16 Nov Ask the Expert – Merging Invoices
Ask the Expert – Merging Invoices
Q – My procedures have been to invoice as soon as a part of the project is completed. I just found out that the owner of the company has been holding the invoices. He now wants me to issue one invoice even though currently there are several. There are pass thru expenses and many lines of time detail on each invoice. Is there any way to merge existing invoices together?
A – This situation has several ramifications, besides the obvious logistical issue you have already mentioned. My biggest concern is how old are the invoices? Are they more than a month, more than a quarter? If your Accountant has already issued the financial statements for the period in question, this can become an issue for them as well. My second concern deals with customer service. Specifically, when an invoice is issued, it begins aging. If the invoice becomes past due, typically a statement is sent. Has the customer been notified in any way of the invoice. I am assuming that they did not receive the invoice per your question, but have they received a statement? Is it going to be confusing to them if the invoice number and/or amount is changed? And finally, what can be done to remedy this situation in the future. For example, should the invoices be marked as pending until they are approved? Is there a way to generate a report from QuickBooks (such as an unbilled cost report, or a report that combines the time and costs such as the WIP add-on) that can be used for the approval process rather than an invoice?.
Now for your question: There are two issues, the first is the fact that if you delete in invoice, that does not make the time and expenses billable again. For that reason, you will not be able to use the time/cost button to just quickly re-create the invoices assuming that was the procedure the first time..
One alternative is to enter the information manually onto one of the invoices from the other. If the item is on the printed one and the description is primarily the same as the item, this may be a viable alternative.
If the descriptions are detailed and different than the item, creating a report (such as a journal report with the item and item description columns added) may be more efficient. This report can be opened in Excel to permit cutting and pasting the information without needing to switch back and forth between the two invoices in QuickBooks.
If there are a lot of detail lines, to automate the process a little, create a journal report in QuickBooks of the invoices adding the item column and anything else you will need as described above. Use the excel interface then cut and paste the additional detail lines as part of the same invoice in the Excel journal entry (make sure to delete the second A/R line and update the A/R total as appropriate). Then use the QuickBooks transaction copier to create an iif file of new invoices. Import it into QuickBooks and void the old ones to remove them from the data file. You can try it out with the free trial version of the tool.