In this post, we offer a tried and true bookkeeping rule: Only pay the original invoice. Why? Because if you only pay original invoices, it is impossible to pay a bill twice.
Think about it. There should only be one original invoice. This was a no brainer when all invoices came through “snail mail.” Today it can be difficult to determine the original when an invoice is sent via fax or e-mail. Similarly, an emailed invoice can be printed multiple times. We advise clients to initiate a system where by an invoice received via email can be printed just once. Perhaps, once an invoice is printed, it is deleted.
A similar rule applies when a client sends the invoice. We train clients to process only one invoice per job. If your customer doesn’t pay the entire invoice, do not create another invoice for the smaller amount. That will overstate your income. Instead, we advise clients to use Statement, which is located in QuickBooks® on the Home Page in the Customer section.
Finally, from an Accounts Receivable point of view, a business should process statements monthly. Believe it or not, people tend to pay the bills that are literally on their desk and in their face. Using statements is the professional way to stay in your customer’s face. So be advised. Send an invoice when the job is done and then send your customer a statement every month thereafter until the balance is zero.