Progress Invoicing in QuickBooks Online: Step By Step Guide

You can divide an estimate into as many invoices as necessary with progress invoicing. You can invoice customers for partial payments rather than expecting full payment at the start of a job. Add items from the initial estimate to progress invoices as you complete the work. This keeps the project payments organized and connected from the beginning to the end. Learn the below-mentioned steps for progress invoicing in QuickBooks Online.

Progress invoicing in QuickBooks Online: Step By Step

Step 1: Turn on progress invoicing

You have to turn on progress invoicing if you haven’t already.

  • Select Account and Settings by clicking the Settings gear icon.
  • Then you have to go to the Sales tab.
  • Click Edit which is under the Progress Invoicing section.
  • Activate the switch that allows you to create multiple partial invoices from one estimate.
  • In the Update your invoice template? Window you have to select Update.
  • Hit Save and then click on Done.

You can now use your estimations to create multiple invoices.

Step 2: Create a progress invoice template

QuickBooks automatically creates a default progress invoicing template if you turn on this feature. Every time you make a progress invoice, use the Airy new style template that is provided. Follow the below steps to create a new template:

Note: Custom form styles are not supported by QuickBooks Solopreneur.

  1. Begin by going to Settings and then you have to select Custom form styles.
  2. To create a new invoice template, select New Style and then Invoice. Also, find the template and choose Edit to update one of your existing templates.
  3. Now you have to name the template something catchy and memorable, such as “Progress invoice template.”
  4. In the Design tab, you have to select Change up the template or Dive in with a template.
    1. Choose the new Airy template. For progress invoices, this is the only template that works.
  1. Choose Edit print settings. Print it out if you are unsure.
    1. Now you have to verify that the checkbox for Fit to window envelope or Fit printed form with paystub in window envelope is unchecked.
  2. Click the Content tab.
  3. In the form’s table section (the second one with Activity, Rate, and Amount), you have to select Edit.
    1. You have to click the link labeled “Show more activity options.”
    2. To display item details on the progress invoice, select the Show progress on line items checkbox.
  4. In the form’s footer (the third part with Balance Due and Total), select Edit.
    1. If you want the invoice to display the estimate amount you have to select the Estimate summary checkbox, the amounts of individual progress invoices, and the total amount invoiced so far.
  5. Then you have to select Done.

We advise using this as your new template for all invoices if you send out a lot of progress invoices. To set the newly created template as your default template:

  1. Go back to Custom form styles if you haven’t already.
  2. Select the dropdown menu next to the template in the Action column. Next, you have to choose Make Default.
  3. You have to select Change template to confirm your choice.

Note: You can have a different default template for regular invoices if you just wish to use this template for a small number of progress invoices. Then, by choosing Customize straight on the invoice form, you can use the same invoice template the next time you create a new invoice. Choose Manage, then Design to view the changed layout.

Step 3: Create an estimate

  1. After choosing + New, select Estimate.
  2. Then you have to select your customer.
  3. Complete the remainder of the estimate.
  4. Then you have to select Save and New, Save and Close, or Save and Send.

Edit progress invoice

If you need to make changes to an item on a progress invoice, you should do so on the original estimate rather than the invoice. As long as you haven’t sent an invoice for the full estimate amount, you are free to make changes.

Step 4: Create progress invoices from the estimate

Progress invoices can be made in a few different ways. The results are the same for all methods.

Create a progress invoice from the estimate

  1. Then you have to go to Sales, then you have to select All Sales.
  2. On the list, you have to find the estimate.
  3. If the estimate is accepted, you can choose Convert to Invoice in the Actions column.
  4. After deciding the amount to invoice, click Create Invoice. You have the option of charging a fixed sum or a percentage. Enter a specific amount for every item on the invoice if you select Custom amount for each line.
  5. Then you have to fill out the rest of the invoice.
  6. Either choose Save and Close or Save and New.

Connect an estimate to a new invoice

  1. Begin by selecting New and then you have to select Invoice.
  2. Choose your customer from the dropdown below. QuickBooks will display the Add to Invoice or Suggested Transactions sidebar if the customer has an open estimate.
  3. Choose Add after locating the estimate in the sidebar.
  4. After deciding the amount to invoice, choose Copy to invoice.
  5. Complete the rest of the invoice.
  6. Then you have to select Save and close.

Making a progress invoice won’t affect your first estimate. QuickBooks keeps a record of both.

Need to unlink a progress invoice?

Click the trash icon next to the estimate line item in the progress invoice to disconnect it from the original estimate. If you wish to unlink the entire invoice, QuickBooks will ask you. If so, choose to Unlink it. Click on Linked Transactions, then you have to select Remove if you have the updated layout.

Step 5: Keep track of your progress invoices

To stay organized, go over your estimate, progress invoices, projects, and reports.

Review estimate

All of your progress bills are displayed on the original estimate.

  1. Then you have to go to Sales, then you have to click on All Sales.
  2. Find the estimate and open it.
  3. To see the invoices that you have already created you have to select the blue linked transactions. To view the link, you must select Manage if you are using the updated layout.

Review progress invoices

An estimate summary is included with the total invoiced in progress invoices. Links to the original estimate and all relevant progress bills are also provided.

Estimates can be added to the summaries of invoices so that the remaining balance is displayed to your customers. By default, this is off.

Check projects

When estimates are added, all of the information added to the project is displayed on the Transactions tab of the project page.

Run reports

You can view a complete list of all estimates and connected progress invoices by referring to the Estimates & Progress Invoicing Summary by Customer report.

  • You can go to Reports
  • Find the Estimates & Progress Invoicing Summary by Customer report and open it.


Progress invoicing in QuickBooks Online helps businesses manage billing for long-term projects by enabling partial invoices from estimates. This improves cash flow and project tracking. Customization and detailed reporting make keeping clients informed and maintaining accurate records easy. QuickBooks Online offers a flexible and efficient solution for various industries and project types. If you need support, contact us anytime.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q1: What is progress invoicing?

Ans. Progress invoicing is a billing method that allows you to invoice your customers incrementally over time for a single job or project. This means you can break down the total cost into multiple invoices and bills as each project phase is completed.

Q2: How do I enable progress invoicing in QuickBooks Online?

Ans. To enable progress invoicing, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Gear icon and select Account and Settings.
  2. Click on the Sales tab.
  3. In the Progress Invoicing section, click the edit icon.
  4. Check the box for “Create multiple partial invoices from a single estimate.”
  5. Click Save and then Done.

Q3: Can I track the progress of each invoice?

Ans. Yes, QuickBooks Online allows you to track the progress of each invoice. When you open an estimate, you can see how much has been invoiced and how much remains. This helps you keep track of your project’s billing status.

Q4: Can I customize the progress invoices?

Ans. Yes, you can customize progress invoices just like regular invoices. You can add your company logo, change the template style, and include any other information relevant to your business and the project.

Q5: Is there a report to see the status of all progress invoices?

Ans. Yes, you can run the “Estimates & Progress Invoicing Summary by Customer” report. This report shows the status of estimates and related progress invoices, helping you monitor your billing and project status.

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