The Quickbooks Customer Center is a great customer management tool. Having it built into your bookkeeping software is an added bonus. Most of my clients manage their customer information in Quickbooks because it connects that information with estimates, invoices, sales receipts and more.
One of the ideas behind the wealth of features available in the Quickbooks Customer Center is that it takes the work out of managing your customer information. As an example, you can store default email addresses for your customers as well as cc emails if you need them. Any forms that can be emailed from within Quickbooks are then automatically populated with the email addresses. Not only that, but default texts can be created for each type of form that is sent.
Navigate to the Quickbooks Customer Center by clicking on Customer Center from the Customers menu. You can also add the customer center to the icon bar. (See Navigation in Quickbooks).
Once the Customer Center is opened you will see your Customer:Job list on the left pane with the customer information pane on the right. The top portion of the right pane provides a quick view of information about your clients. The bottom portion shows a view of transactions for each one that can be modified and filtered to suit your needs.
At the top of the Quickbooks Customer Center you will notice a button that says ‘New Customer & Job’. This will open the ‘New Customer’ window. Enter their name in the first boxed titled ‘Customer Name’. If you want your list sorted by last name, be sure to put their last name first.
Note: Once you have a customer in your list you can add jobs under their name by using your right mouse button and choosing 'Add Job' or choosing to add a job via the 'New Customer & Job' button above the list.
The next field is for their opening balance. If you are entering information for an existing customer that has a balance, you will want to enter that amount and choose the correct ‘as of’ date.
After this you will move to the ’Address Info’ tab which is open first by default. This is where you will enter as much contact info as you want and set up ‘Bill To’ and ‘Ship To’ addresses.
The next tab is ‘Additional Info’. The first field on this tab is for entering ’Customer Type’. Tracking by type is great for running sales and other reports. You can create new types by clicking the drop down arrow and choosing ‘’. Any customer types you create now can later be found in the 'Customer Type' list by going to ‘Lists’ > ‘Customer and Vendor Profile Lists’ > ‘Customer Type List’. You can create the types in advance by going to this list first and creating them there. If you have done that, you will be able to select one by choosing the drop down list under ‘Type’ in the 'New Customer' window.
The following field is where you can enter payment terms for your customers. The terms list is found in the same place as the ‘Customer Type’ list. You can have your customer payment terms appear on invoices and statements.
After payment terms you can enter sales rep information if you pay commissions or would like to track sales rep performance in reports. You can create a new rep here or go to the ’Sales Rep’ list which is found in the same place as the 'Customer Type' List.
After these three fields on the ‘Additional Info’ tab is the ‘Preferred Send Method’. The options here are Mail, Email, or None. Quickbooks allows you to send email for free from inside the software if you have Outlook or Outlook Express installed on your computer. Otherwise you can use one of Intuit's subscription services.
Next you can set up price levels for each customer. There are two options if you are using Quickbooks Premier or higher. These options are Fixed % or Per Item. If you have another version of Quickbooks then you will only have the Fixed % option available. This allows you to set different pricing levels for your customers, so that if you want the standard sales prices in Quickbooks to be increased or decreased for a particular customer, it will automatically be done for you when creating invoices or sales receipts based on the information you enter for the customer here in the Customer Center.
After this you can choose to define ’Custom Fields’ for your Customers which can also be applied to Vendors or Employees. For example you could create a field for Birthdays or another for a website address or different kinds of information specific to your kind of business.
The ’Payment Info’ tab is where can enter your customers account number and credit limit if you carry accounts receivable. You can choose from payment methods of Cash, Check, Credit Card or . This is where you can also store credit card information for each customer.
The ’Job Info’ tab is great for tracking the different jobs done for each customer. This is great for building and remodeling companies that do more than one project for customers and for other kinds of businesses such as production companies that produce multiple events for each customer. It includes fields for Job Status, Start Date, Projected End, End Date and Job Type.
One feature that can be overlooked in the Quickbooks Customer Center is ‘Notes’. I find this feature great for recording information that doesn't have an existing field for entry in the Customer Center. It allows you to detail things you want to remember. As a business grows it can become challenging to remember details from one customer to another, especially historic information. The ‘Note’ feature is a great way to overcome this. It even allows you to add a date stamp to the notes and print them.
A couple things to keep in mind are that Maps and directions can be called up from within each customer information pane and you can open an entire set of menu options for each in the Quickbooks Customer Center by using your right mouse button.
Be sure to become familiar with and take advantage of as many of the features in the Quickbooks Customer Center as you can. It can streamline the paperwork process for you and help you see how your company is doing at the customer level. Inputting as much information as you can in the beginning will save you time in the future.
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