If you're reading this page, you most likely had custom transaction numbers turned on at some point. Hopefully you're starting to realize that they're not worth it. If you're on the fence, please read my treatise on why custom transaction numbers should never be used in QuickBooks.

How to Fix Duplicate Invoice Numbers

Ask: Should They be Changed?

The first question I would ask is whether it's worth fixing your historical duplicates. I would use the search feature in QuickBooks (the search box in the upper right) to determine the scope of the problem.  Do you have a handful of duplicates?  Or are you looking at hundreds or thousands of duplicates?

Also, have you already sent out these invoices?  If you have, you probably don't want to touch them. The answer could be that you shouldn't "fix" the duplicates already in your system at all.

Changing Transaction Numbers

If you have decided that changing the numbers is the best option, you'll want to follow this workflow in QuickBooks.

  1. Turn on custom transaction numbers in your QuickBooks settings
  2. Open the invoice that needs a new transaction number
  3. Update the number
  4. Save the invoice
  5. Repeat steps 2 to 5 until done

Starting Fresh with New Transaction Numbers

When this happened in my own books, I decided to just start fresh with new transaction numbers.  To keep things easy and clean, I jumped from 1456 (or something like that) to 2000.

Here's the workflow... it should only take a few minutes.

  1. Turn on custom transaction numbers in your QuickBooks settings
  2. Create a temporary invoice
  3. Give the invoice the new start number you want
  4. Save
  5. Turn off custom numbers
  6. Create a new invoice
  7. Check to see if that invoice has the new number you're looking for
  8. Delete or void the temporary invoice

AE Tip™: Keep this simple. I know that some organizations have super fancy transaction numbers. Please don't do it. It's only going to slow you down and distract you from your association's larger mission. Every keystroke of busywork keeps you from making an impact on your organization and your members.

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