The Payment Settings tab (Figure 4-3) is the place to indicate how the customer pays and how much credit you’re willing to extend.
You can use the following fields to specify the customer’s payment info:
• Account No. Account numbers are optional in QuickBooks. Large accounting programs often assign unique account numbers to customers, which reduces the time it takes to locate a customer’s record. In QuickBooks, the Customer Name field works like an identifier, so you’re best off reserving the Account No. field for an account number generated by one of your other business systems.
• Payment Terms. What you select here represents the payment terms the customer has agreed to. The entries in this drop-down list come from the Terms List (page 150), which QuickBooks uses for both payment terms for your customers and the ones you accept from your vendors. Out of the box, this list includes several of the most common payment terms, such as “Due on receipt” and Net 30, but you can choose <Add New> at the top of this list to define additional payment terms. If you leave this field blank in a customer’s record, you have to choose the payment terms every time you create an invoice for that customer.
• Preferred Delivery Method. Choose E-mail, Mail, or None to identify the method that your customer prefers for receiving information. If you choose E-mail, QuickBooks automatically turns on the E-mail checkbox when you create forms (such as invoices) for this customer. The Mail method is for QuickBooks Billing Solutions, an add-on QuickBooks service for mailing invoices (additional fees apply). (In QuickBooks, online payment services are undergoing big changes, which hadn’t been finalized when this book was written. To learn about the new online payment services, download online Appendix E from this book’s Missing CD page at www.missingmanuals.com/cds.) Choose None if you typically print documents and mail them the old-fashioned way. You can’t add a new entry to the Preferred Delivery Method list, so if you use carrier pigeons to correspond with your incarcerated customers, you’ll just have to choose None and remember that delivery method.
• Preferred Payment Method. Choose the form of payment that the customer uses most frequently. This drop-down list includes several common ones, such as Cash, Check, and Visa, but you can add others by choosing <Add New>. The payment method you specify automatically appears in the Receive Payments window (page 345) when you choose this customer. If a regular customer pays with a method different from the one you chose here, you can simply select that method in the Receive Payments window.
• Credit Card Information. For credit card payments, you can specify the customer’s card number, the name on the card, the billing address, the Zip/postal code, and the expiration date. (You can enter only one credit card number for each customer.)
• Credit Limit. This is where you can specify the amount of credit that you’re willing to extend to the customer. If you do, then QuickBooks warns you when an order or invoice exceeds this customer’s credit limit, but that’s as far as it goes—it’s up to you to reject the order or to ship your products COD. If you don’t plan to enforce the credit limits you assign, then don’t bother entering a value in this field.
• Price Level. More often than not, customers pay different prices for the same product. Just think about the labyrinth of pricing options for seats on airplanes, for instance. In QuickBooks, price levels represent discounts or markups that you apply to transactions. For example, you might have one price level called Top20, which applies a 20 percent discount for your best customers, and another price level called AuntMabel that extends a 50 percent discount to your Aunt Mabel because she fronted you the money to start your business. (Page 144 explains how to define price levels.) Once you create a price level, you can tell Quick- Books to apply it to every transaction for a customer by choosing it in this box.
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