As the new year unfolds, Zoho Invoice and Zoho Books brings glad news to one and all especially those weary folks troubled by monotonous work.

Our developers had been elbow deep in some amazing coding this past few weeks and now we bring to you a revised and revamped customer payment feature. You can now record advance payment and record payment for multiple invoices all from a single screen.

Let’s say your customer makes a one-time payment for three different invoices. How would you show this in your Zoho Invoice account? Click on the video below to unravel the secret.

Whoa…was it that simple? Yes it is. Not just in Zoho Invoice, but it is possible even in Zoho Books along with some crucial accounting principles taken care of in the background.

Was something missing with the old invoice payment method?

 Effective as it was, the old process was time consuming because you could add payment only to individual invoices. With the new additions, payment received from a customer for multiple invoices is possible from one single screen.

Did you know advance payment received is not actually your income…yet?​

 Companies need to record advance payment received from customer as ‘unearned’ revenue and not earned revenue as the service is not yet delivered. If the amount is recorded as sale/income, you will get a bloated figure in the financial statement which is not the accurate picture of your business’ performance.

Let’s see how this is smoothly tackled in Zoho Books.

Joggle your memory and from the video you’ll recollect that an advance payment of $200 is recorded for Jane’s next project. Our super cognitive accounting software will reflect the amount in the cash flow statement as ‘Unearned Revenue’. Cash Flow when recording Advance Payment​At the time of Jane’s next invoice payment, you decide to use the excess payment available. From the remaining balance of $200, you use $100. The Cash Flow will now reflect as belowCash Flow after recording Advance Payment

Cool isn’t it!​

Do visit our help page for more information on Advance Payment and Multiple Invoice Payment.

Now we are onto our next work item with great gusto and in the meantime, please drop us your feedback in the comment section.

  1. John Hilvert

    Looks like a great feature. In my case I may have simply made an occasional clerical error and recorded the wrong or lesser amount in a few exceptional cases cases. This results in an implicit positive credit.Can I use advance credits against allready outstanding invoices? Or do I have to recreate them to neutralise positive credits?

  2. Corrine

    That would be another time consuming workaround.

  3. Reshma

    @Corrine: Sorry for late response. We are working on a solution for this and as a temporary measure you can make note of the invoice number in the ‘Reference #’ section at the time of recording the payment.
    If you are already making use of the ‘Reference #’ field to record other data, include the invoice number as shown in the example below.
    Existing Reference # : 18976
    Add Invoice Number : 18976 / INV-25Or else just add it in the notes section.We’re glad you brought it up. We want to keep Zoho Invoice as simple as possible. Thanks once again

  4. Corrine

    I have also noticed that you removed the invoice number while viewing payments made (payments received) which is incredibly stupid. This affects the usability of the site as I can’t see at a glance which invoice was that payment made for. The workaround that your support staff gave was to click on ‘edit’ to view the invoice number. Am I supposed to do that for ALL the invoices??? That is extremely time consuming and dumb.

  5. Reshma

    @Scott : Thank you for your feedback. We apologize for the inaccurate response suggested earlier for ‘creating a credit note for requesting an advance payment to avoid creating an invoice’. We had a brainstorming session with our technical team. We got thinking and we’ve come up with a solution.From Zoho Books, create an estimate and when you are emailing it to your customers, you can tweak the email content to request an advance/deposit for the service to be rendered as per your needs. Money received can be recorded with the new advance payment feature in Zoho Books which will put it in the ‘unearned revenue’. Once the work is completed, you can convert the estimate into the invoice with the additional notes and the total cost of the service. However in the above approach using estimates, you cannot receive online payments at the moment. We have included this in our roadmap.@ Alex: We truly apologize for the incorrect response we’d given earlier. Kindly refer the above solution .Thanks for all your invaluable suggestions. All your inputs give us ideas to bring in new features and give you better accounting experience always.

  6. Scott

    Help! We desperately need to see this feature working in it’s entirety. Recording advanced payments sounds great, but companies with accounting departments – even those without, require an invoice to pay against. We have been trying to figure out how to get advanced payments without invoicing to avoid:”Did you know advance payment received is not actually your income…yet?​
    Companies need to record advance payment received from customer as ‘unearned’ revenue and not earned revenue as the service is not yet delivered. If the amount is recorded as sale/income, you will get a bloated figure in the financial statement which is not the accurate picture of your business’ performance.”As a solution we have been doing as you suggested : “As an alternative (not the best method) you could email the customer or create a credit note for the advance payment. You will avoid creating an invoice in this process.” Seems good, but raises a very serious question… How does it impact your books to just keep creating credit notes towards your services without ever entering the payment against an invoice????? Do credit notes show as a true receivable? If so, how would you distinguish a credit from a payment, from giving a customer a credit towards a service to settle an issue, or as a perk. This can’t be right can it? Do credit notes show as receivable income? I’m not the accountant, but this seems to be a fundamentally flawed way of creating a credit, and unless I’m wrong… you have to be careful how you advise people on these processes. This has serious bookkeeping / tax implications.We take deposits and retainers from almost all of our clients to initiate services, and we bill them at the end of the month based entirely off of time entries in ZOHO Projects (converted to invoices in books). We have to get payments, issue credits and apply them to the end of month invoices. Wouldn’t it actually be better to in fact invoice for “down payment”. Upon receipt of payment, apply it to the invoice which closes it. Then issue a credit to apply to their invoice which would be generated later when the services have been rendered?Please advise, and please keep in mind that its very hard to get an advanced payment from an organization without invoicing them. So recording advanced payments is great… but you have to help us get them. I look forward to your response.

  7. Keith

    Thanks Zoho!This is great, we really needed it.Cheers,KeithKeith’s Wheatgrass

  8. Thomas Hofer

    This is the best tool ever! I am just starting to work with it bud what i have see till know is fantastic. !
    Thank you so much Zoho Team! 🙂

  9. Reshma

    @Jim- Thank you 🙂
    @Jorg- We’re definitely hearing you. Sending multiple invoices at one go is on our roadmap. Unable to share a time frame yet but will keep you updated once its up and running. Most of our features in Zoho Invoice are customer led. We’d received several requests for the multiple invoice payment from fellow Zoho Invoice users like you, hence the new feature.
    @Veronica- We’re happy to see you this excited. Keep checkin in for more updates
    @Alex- Thanks for the suggestion. Currently the ‘request an advanced payment’ feature is not in our roadmap. I have passed along the suggestion to our development team. As an alternative (not the best method) you could email the customer or create a credit note for the advance payment. You will avoid creating an invoice in this process. Point to note , no online payments will be possible in this way.
    @Jes Darmanin- Couldn’t help but smile at the comment 🙂 Thanks a bunch .
    @Sally -Thanks for the awesome feedback 🙂
    @CSM-Thanks for your feedback and the suggestion for early payment discount . We are keeping an eye on this feature but at the moment it’s not listed in our current roadmap. I will however pass this feature request to our development team.
    @Rachid-We’re glad your wait is finally over. Stay tuned in for more updates.

  10. Rachid

    Finally was waiting a long time! Saves more time & is more accurate bookkeeping!

  11. CSM

    Jorg – my company receives one payment for multiple invoices on nearly every payment received. This is a great benefit for us.Now, if Zoho could automatically apply an early payment discount, that would save us even more time (much more than the multiple invoice payments). Early payment discounts are universal in my industry and as of now we have to create a credit memo for each payment/invoice – very tedious.

  12. Sally

    So thrilled that you added this feature, thank you!I have this issue on a monthly basis and the new functionality is perfect!

  13. Jes Darmanin

    awesome, was looking forward to this. thanks!
    if there was a “like” button i would have pressed it :PThanks zoho!

  14. Alex

    Is it possible to “Request an Advanced Payment” using similar way as sending an invoice but without creating one?
    I want clients to pre-pay for the orders before starting to work on them and without any previous relationship with the client-to-be.

  15. Veronica Apodaca

    So excited! I have been waiting for this!
    Thank you!
    Veronica

  16. Jörg

    Hi there,This feature might be useful for everyone receiving money for multiple invoices. But how often does this really happen?… Precisely. Once in a blue moon. And when it does happy, surely the old method would not have put you out either…However, what really would be cool – and save an enormous amount of time – is sending out multiple (draft) invoices at the same time. Like many (if not all) of my colleagues, I send out monthly invoices. In order to send those invoices, I need to click each invoice 4 times: open, email, confirm, back to Drafts. At 30 invoices, that’s 120 clicks – where two would be sufficient: Select all draft invoices >> click Email all >> Confirm. Done.Regards,
    Jörg

  17. Jim Drabbe

    Record advance or multiple invoice payments at one go!:Great update!!! Thanks a lot!! 🙂