Thursday, April 30, 2009

Setting up a Customer List

A Customer List keeps track of all your customers and your customer information. For example, the Customer List keeps track of billing addresses and shipping addresses for customers.

Follow these steps to add a customer to the Customer List:

  1. Choose the Customers ð Customer Center command.

    QuickBooks displays the Customer Center window, as shown in Figure 1.

    Figure 1: The Customer Center window

  2. To add a new customer, click the New Customer & Job button and then choose the New Customer command.

    QuickBooks displays the New Customer window, as shown in Figure 2.

    Figure 2: The New Customer window

  3. Use the Customer Name box to give the customer a short name.

    You don't need to enter the customer's full name into the Customer Name box. That information can go into the Company Name box shown on the Address Info tab. You just want some abbreviated version of the customer name that you can use to refer to the customer within the QuickBooks accounting system.

  4. (Usual Rule) Ignore the Opening Balance and As Of boxes.

    You typically don't want to set the customer's opening balance by using the Opening Balance and As Of boxes. That's not the right way to set your new customer accounts receivable balance. If you do this, you're essentially setting up the debit part of an entry without the corresponding credit part. Later, you'll have to go in and enter crazy, wacky journal entries in order to fix your incomplete bookkeeping. But an exception to the usual rule exists, as discussed in the tip that follows.


    Although the usual rule is that you don't want to set an opening balance for a customer, this rule has an important exception. You record your accounts receivable balance on the conversion date by setting an opening balance for each customer as of the conversion date. The sum of these opening balances is what QuickBooks uses to determine your total accounts receivable on the conversion date.

  5. Use the boxes of the Address Info tab to supply the company name, including contact information, billing and shipping addresses, contact name, contact phone number, fax number, and so on.

    I'm not going to tell you that you should enter somebody's first name into the First Name box, or that the phone number of your customer goes into the box labeled Phone. I figure you don't need that kind of help.

  6. Supply a bit of additional information about the customer.

    If you click the Additional Info tab, shown in Figure 3, QuickBooks displays several other boxes that you can use to collect and store customer information. For example, you can use the Type drop-down list to categorize a customer as fitting into a particular "customer type." Use the Terms drop-down list to identify the customer's default payment terms. Use the Rep drop-down list to identify the customer's default sales rep. Finally, use the Preferred Send Method to select the default method for transmitting the customer's invoices and credit memos. You can also record a resale number, specify a default price level, and even click the Define Fields button to specify additional fields that you want to collect and report for the customer.

    Figure 3: The Additional Info tab

  7. Click the Payment Info tab to display the set of boxes shown in Figure 4. You can record the customer's account number, his or her credit limit, and the preferred payment method.

    Figure 4: The Payment Info tab

  8. (Optional) Click the Job Info tab to describe the customer job.

    The Job Info tab lets you describe information associated with a particular job being performed for a customer. You use the Job Info tab if you not only set up a customer but also set up a job for that customer.

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