QuickBooks offers templates that allow you to customize printouts to better fit your business. QuickBooks does offer stock templates for a variety of business, but the included one can be fairly generic and plain looking. When I visit a new client, I can usually tell if any of their vendors are using QuickBooks. I am going to be doing a series of articles on how to customize templates to offer some visually different ways to present your printed documents. For these articles, I will be customizing an Invoice template, though a lot of the information applies to other templates.
The first major part of customization is to add and remove fields that you don’t use. Simplifying your templates creates a clean, sleek look that allows your customers to focus on the important details (like how much money they owe). Many times, my clients will print out an invoice or sales order and half the boxes are blank.
To customize an existing template, simple open that document and click the Customize button across the top. The icon looks like a square ruler under a pencil. You will then be prompted with two different options. For these articles, we will be selecting the option, Customize Data Layout.
Most transactions can be split into three sections; Header, Columns, and Footer. The header section deals with information about the document as a whole. For an invoice, the header contains billing and shipping information, terms, dates, PO or SO numbers and so on. The columns section deals with the actual items and/or services that the customer is purchasing, while the footer contains totals, balances, thank you/informational notes.
Across the top of the customize screen, there is a tab for the Header, a tab for the footer, and a tab for the columns. Under each of these you will see a list of fields that you can choose to either show on the screen and also print out. This is useful if you want your employees to be able to see something about the invoice, but don’t need to present this information to the customer. For example, if you track sales reps for commission purposes, but the customer is not assigned a specific rep for all orders, you might choose not to display the Rep field when printed, but still show it on the screen. You should ask yourself if this information is useful to the customer. The less information you present to the customer, the less of a chance of them overlooking something.
There are some fields where you can choose to print out information, but not show it on the screen, though this is rare as it does not give the employee a chance to modify the information (though this may be the behavior that you want). The Title column shows what the title of that field will be displayed as. For example, if you refer to your Invoices as Statements, you can change the title of the document to show “Statement” instead of “Invoice”. Keep in mind that internally, QuickBooks still sees these fields as they were originally. This is just a way to make your work terminology close match what QuickBooks uses.