QuickBooks is an accounting tool that tells the story of the money. How long does it take you to tell your story? All day? Twice as long as it took you to make the transaction? Every Saturday? Well then chances are that you are spending more time recording your income transactions than you should.

When you begin to record an income transaction you start by considering “did I collect the funds at the time of sale or am I owed money?” If you collected the funds on the spot (such as a retail store or restaurant) then you would use a sales receipt. If you need to collect them money later (such as service providers, fee based services and rent) you need to use a invoice.

The next thing you need to ask yourself is “does the information I am recording already exist somewhere else?” If it exists somewhere else why would you record all the detail again? Take a retail store with a point of sale system for example. Would that retail store make a QuickBooks transaction for each sale? Never! There is no way they could or should do that. It doesn’t matter who walked in and bought a toothbrush at 10:45. What matters is how much of each product class sold in total, how much sales tax was collected, how it was paid for total and that the sales match the payments. If the business owner wants to see how many #1 toothbrushes color pink were sold he/she can go back to the point of sale system and pull an inventory item report for sales to date. All that matters with your QuickBooks accounting if the detail is elsewhere is the total sales and payments for those sales.

When funds are collected on the spot and transaction detail is available somewhere else use the Sales Receipt in Quickbooks to record your daily sales as a summary.

Sales receipt example
Sales Receipt Example

When you are owed the money you use an invoice. In QuickBooks an invoice posts to accounts receivable and will then feed into the other parts of QuickBooks that help you get paid. You can also enter a summary invoice. However you may be called upon to produce the detail at some time in order to collect payment. Be sure you can produce that detail easily. However, even though you may need to produce the detail doesn’t mean you need to record all of the detail in QuickBooks. If you use a hand written charge slip for your retail store or have a point of sale system that accommodates charge accounts you can post just the total to a QuickBooks invoice as long as you maintain the detail.