QuickBooks 2011 and Enterprise Solutions 11.0 include a new Collections Center that enables you to quickly and selectively send bulk emails to customers with overdue or almost due invoices.
To access the Collections Center, start by opening the Customer Center, then click on the Collections Center link at the top of the window.
The Collections Center has 2 tabs: one showing Overdue invoices, and the other showing Almost Due invoices. You can selectively send emails to customers with invoices appearing on either list, and the techniques for doing so are the same. We’ll focus on sending emails to customers with overdue invoices.
Invoices are grouped by Customer Name, and you can sort the list by either Customer Name, the total customer Balance, or the Days Overdue. To sort by a particular column, simply click on the column header.
The Contact column contains the customer’s phone number, so the Collections Center could serve as a great tool for a call list. You can document a phone conversation with the customer or any other internal information (such as the reasoning for a decision not to call or send an email) by clicking on the icon in the Notes/Warnings column. This will bring up an editor that is positioned at the top of the note and has already added a date/time stamp. Previously recorded notes are saved and appear below.
When you’re ready to select which customers (and for which invoices) should be sent emails, click the Select and Send Email link at the top of the Collections Center. If you want to return to reviewing the list, click the Back button.
You can select which customers will receive emails by clicking the checkbox to the left of the invoice number. By default, all overdue invoices for all customers on the Overdue tab are selected, but you can easily deselect one or more invoices from any customer. If you remove the checkbox on all invoices for a given customer, that customer won’t receive an email. Selected invoices are attached as PDF files to your email and are sent using your selection of email client. To make sending forms easier, QuickBooks 2011 includes updated options for sending forms.
In the email form to the right of the list, you can change the default email message. Only 1 message will be sent to all customers currently selected, so be sure to craft a generic message that applies to all of your selections. If you want to send different email messages to different customer groups, you’ll have to select each customer group and complete the sending process before selecting another customer group.
When you’re satisfied with both your selections and email message, click the Send button. QuickBooks will notify you that the process is complete, but you can choose to block this message after the first appearance.
To manage the default messages for overdue and almost due invoices, QuickBooks 2011 has added 2 new message options. You can manage the default message for any form, including these 2 new options, by clicking on the Company Preferences tab of the Send Forms sub-menu on the Edit->Preferences menu selection.
The Collections Center is a valuable addition for businesses that want a unified tool to review customer invoices, document any discussions with customers or internal decisions, and easily send selected invoices to customers in bulk.