How to write off a customer balance in QuickBooks

You wouldn’t reward a customer who failed to pay you by discounting their entire balance would you? So why would you record it that way when the time came to write off a customer’s balance in QuickBooks?

The temptation might be to post a discount on the customer’s invoice to reduce that invoice’s balance to zero. This works in theory, but here’s the problem with that. Ultimately as you create your set of books you are leaving a trail of crumbs for someone else to pick up on and look at later. It may be the person preparing your taxes and it may be someone looking to buy the company who’s books you are compiling as you do the bookkeeping each day. So it is really important to tell the right story. If I discount a customer’s invoice to zero that suggests that everything was ok and I decided for whatever reason to create some goodwill by giving that customer a discount. This paints a very different picture compare with when I am writing off a customer’s balance as Bad Debt because they chose not to pay.

So the correct way to handle this transaction in proper context is to record a journal entry and write the balance off as Bad debt. In QuickBooks it is simple and the video tutorial will demonstrate how to do this. First here is a screen shot of what it looks like in QuickBooks:

Then you have to apply the credit produced by going into Customer Payments and applying the credit of $13,500 for this customer.

Click the TV to watch a video that goes over how to do this step by step:

Click Here to watch the screen cast

About Nerd

I started Nerd Enterprises, Inc. in 2003 and continue to work with individuals and companies to cure their financial headaches. Writing, Blogging, Social Media and generally building communities around these areas as well as technology has become another passion of mine.