Can I Delete Customers in QuickBooks?
QuickBooks 2012: New Inventory Center Feature

Can I Set My Own Invoice Number Sequence in QuickBooks?

If your business has a desire to use their own invoice numbering sequence, QuickBooks can help with that (up to a point...).

By default, the very first invoice you create in QuickBooks will have the number 1 associated with it. From there, QuickBooks simply adds +1 to the number to get the next invoice number. For many businesses, that game plan works like a charm.

However, let's say that your business wants to start (or modify) their invoicing with the number 5000 instead of the number 1. Tackling that need is easy to do.


If you want to start your own sequence, here are the steps to follow...

  • Create the invoice as normal
  • Before you save it, go to the invoice number box, erase what is there and enter what you want it to be. In the example below, the invoice number 5000 has been entered. Once you save this, the next invoice number will be 5001, etc.

DOUBLE-BONUS! This same process works with quotes, sales orders and purchase order numbers in QuickBooks. Each one of these forms runs on their own unique numbering, so if you wanted to start your sales orders with the number A1000, just follow the steps above and enter A1000 for the sales order number.


If your business is trying to use a more complicated scheme, QuickBooks may have some trouble.

Example - if you want your invoice number (or quote #, etc.) for salesman 1 to be 1-1000, etc. and for salesman 2 to be 2-1000, QuickBooks will only add one to the last number that was typed into the invoice number box. This will require you to manually look up and enter an invoice number each time so that this type of sequence works for you.

Key Consideration - with the many ways that QuickBooks provides to look up and find information, setting up a complicated numbering system like this example really is not necessary. In fact, it really gums up the works for no good reason that I know of. What I usually find is that these types of approaches are carryovers from really old accounting software that didn't allow the easy lookup of information.

Are there situations you have where you need a specialized numbering scheme beyond what QuickBooks provides? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.





Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


If I understand what you are trying to do, you just click in the invoice # box and reset it to the sequence you want it to be.

There is no other preference in QuickBooks that deals with this issue that I am aware of.

Scott Gregory

We have 2 A/R, with custom Invoice Numbers,..
So we know what company they're coming from. When we go to create a new Invoice Quickbooks removes the prevailing zeros
I know it's a bit silly to have them there, but the owner insists. Does anyone know a way to leave them there, I did it with our previous version of Quickbooks, but was a while ago & have forgotten how to edit it!

Hey, I would just like to understand how Quickbooks chooses the next invoice number when you have multiple accounts receivable. Whenever I go to make an invoice, Quickbooks often uses an invoice number already assigned under another A/R and will not even give you the courtesy of a 'duplicate invoice number warning'. I've tried to get Quickbooks to use two different numbering systems so I can tell the two A/Rs apart without ongoing success. I've had to do everything manually for quite a while and I'm eager to change this. Any suggestions or advice? (A previous bookkeeper decided that the A/R needed to be seperated. The owner likes how the information is reported now. Merging the A/Rs would be a painfully unprofitable venture, if I could even get the owner to say yes.)


Just go into the invoice number field and reset it to what you want it to be. QuickBooks will simply add one to that number and so on.

Scott Gregory

I received a payment and needed to apply it to the invoice in QB; however the person forgot to hit save and close when they created the invoice so that number was assigned to the next person we invoiced. That being said I went in and created a new invoice for it as follows 11459A, now quickbooks is going up from that number creating invoices 11460A etc. Is there a way to get it to start the sequencial order from where I left off which was 15273 so that my next invoice will read out at 15274?

Hi George:

Thanks for your comments.

That is quite odd that the invoice number is not advancing by one even with the numbering scheme you have in place.

It looks like there is some type of issue with the length of your invoice number - I tested your scheme on my system and it reset to 1 as well. Never had anyone using an invoice number that long before.

If I used an invoice number with less digits (I used 1200000 for grins), it worked as expected and just added one.

Here's my take - the people paying bills usually give zero thought to the meaning of an invoice number, so why make it complicated? Just use something simple on 1/1/13 like 13000 and let QB do what it does best. You can always use the Find functionality to look things up if need be.

Scott Gregory

Dear Scott, People like you are vital to uneducated people like me. I appreciate your help. Your example above, where the number progresses by 1, each time a new invoice is created, has not worked for me. I started out with number 12913700001,and each time, it starts at 1 again when I do a new invoice. The same is true for Quotes and so on. Any advice. And the reason I didn't want to start at 1 is to make it look like we have been arounf awhile. Last thing; if I want to start 2013 with 13913700001, will the change in the first two numbers cause an issue? Btw, I am running Premier 2011. Thank you so much.

does the invoice numbering system tie in with the calendar? We use the Calendar week number as our first two numbers and then increment the last three digits for invoicing. It would be nice to have a macro that advances the calender week number based on a time stamp from the operating system or quickbooks.

Hi Bridget:

Sorry to say - if you are going to use any type of numbering sequence that is outside of the normal "add 1" to the existing number routine in QuickBooks, you'll have to do it manually. There is nothing in the new version of QuickBooks to assist with this.

I can't help but be curious - why do you go to the trouble of creating such a unique sequence? Most customers don't care what the invoice number is.

Look forward to your feedback...

Scott Gregory

I do have a specialized numbering scheme but cannot find a way to do it other than manually. We create invoices for our customers for a specified number of invoices (18, 21, 24, 36 months, etc.). There is no way to COUNT those PER Customer (or more specifically per Customer Job - and especially because the months are not always consecutive). I fooled the system a little to use the SO# field to enter in SCREEN view of an invoice (NOT PRINTED FOR CLIENT) and the SO# field appears on my open invoice reports. However, I must manually type in "#1 of 24" or "#2 of 24" to keep track. Any other suggestions? I'm usings QB2010 currently. I would love another suggestion...especially if there is something in 2012 that would help me. Thanks!!!

This site has great Quickbooks tips. It's a great resource for those in the bookkeeping services business.

The comments to this entry are closed.