QuickBooks ProAdvisor

In The Know: Payment reminders

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Jaclyn Anku, ProAdvisor Training & Certification Leader: Hey, I'm Jaclyn, and welcome to In The Know. This is our weekly video show designed to keep you up to date on the most exciting innovations across the QuickBooks online ecosystem

Today, we're diving into the world of payments. We heard QuickBooks Online customers want to send a single email reminder to payers for their open balance instead of sending one email per unpaid balance, which adds up to multiple emails. Thanks to your feedback, your clients can now send a single email reminder for all open invoice balances owed to them by a given payer.

Here are the Fast Facts:

  • This feature is available to QuickBooks Online users with payment options. 
  • To access it, visit the Sales tab, head to Customer, then click the dropdown to send a reminder.
  • This feature is available globally as of May 2024.

If you find this update interesting or helpful, go ahead and like, subscribe, and hit the bell to get notified.

Let me introduce you to Amer, the talented product manager behind this exciting update. Amer, welcome.

Amer Shrestha: Thank you, Jaclyn, so much for having me. I'm super, super excited to hop right into payment reminders.

Today, when I send an email reminder, I'm sending 10 different invoices with their email reminders and my customer is getting 10 different emails. We know this is a problem, so we now allow you to consolidate all of these open balances for a given customer with a single email.

Click on the Sales tab in the left navigation, and you'll see Customers; click on that to see all of the open balances for any of your given customers.

Now select the customer with about $341,000 in an open balance. This is quite a lot. Hit the drop-down to send a reminder—and boom! This is a completely new experience. You'll notice two things on the left side. It's something very familiar to sending an invoice, with email, subject, and to and from, while on the right side, you'll see the entire open balance for a given customer. It's right there, along with all of the invoices they can pay directly. This is a brand new experience, at least on the reminder end, and this is one of the access points to find it.

Let me quickly show you the next access point. There are two ways we know our customers do this from the individual customer detail page. I can click on the customer, and then once I click on that individual customer, I can head all the way up to that new transaction button. And once I click that, I see something called Send Grouped Reminder. And once I click on that, this is also going to send you to that same experience for that customer.

So again, two different access points, making it very simple for you.

And you might also be wondering what does the payer see? This is really important, right? The payer will get an email of that preview you just saw, and they can individually pay each of the invoices from a singular place. So if they click on an invoice, they get to this page where they can type in their credit card information and pay. Once they hit Pay Now, the payment will be complete.

That’s the amazing payment reminders experience. Thank you so much Jaclyn. We're super excited to launch this out to everyone.

Jaclyn Anku: Amer, thank you so much for being on the show. We'll turn now to ProAdvisors Nayo Carter-Gray and Kenji Kuramoto for them to weigh in.

Kenji, Nayo, thank you so much for being with us on the show and joining us on this episode of In The Know, where we've been discussing payment reminders.

Nayo, let me start with you. How does this new update help your clients collect their receivables faster?

Nayo Carter-Gray: First, thanks for having me; I'm super excited to be here. This new feature is awesome—like we never really knew we needed it until it got released. 

I'm one of those people who encourages my clients to make sure you're collecting on your accounts receivable, but every once in a while, there will be an invoice or two that falls through the cracks. Now with this new feature, clients will be able to send multiple invoices and one reminder, which I think is super helpful, just for transparency sake.

Let’s say a client absolutely forgets to pay an invoice; they went on vacation or it might be graduation season. They're out of the office, and then that next invoice creeps up on them. With Payment Reminders, my clients can let their clients know they owe them money—and it's a gentle reminder. It doesn't feel very intrusive. It's just kind of like here they are outlined one place with a total.

So thank you, engineers, for introducing this feature. I didn't really know we needed it until I saw it and knew this was going to be awesome.

Jaclyn Anku: I love that. Kenji, we know cash flow is the lifeblood of any small business. I know that at Acuity, you do a lot of cash flow advisory and forecasting. So how can something like this feature actually lend itself to talking to clients about their cash flow a little bit more holistically?

Kenji Kuramoto: We do a lot of advisory work around cash flow. To give an example, especially thinking about services businesses—and it can expand to other businesses, too—if you want to try to get cash in the door faster, sometimes you can do the work more quickly or try to ship something faster, but oftentimes, that means invoicing quicker, too. And if you're going to invoice quicker, that means invoicing more often.

Sometimes, we work with clients who want to aggregate all of our time to the end of the month, and then we send out a bill. We recommend increasing the frequency of when we invoice to where we invoice each week. They think that’s a great idea because we can get cash in faster. However, it creates more invoices, so instead of sending out a monthly invoice, now you've got weekly invoices. So it's a little easier for their customers to sometimes either miss an invoice or things like that. This new Payment Reminders feature really helps. So when we're advising to say, hey, let's invoice a little more often, and maybe create more invoices, a kind of a batch action tool like Payment Reminders where you can do them collectively is super useful and super helpful for those who were trying to get cash flow in the door a lot quicker.

Jaclyn Anku: Nayo, if we take the accountant’s point of view, I've heard from you that clients said cash flow can help with the month-end reconciliation process. Could you expand on that? 

Nayo Carter-Gray: So when my clients see that money in the bank, the first thing they think is “Hey, we can spend it.” So if they're invoicing their clients more frequently and getting that money in the door, they're happy campers because now they have some cash on hand that they can do whatever they need to do with it. We like to plan around those cycles, so we also want them to consider how to best utilize the cash when they’re sending out invoices? Can we encourage those behaviors where we're asking our clients to pay on a recurring basis, so maybe we don't have to send out an invoice or invoice reminder? We can also think about things like maybe offering a discount if they pay sooner rather than later.

But this all takes some getting used to, especially when your business is kind of just starting out and you're just so excited that you have paying customers. Sometimes these things fall through the cracks, so I love to use them as opportunities, especially if we're starting to see, like, hey, this particular customer of yours owes you a lot of money. It may be time to scale back what you're doing or have a conversation with them about how we can help you, but you help us by paying us on time, right? 

Jaclyn Anku: Makes so much sense. 

Kenji Kuramoto: You know, oftentimes I think we, as accountants, think about when transaction volumes increase—and we kind of go, oh yuck. That's going to get more complicated, more expensive, and more time consuming. The challenge is oftentimes more transaction volume means more success for the client. Things are maybe going better. They have more invoices going out and more dollars to collect. We're thinking in terms of like, yikes, that could be more work for us as accountants.

I like it when there's a process or a tool that aligns us better with when clients are being successful, Whether it's five or 50 invoices, the tools we have will be able to enable us to help on things such as collections and payment reminders, regardless of how many invoices have been generated by the client.

I like tools like that. But again, it kind of aligns us a little bit better with our clients and their success.

Jaclyn Anku: Well, Nayo and Kenji, thank you so much for being on the show and just for having some fun with us and for sharing all of your rich points of view. I absolutely love having you here and hope to catch you next time. 

Nayo Carter-Gray: Thank you for having us. 

Jaclyn Anku: Thank you! 

And thank you for watching this episode. I'm Jaclyn, the host of In The Know and leader of ProAdvisor Training and Certification. Be sure to like, subscribe, and hit the notification bell so that you don't miss a single episode. We'll catch you next time.

Meet the ProAdvisors

ProAdvisor Nayo Carter-Gray: Founder, 1st Step Accounting

ProAdvisor Kenji Kuramoto: CEO, Acuity

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