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Sales orders
Solution No. 339

How to create a new sales order
How to edit an existing sales order

New/edit sales order
Additional options
Existing sales grid


TIP: It is important to note that the sales order screen is only available in Method for QuickBooks Desktop, not QuickBooks online (because there is no sales order screen in QBO).  There is also no sales order screen in QuickBooks Desktop Pro, so Method users running this version of QuickBooks will not have a sales order screen either. 

Generally speaking, a sales order can be defined as a company-generated record of what has been sold by your company, to whom, and when.  The reason a sales order exists is to create an internal record of all the pertinent details associated with a sale that allows for internal auditing.  Quite often, this auditing will make use of a sequential sales order number system for organization. In some industries (for example, wholesalers) the sales order actually replaces invoices, and so sales orders can also be provided to customers for their records. 

When you create and fill out a sales order, you haven't actually recorded the sale - you've only recorded the information you need to make sure the order is fulfilled. The sale is recorded only after you create an invoice.

It may be helpful to think of a sales order as a placeholder for an upcoming sale - accounting rules generally don't let you record income until the sale has been finalized and the product or service shipped, so a sales order is a promise made by your customer to purchase the products or services they've requested. Often, companies will receive purchase orders from their customers and they will be internally turned into sales orders for auditing purposes.

For example, products you sell do not get deducted from your QuickBooks inventory until you create an invoice based on the sales order (because technically, the sale hasn’t happened yet!). The key difference between a sales order and an invoice is that an invoice is sent to the customer and indicates that action must be taken on the customer’s part (paying!) whereas a sales order is not sent to the customer, and indicates that the company needs to take action: fulfilling a sales order is as simple as getting the product or service to your customer.

A sales order is an important part of your trail of breadcrumbs for a variety of reasons: it provides an accurate picture of the product or service your customer has requested and creates a record of that request you can later compare to what was provided.  It also allows you to keep track of supply and demand, and track trends by associating sales orders with opportunities and campaigns.  

This section will show you how to create a new sales order, edit existing orders, and will provide a breakdown of the screen to give you a handy guide to getting around!

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How to create a new sales order

  1. In Method, sales orders can be accessed a few ways.  From your CRM tab group, you can navigate to Customers > Sales orders.  You can also create a sales order from the Estimates tab link in both the Customers and Leads tabs by clicking on More actions and selecting Create sales order.  Further, you can navigate to Edit customer or Edit lead and under the Transactions sub-tab, click New transaction and choose Sales order.  Using the Leads option, this will generate a temporary tab link in your Leads tab (you can make it visible all the time if you choose to Customize the screen, but in stock Method won’t display it unless you follow these steps).
  2. The only fields required for Method to save a sales order are Customer:Job, which assigns the sales order to an existing customer, job associated with a customer, or lead, and Date.  Choose a customer or lead from the drop down list, or, if your sales order is to be associated with a new customer or lead, use the ellipses button (...) to generate the Search / New customer / new lead screen and click on either New customer or New lead to create a new one.
  3. Click on the Date drop down menu to generate a clickable calendar from which you can choose the date of your sales order.
  4. The rest of the fields on this screen are optional; however, it should be noted that choosing a customer or lead will auto-fill these fields with as much information as is available in the customer or lead record, including contact information, any associated sales rep, terms, and so on.  Please see our Screen overview section for more information on each of these fields.
  5. In the Line Item grid, choose the items that will be included for this sales order by using the Item drop down menu(s).  You can include as many items as you want; if you run out of space, click New Line Item to generate further lines.  Choosing these items will auto-fill the Description, Ordered Quantity, Rate, Amount, and Tax fields in the grid.  You can change these, as well as the other options, as you desire (please see Screen overview for more information about these fields).  Click Update when you’re done filling in line items to generate a total.
  6. While the Customer message section is made available here as it is in invoices and estimates, it isn’t really necessary to this screen because sales orders are strictly internal and won’t be sent to the client.  However, this information will transfer to the invoice if you choose to generate an invoice from this sales order, so you may wish to include it here.  You can choose to set a shipping date, include a memo, or associate this sales order with an opportunity or a campaign here.  You can also flag this sales order to be emailed or printed through QuickBooks at a later time, block the order from being kicked to QuickBooks, or flag the order as closed.  This is all explained in further detail in the Screen overview section.
  7. Click Save to save the sales order, or Save & New to save and clear the fields.

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How to edit an existing sales order

  1. Follow step 1 from above.
  2. To the left of the screen you will see the Existing sales orders grid.  Choose the sales order you wish to edit and click on Select next to it.  This will populate the fields to the right with all of the saved information associated with this sales order.
  3. Ensure both the Customer:job and Date fields are filled out (if you are selecting an existing sales order they will already have information in both fields) -- they do not have to have the same information (you can change both of these fields to suit your needs) but they must be filled out in order for Method to save the sales order.
  4. From this screen, you can alter any of the existing fields - change the text in writable fields, change the chosen option in drop down menus, and change any of the information listed in the line item grid. If you choose to update the line items, remember to click Update to generate a new total based on the new items you’ve chosen.
  5. Clicking Save at the bottom of the screen will save this sales order; when you reload the Existing sales orders grid you will see it there.  The rest of the buttons provide you with additional options; please see the Screen overview below for more information.

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Screen overview

The following is a breakdown of the New/edit sales order screen.  We’ll take a closer look at each element of the screen (drop down menus, buttons, etc.) so you know exactly what each element does.  We hope this will be a useful “glossary” of sorts for new users!

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New/edit sales order

As previously mentioned, there are only two required fields to create a new sales order or save an edited one, but there are a number of other options available on this screen.  Let’s take a look at each of them.

  • Customer:Job: This drop down list allows you to choose a customer and/or a job with which to associate this sales order.  Choosing one will auto-fill the pertinent fields associated with the customer (for example, billing addresses, any opportunities associated with the customer, etc.)
  • Class: This drop down list refers to the type of job being ordered (please see Classes for more information).
  • Date: This refers to the date the sales order was created.  Clicking the drop down list generates a clickable calendar you can use to choose a date.
  • S.O. #: By default, this number is generated by QuickBooks, but you can edit it here.  It’s used to keep track of your sales orders in the Existing sales orders grid.
  • Bill to/Ship to: This encompasses the pertinent address information for your customer, and should be auto-filled when you choose him or her from the drop down list.  You can still make changes in this screen, however.
  • PO Number: This number references the purchase order sent in by your customer during the initial ordering phase.
  • Terms: This refers to terms of payment.  Please see the related documentation explaining terms.
  • Due date: Similar to a due date on an opportunity, this is the date you choose to determine whether or not the customer will go ahead with the work based on the sales order.
  • Rep: This drop down list allows you to choose a sales representative to associate with this sales order.
  • Via: This drop down menu gives you the option to identify what carrier service will be used to deliver the product, if applicable.

Line item grid

Directly below you will find another grid; this grid appears when you select a Customer:Job from the drop down list.  This grid is where you can input individual line items into your sales order.  
You can include as many items as you want/need to on this grid, as well as the pertinent information associated with each.  If you run out of line item spaces, click on New line item and more will be generated (you have to have used all the existing ones for this function to work, however).

For each item, the following fields can be filled out:

  • Description: This is, simply, a description of the item.
  • Ordered qty: This is the number of items ordered in total (those invoiced and those not).
  • Rate: This number refers to how much a single item or event costs.  The rate, multiplied by the number of items or events, will be the Amount.
  • %: This denotation is typically used for discount items.  Please see our Items documentation for more information.
  • Amount: This is the total for each line item, as determined by the rate multiplied by the number of goods or services ordered (e.g. if the client has ordered four items at $30 apiece, the total will express as $120).  When you click Update, a total amount for all line items will be tallied at the bottom of this column.
  • Tax: This drop down menu allows you to apply tax (or not) to this line item.
  • Invoiced qty: This is the number of items ordered that have been invoiced so far.
  • Click Update to generate a new total based on the line items you’ve included, or click Cancel to delete any unused line item sections.  

Below the Line Item grid is a tertiary section dedicated to additional information.  Depending on whether or not you have made the items taxable, a Tax amount will also appear, with an option to choose either Taxable or Out of state (please see our documentation on Taxes for more information).  A Total for the sales order is generated from these numbers when you click Save.  

On the left-hand side of this section there are several other options.  Let’s take a look!

  • Customer message: This drop down menu allows you to choose from several pre-built messages to include with the sales order: remember, this will be kicked over to the invoice if you choose to make an invoice from this sales order!
  • Memo: This writable field allows you to include any additional information that wouldn’t fit anywhere else on the sales order (think of it in the same way as the “memo” space on a check).
  • Opportunity #: This drop down menu allows you to associate this sales order with a saved Opportunity within Method.  You can also search for a specific number by typing it into the writable field.  Once this sales order is converted into an invoice, it will appear in the Invoices grid in that Opportunity.
  • Campaign: This drop down menu allows you to associate this sales order with a saved Campaign within Method.  Please see our documentation on Campaigns for more information!
  • Tax item: Depending on whether you are in an origin-based or destination-based state, whether or not you are required to tax items you sell will vary.  Method allows you to choose between “taxable”, which will apply applicable taxes to the subtotal, and “out of state”, which will leave the taxes off.
  • Total: This represents the total amount for all line items, including any applicable taxes.

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Additional options

There are also several additional options that can be clicked.  They are as follows:

  • To be emailed: Checking this option flags this record in QuickBooks as "to be emailed", which will allow you to group and email en masse from QuickBooks at a later time.
  • To be printed: Checking this option flags this record in QuickBooks as “to be printed”, which will allow you to group and print en masse from QuickBooks at a later time.
  • Waiting for sync approval: If this option is checked, this sales order will not be pushed over to your QuickBooks account until you manually uncheck it.
  • Closed: Once you have created invoices for all the line items on a sales order, you may be tempted to throw it away, but of course that runs contrary to keeping a complete trail of breadcrumbs for this particular customer.  So instead you can archive this sales order by clicking “closed”.  It will still be searchable but you’ll know there are no more outstanding invoices associated with any of its line items.

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Existing sales orders

This grid functions the same way as most grids in Method do (see our documentation on Grid functionality for more information), but there are some specific points that need to be addressed on this grid.  Let’s begin with the Filter by drop down menu.

  • My non-posted sales orders: This option will display all sales orders that have not yet been posted to QuickBooks (these are sales orders with Waiting for sync approval checked).
  • My open sales orders: This will display all sales orders that are not flagged as closed (do not have the Closed checkbox checked).
  • My sales orders: This will display all your sales orders.
  • My sales orders from today: This will display all sales orders assigned today’s date.

There are also Shared options for each of these choices.

Clicking “select” next to any record will auto-fill the information available from that record into the pertinent fields in the screen to the right.  You can also sort and search the grid by SO #, Date on the sales order, and the Customer:Job with which the sales order is associated.  If you click on the Lead or Customer listed in the Customer:Job field, it will open the Edit screen associated with that contact type (e.g. clicking a Lead will bring up the Edit Lead screen).

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At the bottom of the screen you will see some buttons that should be familiar to you from around Method.  Let’s take a look at each of them.

  • More actions: This option allows you to Clear / New which clears the fields without saving, Customize Print Templates for sales orders to be printed, or Delete sales order (which can’t be undone).
  • Document: This option allows you to Link an existing document to this sales order, Upload a new document and associated with this sales order, and View existing documents for this sales order.
  • Print preview: This option will show you what your sales order will look like when printed (based on your chosen print template).
  • Create invoice: This is a unique function that allows you to create an invoice out of one or more sales order lines.  Clicking this button will open a new window that will give you the opportunity to check off whichever sales order lines you want turned into an invoice, as well as specify the AR department to which it should be associated (the default is Accounts Receivable).  Clicking Next will open the New/edit invoice screen, auto-filled with the pertinent details from this sales order (customer, billing information, etc.)  You may now edit this invoice as needed (see Invoices for more details), and when you click Save, the invoice will be kicked into your QuickBooks, and the sale will now be recorded (inventory will be updated, etc.)  
  • Save: This option saves the information in the fields and allows you to keep working on them.
  • Save & New: This option saves the information in the fields and then clears them so you can begin work on a new sales order.

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