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In Excel 2007: Creating and Managing Invoices, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Curt Frye shows how to set up an efficient and flexible invoice management system. As part of the instruction on how to design a custom invoice in Excel, Curt explains how to use a PivotTable to put each customer's information on its own worksheet. If Word is the preferred method for creating an invoice, Curt covers how to use Word 2007's Mail Merge function to work with an Excel sheet. He also outlines some advanced tips, including calculating interest on unpaid items and tracking invoices. Exercise files accompany the course.
One of the most basic accounting principles is that you never delete a transaction. Instead of removing invoices from the table when a customer cancels an order, you can make them void and then use the contents of the void field to filter the table to show only active invoices. In this case, I will need to create a new field that keeps track of whether an invoice is void or not. So, to do that, I will click in the cell beside the right-most table column and name it InvoiceVoid. When I press Enter, Excel adds that field to the table.
The best way to indicate that an invoice has been voided is to add the word Void to the appropriate table column. So in this case, if customer 1825 decided to cancel this order, I can change it so that the invoice is marked as void. To do that, I will just type in the word Void. Now I can filter my table to only show those invoices that are active. To do that, I will click the InvoiceVoid column's filter arrow, clear Select All, and Display only those rows where this field is blank. When I am ready to bring it back, I can click the filter arrow and click Clear Filter.
By contrast, the best way to indicate an invoice is active is to do nothing. It can be difficult to discern between two words in a spreadsheet, especially in a crowded data table, so a blank cell is the best option. Finally, note that the presence or absence of a date in the InvoicePaid field indicates whether an invoice has been paid or not. You don't need to use anything in the InvoiceVoid field to indicate whether payment has been received or not. Voiding invoices maintains a record of your customer interactions. If a customer consistently changes their mind and you end up voiding a lot of their invoices, you might want to fire them as a customer.
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