E-invoicing with QuickBooks Payments
Let’s take a quick look at how the new payment system works.
Here’s an invoice, note that you now have a payments icon in the lower left.
You can accept payments by credit card and bank ACH transaction. There are times when you want to restrict which method the customer uses. This can be controlled in three places:
In the Payments Preferences – you have check boxes to choose which methods are allowed overall.
In the Payment Settings tab of the customer record – you can restrict which method is available for an individual customer.
in the Invoice Options window for the individual invoice, as shown below – you can restrict which method is available in an individual invoice.
When you click the Email icon in the invoice to send it, the Send Invoice window opens (as before). The icons at the bottom show you which options are available to the customer.
Here is an example of the invoice that the customer receives. I like having the due date show in the message header.
The invoice was attached to the email as a PDF, but there is no link information added to that form, unlike what we had with Intuit Payment Network before. The only payment link is the button in the email.
When the customer clicks on the View & Pay Invoice button it takes them to a branded (sort of) portal. They get to this very quickly, no sign in or credential entry is necessary.
QuickBooks 2015 R5 and QuickBooks Payments
Intuit released the QuickBooks 2015 R5 update for the U.S. version of QuickBooks. This is available as a manual update from the Intuit support website, and I believe that it is also being pushed out immediately as an automatic update at the same time (but I’m not sure of that yet). I don’t have any information on non-U.S. versions.
The big change this round is the introduction of a new online payments feature which is replacing Intuit Payment Network. The ability to bill customers electronically through the QuickBooks 2015 product has been sorely missed since Intuit released QuickBooks 2015 without hooks to Intuit PaymentNetwork, and we finally have a replacement.
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Two other changes in this release:
This fixes an issue that caused existing Weekly Timesheets to disappear or change to Single Time activities when you upgraded a file to QuickBooks 2015.
There are some improvements of the “internal web browser” that QuickBooks uses when you are running on a computer that uses Internet Explorer 11.
Please note that I have not tested all of the changes in the R5 release. I have been working with the new online payments feature for several days now, but for a variety of reasons I could not work with a “real” set of data. My testing was done with a “borrowed” payments account that didn’t exactly match the QuickBooks file I was using, so you may see some odd sample data in the screen shots. And, I’ve only been testing this for a few days, so I can’t attest to how solid this new feature is. So far, I’ve only run into relatively small issues, primarily user interface problems, nothing that caused big problems with the data. But, I’ve only been testing it for a short time …
QuickBooks Payments and Electronic Invoicing
First let’s talk about “QuickBooks Payments”. For a number of years we’ve had multiple payment solutions from Intuit, and quite frankly I found it very confusing. Intuit Merchant Services, Intuit PaymentNetwork, Intuit GoPayment, and more. Why all these separate accounts? Which do you use when, and how to you manage them? How do you decide which to sign up for?
Intuit recognized this confusion and has created “one ring to rule them all” – er, oops, sorry, got caught up with the impending release of the latest Hobbit movie. I mean “one consolidated payments account”, which is called QuickBooks Payments. Eventually all of your other payment accounts are going to be rolled up into this one account, with one set of rates and rules, one application process, one website to manage them all.
The rates that you get are going to depend on a number of factors. Here’s the standard rate information if you go to the QuickBooks Payments website and say that you are using QuickBooks
It is important to note that they still have the $0.50 fee for ACH bank transfers, which was one of the main reasons why I loved billing with Intuit Payment Network. We don’t lose that rate!
There are variations on this for other situations. I’m not sure that I have all of the variations covered here, and you need to talk to Intuit to be sure what you qualify for and what the requirements are to obtain these rates.
I’m not going to get into a discussion of comparative rates – best I can say is that you always have to look around at your options for competitive merchant rates, what kind of business situation you have, and build in how conveniently the merchant account integrates with the accounting software you use.
There is also a program for “accountants & their clients”, I’m not sure what you have to do to get this for your clients:
Connecting to QuickBooks Payments
Connecting your QuickBooks company file to the new QuickBooks Payments account is done in several different ways depending on your situation. I can’t demonstrate all of them because I don’t meet the criteria for each method, but I’ll give you a rundown on what you might expect.
If you already have a payment account and were using it in QuickBooks, then your account should automatically get converted to a QuickBooks Payments account. In some cases it will be the same account you used before, if you only had an Intuit Payment Network account then that will be converted to a new payments account. This should happen automatically and seamlessly – but if it can’t be converted for some reason then a phone number is displayed to connect you with someone who can help. ProAdvisors might not get converted automatically, you may have to call in, so that they can make sure that you are getting the special reduced ProAdvisor rates.
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If you already have a payment account with Intuit but have NOT used it in QuickBooks then use the Link Payment Service to Company File option in the Customers menu. This will take you through a process that will connect your account to your company file.
If you don’t have a payment account, and you ARE a ProAdvisor, accessing this through your QuickBooks Accountant edition of the program, when you go to the Preferences window as shown above you will be directed to a page that shows you the rates, but doesn’t let you sign up. Instead there is a phone number that you must call to set up your account. This is necessary to make sure that you get your special discounted rate.