How to Manage QuickBooks Online Custom Fields

Kyle Kuczynski,
Business Messaging Expert
Nov 09, 2020

Learn How to Use QuickBooks Online Custom Fields in Sales Forms, Invoices, and Customer Records

Does QuickBooks Online allow you to add custom fields? Yes, but your options are limited to text fields only in a couple of modules.

How many custom fields can you add in QuickBooks Online?

QuickBooks gives you:

  • Two custom fields in the Customers module marked “Other” and “Notes”

  • Three custom fields in the Sales Forms module (for invoicing, estimates, and sales receipts)

For some QBO users, these fields may be enough. But if you’re like many other small businesses you probably need more. No doubt you have a lot of customer info - there’s just no place to put it QuickBooks Online.

However, you have some options.

Third-party QuickBooks Online integrations like MessageDesk can help. MessageDesk makes it easy to sync and store all of your extra QuickBooks Online customer information (but more on that later).

In the following article, we teach you how to make the most of QuickBooks Online custom fields. Read on and learn how to add, create, and edit custom fields.

What is a Custom Field?

A custom field is a unique data entry that helps you store and segment your contact information into lists and groups. A business might add a custom field in their contact management software to record a customer’s last purchase, a service update, additional phone numbers, or even birthday.

Custom field data is always unique to your own business or organization’s needs. Customer relationship management software (CRM) that supports custom fields will normally give you several custom field data types to keep customer information consistent.

Custom field types include:

  • Text fields - open fields that allow you to enter any text or string of characters
  • Dropdowns or selects- selectable, predefined  fields that intentionally limit options
  • Number fields- fields that only accept a number entry
  • Date/time fields - fields that only accept a date/time entry
  • Phone number fields - only accept a string of numbers formatted as a phone number
  • Radials - displayed as a round box for on/off or yes/no binary options
  • Checkboxes - displayed as a checkmark for on/off or yes/no binary options

Note: QuickBooks custom fields only support text. You can’t use QuickBooks Online for advanced custom fields like dropdowns, selects, or radials. Check out QuickBooks Desktop for more options.

How to Add Custom Fields to a Customer in QuickBooks Online:

It’s worth noting that QuickBooks Online is a small business accounting software. It isn’t specifically designed to manage contacts and customer relationships.

You’ll want to consider a CRM or contact management software like MessageDesk to manage your customers. Both tools do a better job storing customer information since they both support advanced custom fields.

QuickBooks gives you “Other” and “Notes” as fields. These fields aren’t normal custom fields. But they do allow you to store additional customer information.

Suggested Article: Are You Ready for a QuickBooks CRM?

Quick Start: How to Add a Custom Field to a Customer in QuickBooks Online

  1. From the Dashboard click Sales, then click on Customers.
  2. Search or select a customer to view their information.
  3. Click Edit to edit customer information.
  4. Type information into the Other field or Notes field.

1. From the Dashboard click Sales, then click on Customers.

quickbooks-dashboard-sales-customers.png

2. Search or select a customer to view and edit their information.

sales-edit-quickbooks-customr.png

3. Click the edit button in the upper right-hand corner to edit the customer’s information.

other-notes-field-quickbooks.png

4. Type into the Other field or the Notes filed. These are not labeled as custom fields but they are text fields that function in the same way.

How to Create Custom Fields in QuickBooks Online Sales Forms

You can use QuickBooks Online to add a custom field to invoices, estimates, and sales receipts. Sales Forms give you three distinct, labeled custom field options. There are also other ways to customize QuickBooks Online invoices, estimates, and receipts.

Note: Adding these fields to Sales Forms will populate them across all of your sales forms. This includes estimates, invoices, and sales receipts.

Quick Start: How to Add Custom Fields to All QuickBooks Sales Forms

  1. Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner and select Account and Settings.
  2. Select Sales and click the pencil icon to edit the Sales Form Content section.
  3. Enter a Name into each field and select Internal or Public.
  4. Click Save.

1. Click the Gear icon at the top of your QuickBooks Online Dashboard, then select Account and Settings.

quickbooks-online-dashboard.png

2. Choose Sales and click the pencil icon to edit the Sales Form Content section.

quickbooks-online-account-and-settings.png

3. Enter a Name into each field beneath the title Custom Fields. Select whether you want the field to be Internal or Public.

Note: QuickBooks limits the title of your custom field to 15 characters. Select "Internal" to show the field in QuickBooks. Select "Public" to show the field on customer forms. You’ll need to mark a custom field as Internal before you can mark it as Public.
quickbooks-custom-fields.png

4. Finally, click Save to save your entries.

Quick Start: How to Add Custom Fields to Invoices, Estimates, and Sales Receipts

Adding a custom field to a QuickBooks Online invoice is easy. But keep in mind QBO only allows you three custom fields.

Suggested Article: The Ultimate Guide to QuickBooks Online Invoicing

Suggested Article: How to Customize QuickBooks Online Invoice Templates

  1. Click Sales and select All Sales.
  2. Click the New Transaction button and select Estimate,** Invoice**, or Sales Receipt.
  3. Click the Gear icon to edit existing custom fields or add new ones.
  4. Close form settings to save your fields.

1. From the QuickBooks Online Dashboard go to Sales and select All Sales.

quickbooks-dashboard-all-sales.png

2. In the upper right-hand corner click New Transaction and select Estimate, Invoice, or Sales Receipt to create a new QuickBooks Online invoice.

quickbooks-online-create-new-invoice.png

3. Once inside the blank sales form, click the Gear icon in the upper right-hand corner. This will open form customization options.

quickbooks-online-new-invoice.png

4. With form settings open you can now add your custom field to the sales form. You have three blank custom fields.

edit-quickbooks-sales-forms-custom-fields.png

5. Close form settings to save your custom fields. With your custom fields saved, they will now reflect on all of your sales forms including invoices, estimates, and sales receipts.

How MessageDesk Solves Your QuickBooks Online Custom Field Problem

You need a place to store all of your customer information. This place should be easy to access and flexible enough to support your specific business needs.

MessageDesk is an advanced custom fields plugin that gives you a smarter way to access your QuickBooks Online customers.

The integrated sync with QuickBooks Online works both ways. It automatically pulls in and updates your existing customer information but keeps your financial and accounting data separate.

Bottom line: MessageDesk makes it easier to manage all of your QuickBooks customer info. You can also text customers and even send invoice reminders.

Visit our learning center for information on how to get started with MessageDesk. You’ll find a quick start guide to texting, a features overview, and an explanation of what MessageDesk is.