Free Up Time to Enjoy Summer with QuickBooks Online's Recurring Transactions Feature

Summer is the perfect time to relax and enjoy the warm weather, but accounting tasks can eat into your valuable leisure time. The last thing you need is to spend unnecessary hours on repetitive financial activities for your small business. If you’ve created a record or transaction once, you don’t want to have to enter the information a second or third time. 

That's where QuickBooks Online comes in, with its powerful recurring transactions feature designed to streamline your accounting processes and free up time for what matters most.

Using QuickBooks Online is superior to manual accounting because it “remembers” everything, allowing you to reuse data when needed. However, like all technology, sometimes QBO requires a bit of guidance, especially for recurring transactions. If you have forms that you create repeatedly with minimal changes, like utility bills, for instance, you can tell the software to  “memorize” these transactions. When the bill comes around the next month, you can quickly modify any necessary details and dispatch it again. 

Here’s how it works.

Three Options for Recurring Transactions
To get started, enter a transaction you want to save and reuse (with changes). For example, let's say it's an invoice you send to a customer monthly for a service contract. After completing the form, look toward the bottom of the screen and click "Make recurring." The screen will now read "Recurring Invoice," displaying new options.

You can specify transactions as recurring and add details like frequency and start/end dates. If you want to change the template name to something more descriptive, you can easily do so. Under the “Interval” field, select “Daily”, “Weekly”, “Monthly”, or “Yearly”, and indicate the specific day of the month the transaction should occur. Enter a “Start” date and “End” date, or select “None” if the service is open-ended. 

Next to the template name is a field labeled “Type”. QuickBooks Online gives you three options for handling the recurring transaction:

  • Scheduled: This automated option sends the transaction as scheduled without any intervention from you. Only the date will change. Use this option with caution to ensure all details remain accurate.

  • Reminder: QuickBooks Online sends you a reminder ahead of the scheduled date. You can specify how many days in advance you want to be notified. This allows you to make any necessary changes before sending out the transaction.

  • Unscheduled: QuickBooks Online saves your template but takes no further action until you manually process it.

When you’ve completed all the required fields, click "Save template" in the lower left.

Using Recurring Transactions

If you’ve chosen the “Scheduled” option for any transactions, you don’t need to do anything more until you want to change its content or status. 

To find your list of recurring transactions for those marked as “Reminder” or “Unscheduled”, click the gear icon in the upper right of the QuickBooks Online screen. Under Lists, click "Recurring transactions."

The screen that opens displays a table containing all your recurring transactions. You can learn almost everything you need to know about these transactions here: “Template Name”, “Type”, “Transaction Type”, “Interval”, “Previous Date”, “Next Date”, “Customer/Vendor”, and “Amount”.

The last column in the table, labeled “Action”, opens a menu with different options depending on the type of transaction. For our “Reminder” example, you can:

  • Edit (edit the template, not the transaction)

  • Use (open the original transaction that you can edit, save, and send)

  • Duplicate (duplicate the template)

  • Pause (temporarily stop sending reminders)

  • Skip next date

  • Delete

Looking Ahead

As you dive into the rest of 2024, consider whether QuickBooks Online is meeting all your needs. If you’re starting to outgrow your current version, we’d be happy to discuss the benefits of upgrading to another service level, such as Essentials, Plus, or Advanced. 

Alternatively, if your current version has features you need but you can’t quite figure them out, let us know. Our goal is to make the second half of 2024 productive and stress-free for you, ensuring your accounting processes are as efficient and painless as possible.

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