QuickBooks can zip you through the two basic ways of producing and distributing invoices and other forms: on paper and electronically. Within those two camps, you can choose to produce and send forms as soon as you complete them or place them in a queue to process in batches. For sporadic forms, it’s easier to print or email them as you go. But when you generate dozens or even hundreds of sales orders, invoices, statements, or checks, printing and emailing batches is a much better use ofyour time.
If you have workhorse transactions that you enter again and again, QuickBooks can memorize them and then fill in most, if not all, of the fields in future transactions for you. For transactions that happen on a regular schedule—like monthly customer invoices or vendor bills—the program can remind you when it’s time to record them, or even add the transactions without any help from you. You can also memorize transactions that you use occasionally, such as estimates, and call on them only when you need them.
Once you’ve created lots of transactions, you’ll need a way to locate them. QuickBooks’ search features can help you track down financial info, which you can appreciate if you’ve ever hunted frantically for a transaction. Whether you want to correct a billing problem on a customer’s invoice, check whether you paid a vendor’s bill, or look for the item you want to add to an estimate, QuickBooks gives you several ways to search. You can look for different types of transactions within various date ranges in the Customer, Vendor, and Employee centers—and the Inventory Center, if you use QuickBooks Premier or Enterprise. The Item List window sports a few search boxes for finding the items you want. Form windows, such as Create Invoices, have a Find button on their Main tabs so you can quickly find transactions of the corresponding type. You can use the program’s Search feature to search throughout your company file or QuickBooks. And the full-blown Find feature is perfect for surgical searches.
This chapter explains all your options.