this one and call it the “void invoice” template. Un-check the status stamp, add a text box that says “void”, and when you void an invoice just switch the template.
Modify a Template
Before you void the invoice you need to create your template. Click the customize button in the upper right of the form (it may be hidden to the right of the icon bar for the invoice, under “>>”) and click the manage templates button.
Click the Copy button to make a copy of the template, then change the template name to “Void Invoice” in the Template Name box. Click “OK” to close the window.
Un-check the Print Status Stamp box, then click Additional Customization.
Click the Layout Designer button and then double-click the text box that has the form label on it. Usually this says something like “Invoice” – change that to be “VOID INVOICE”.
Save your changes, and now you have a template that you can use when you void your invoices.
A Few More Notes:
One thing to point out is that you want to apply this “void template” to the invoice before you actually void it – because the “paid” stamp seems to be “sticky”. If the invoice is voided first and stamped “paid” then applying the new template doesn’t always clear the stamp. One of those odd things that QuickBooks does every once in awhile.
I’d also like to throw in a little note about the Customer Center. If you have the standard setup, you’ll not be able to see that this invoice is voided. It looks just like a paid invoice here:
I like to change the appearance of this section of the customer center. Right click on the column headings of this display to get the context menu, and select customize columns. In this screen you can add columns from the available list to the chosen list by selecting one and clicking add. You can also remove a column from the chosen list by selecting it and clicking remove. In the screen shot below I removed “Account” and added “Open Balance” and “Memo”.
I prefer this view in the Customer Center because it shows me the open balance on invoices, and the memo field shows me if they are voided.