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How do you handle payments in your accounting software?

I am wondering how you guys handle payments in you accounting software. I am trying to do it the right way and I am a bit confuse.

These are the options that I know:

This is what i understand to be the "right way" - I need to enter in my accounting software what the client bought: x hours + album + disc (using items), just the way I do it with ShootQ. But then , I need to generate two payments (invoices) for the retainer and balance. But it seems like the only way I can enter something in any accounting software is by creating an invoice for the full amount in order to be able to enter the items included in the package sold.

1. So I have been told to create one invoice in the accounting software for the total post dated to the date when the final payment is due and just receive the retainer as a paymento toward that invoice. or

2. Create two invoices, one for the retainer and one for the balance. But by doing this I cannot enter what the client actually bought on neither invoice.

To me neither seems to be the correct one although I do not know if that is true.

This is what I have been doing in Quickbooks for Mac 2012- I use the progressive invoicing system by which I create an estimate for the the client for the full package and then create from that estimate two invoices from that estimate.

I wish i can find the right way to do this.

And if anyone using a cloud based accounting can tell me how they do it it would be greatly appreciated. So far I am looking at Less accounting, Xero, and Kashoo. Kashoo seems to be winning my sympathy, specially just $10 a month and a wonderful ipad app..

Thanks

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