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How to Write Off an Invoice in QuickBooks Online?

Updated: May 31

As a business owner, you might face this unfortunate reality – uncollectible invoices. No matter how much effort you put into retrieving the money, but in vain, the customer cannot pay at all or even refuses to pay. When this happens, you need to write off the uncollectible invoices. There are a number of ways to remove uncollectible invoice amounts from your accounting systems. In this article, we'll explore how to write off an invoice in QuickBooks Online, offering practical advice and actionable tips.

Table of contents:

Understanding Invoices in QuickBooks

QuickBooks caters to a diverse array of business needs through its versatile invoicing system. From standard service invoices to more complex billing formats, the platform accommodates various invoice types, each designed to address specific billing scenarios. However, managing these diverse invoice types can present challenges, particularly when confronted with unpaid or overdue invoices that stubbornly linger in the accounts receivable.

Preparing to Write Off an Invoice

The decision to write off an invoice is significant and should only be made after careful consideration. Is the invoice irrecoverable? Has every avenue to collect the payment been exhausted? Before initiating a write-off, it's also vital to back up your QuickBooks data. This step safeguards against any unintended alterations that might occur during the write-off process.

Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Off an Invoice in QuickBooks

Step 1: Accessing the Invoices Section: 

  • First, open QuickBooks and sign in to your account.

  • Look for a section called 'Sales' and then find 'Invoices' under it. This is where all your invoice information is kept.

  • Take a quick look around this area so you know where everything is. Here you can see all your invoices and whether they've been paid or not.

Step 2: Selecting the Invoice to Write Off: 

  • In your list of invoices, look for the one you can't collect payment for. Maybe the customer can’t pay, or they just haven't responded.

  • Click on this invoice to see all the details. Make sure you’ve tried everything to get the payment before deciding to write it off.

  • Remember, when you write off an invoice, it means you’re accepting that you won’t get this money. This affects your business’s income.

Step 3: Recording a Bad Debt: 

  • Now you’re ready to mark this invoice as a bad debt, which is like saying, “We can’t collect this money.”

  • If you don’t have a 'Bad Debt' account in QuickBooks yet, you’ll need to make one. This is where you'll keep track of all the money that couldn’t be collected.

  • Go back to the invoice you can’t collect on. Choose an option like 'Receive Payment' to close the invoice and put the amount in your bad debt account.

Step 4: Adjusting the Accounts: 

  • After you mark the bad debt, you need to update your accounts. This means your total money coming in (accounts receivable) goes down, and the amount in your bad debt account goes up.

  • Take a look at your financial reports, like the income statement and balance sheet, to make sure they show the invoice you wrote off.

  • It’s a good idea to regularly check these adjustments to make sure your financial records stay correct.

Confirming the Write-Off

Once you've completed the write-off process, it's crucial to ensure that everything has been recorded correctly in QuickBooks. This step is essential to keep your financial records accurate and up-to-date. Here's how you can do this:

  1. Check your Accounts Receivable to see if it has gone down by the amount of the invoice you wrote off.

  2. Make sure this amount shows up in your bad debt account.

  3. Take a look at two main reports: your Profit and Loss statement should show the bad debt as an expense, and your Balance Sheet should show you have fewer assets because you’re not expecting that money anymore.

Doing this makes sure your financial reports correctly reflect the write-off. Also, remember to keep good records of why and how you wrote off the invoice, as this information can be useful later, especially for taxes. It’s also a good idea to regularly check your financials or ask an expert to help make sure everything is accurate.

QuickBooks online

Troubleshooting Common Issues

In QuickBooks, you might occasionally run into problems like sync errors or mistakes in invoice write-offs. For sync errors, first, pinpoint where the issue is—whether it's during data transfer or syncing with external accounts. QuickBooks has diagnostic tools to help resolve these errors, ensuring smooth data synchronization.

If you find inaccuracies in your invoice write-offs, carefully review the transactions. QuickBooks allows adjustments to these entries, so you can correct any errors to maintain accurate financial statements. It's important to regularly check these areas to keep your financial data precise and trustworthy.

Making the Most of QuickBooks for Easy Invoicing

QuickBooks is loaded with features that make invoicing easier and more professional. For regular clients, you can set up recurring invoices, which are automatically sent out at specified intervals, and set automatic reminders for overdue payments. This not only saves time but also helps in maintaining a consistent cash flow.

Personalizing your invoices is also easy with QuickBooks. You can add your brand logo, adjust the color scheme, and even include custom fields specific to your business needs, giving your invoices a unique and professional look.

Moreover, integrating QuickBooks with other tools, like CRM software or POS systems, can further streamline your invoicing process, especially for businesses with e-commerce platforms or physical stores.


Writing off an invoice in QuickBooks can be easy and worry-free if you follow the right steps. By using what QuickBooks has to offer, companies can keep their financial records straight and up to date. This helps businesses stay financially healthy and well-managed.

After trying these steps, if you find managing your books time-consuming or complex, consider our services at "Construction Cost Accounting". We specialize in bookkeeping services for contractors using QuickBooks and Sage 100 Contractor. Our expertise ensures accuracy, time-saving, and hassle-free accounting.



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