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QuickBooks offers the three kinds of sales forms businesses typically use. Invoices, sales receipts and statements. Each one has its purpose but it turns out that an invoice can do everything a sales receipt or statement can do. So if you aren't sure which form you need, just create an invoice. A sales receipt is designed to record sales when your customer pays in full at the time of the sale. When you create a sales receipt, QuickBooks immediately posts the payment into your bank account or the undeposited funds account, which is where money sits until you record a bank deposit.
A sales receipt can't keep track of a customer balance. It doesn't accept payments in advance, and you can't stockpile customer charges until you're ready to create the receipt. But you can add up numerous charges on one sales receipt, use group items to add what you sell, subtotal items, apply sales tax, apply discounts and include custom fields or a message to the customer. An invoice can do everything the sales receipt does and more.
An invoice can start from a customer's balance, deduct payments the customer made, add new charges and figure out the new balance. If the customer pays in advance, you can create an invoice with items specifically for recording a prepayment and create a credit for the customer. You can also assign time and expenses as billable to a customer and add them to an invoice later on. Statements are set up to summarize an account, just like your bank statement does. When you create a statement in QuickBooks, the program finds all the transactions that affect the customer's balance, invoices, statement charges and payments, and adds them to the statement.
The statement shows the starting balance, payments made, new charges added and the resulting ending balance. You can't use group items or subtotals and you can't apply sales tax or discounts to statements. You also can't use custom fields or add a customer message. Now that you know the difference between the types of sales forms, you are ready to choose the right form for the job. You will learn how to create invoices and statements in this chapter. The chapter Receiving Payments shows you how to create a sales receipt.
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