Do you know how to set up templates for different recurring transactions in QuickBooks Online? If you don't, don't sweat it! We are here to help and are going to walk you through it.
The recurring transactions feature is available in the Plus and Essentials versions, but not in Simple Start. Recurring transactions are a way to quickly create different transactions with the same information that will happen on a regular occurrence. You can set up these transactions to record automatically.
Before setting up recurring transactions, let’s walk thru the benefits!
The Benefits of Recurring Transactions
In the course of running your business, there are transactions that you repeat, month after month, quarter after quarter, year after year. With QuickBooks Online recurring transactions feature, you can save time by automating these transactions instead of inputting them manually.
Here are some examples where you can set up different templates for recurring transactions:
- Monthly consultation fees to your customers
- Rent Income
- Process monthly bills or expenses including:
- Loan Payments
- Bank and interest fees
- Monthly health insurance that comes out of your business account that needs to be posted to your drawings or loan account as this is not a business expense
- Prepare journal entries for recurring transactions, such as depreciation and amortization expense
- Purchase orders for suppliers that you place orders on a regular and ongoing basis
When you set up any recurring transaction template, you will see that there are three types of templates you can create. These templates include Scheduled, Reminder, and Unscheduled.
Scheduled templates create a series of transactions according to a schedule you set. If you choose for them to be sent via email, they will be sent automatically once they are created.
How you control it: You can choose whether to be notified when the transactions occur. In either case, these are recorded without any intervention from you.
This type is useful for: Transactions with a fixed schedule and amounts that don't change. Some examples of this include Fixed Monthly Invoices for Services under monthly contracts, rent payments, loan payments, and depreciation.
This type of template proposes a series of transactions according to a schedule you set. The transactions are not sent until you decide to create and send them. These reminders can be found at the top of the "Home" page in the "Tasks" section.
How you control it: When clicking on each "Task", as listed above, you will be able to decide which ones to create. You can review and edit them first.
This type is useful for: Transactions with a fixed schedule that need to be edited before they are created, such as utility bills.
This template is simply saved with partial or complete data and without a schedule. Nothing happens to this type of template until you choose to use it.
How you control it: Click on the Gear icon followed by "Recurring Transactions". You can then select a template and click "Use" to use the template as the starting point for a new transaction.
This type is useful for: Transactions that contain a lot of detail that you don't want to retype, but that aren't needed on any set schedule. Examples are complicated invoices that need to go to different customers.
How To Set Up A New Recurring Transaction Template
To create a new "Recurring Transaction" template, click on the gear icon, followed by "Recurring Transactions" under "Lists".
When you click on “Recurring Transactions”, the following screen will appear.
It will display the list of all recurring transactions if any previously set up by you. You can create a new recurring transaction template by clicking on the “New” button in the upper right corner.
When you click on the “New” button a new screen will come up as follows.
There are various types of transactions for which you can set up recurring transactions for, such as Invoice, Bill, Expense, etc. You need to select the appropriate transaction type by clicking on the drop-down button.
You can create recurring transaction templates for the following transaction types: Bill, non-posting charge, cheque, non-posting credit, credit card credit, quote, deposit, journal entry, invoice, refund, sales receipt, transfer, supplier credit, purchase order, and expense.
Select the required transaction type and click “OK”.
Here, we have selected the transaction type as "Invoice".
When you click on "OK", a new screen will appear as follows.
To set up your template, you need to fill in some basic details such as:
Choose a name that you will remember quite easily. Like Invoice-“Customer Name”. So that you know quickly for which customer that template has been created.
Choose the type of template from the drop-down to set this as a Scheduled, Reminder, or Unscheduled. The functionality of these three types has been described in previous detail.
Days in advance
This defines how many days in advance the transaction is required.
In this case, we are setting up an “Invoice” so choose your customer for whom you want to set up the recurring invoice template.
There are three options. You can select any one of these or none at all.
- Automatically send emails: Invoices will be automatically emailed to the customer for whom the template is being created.
- Print later: You can print all the invoices in one batch on a later date.
- Include unbilled charges: Add all unbilled charges to the invoice when you create it.
Unbilled charges: An unbilled charge is activity you plan to bill to a customer but have not yet included on a saved invoice. Unbilled charges can be:
- Billable expenses
- Time charges
When you make an invoice recurring, you can specify that it should collect any unbilled charges that are present when each occurrence of the transaction is actually created.
You might want to do this if you have occasional charges to bill a customer in addition to the regular charges that are in the main part of the invoice template.
This is the occurrence cycle that defines how and at what interval a recurring transaction will occur. You can choose Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Yearly from the drop-down. This depends upon how you invoice your customer.
You can choose which date of the month that the invoice will be created in the day and date drop down. Then, you can select if the invoice will be created every month or any other interval by changing the number of months between two invoices.
Start & End Date
This is the date from which your recurring transactions will start and when it will end. There are three options in the “End” drop-down: None, By, and After.
Please note that you can set a current or any future date as a Start date. You can’t create a template by setting a past date.
None: The template will be creating recurring invoices until it's edited or deleted.
By: If you select “By”, a new column will appear where you can set the date and define when the template will stop creating recurring invoices.
After: If you select “After”, a new column will appear. Here you can set the total number of occurrences, after which the template will stop creating recurring invoices.
For example, if you put 10 here, the template will stop and won't create any additional invoices after creating ten recurring invoices.
After setting the above fields, you need to put the financial details:
Fill in the relevant details, such as Product/Service, Description, Quantity, Rate, and Amount.
After filling in all the details, click “Save Template”.
Your template is ready! Next time, when you add a new template, you will see the all of the templates you have previously created.
Under the “Action” column, you can click “Edit” to use, create a duplicate template, pause, skip next date or delete this template.