QuickBooks Online is changing the way we send emails to your customers. How will this affect you?

Starting June 11th, 2012, QuickBooks Online will begin emailing sales forms and statements to your customers from a new group of mail servers.  For the majority of customers you will not need to do anything.  If your customers aren’t receiving your emails the first thing you would want to have them do is check their junk or spam folder.  If they still are not able to see your email you’ll need to have them configure their server to accept QuickBooks Online mail server host names and IP addresses.

Many e-mail programs utilize various blocking mechanisms on their mail servers.  When you send a sales form/statement to your customer, the e-mailed invoice looks as though it’s coming from your mail server when, in fact, it’s being sent from a QuickBooks Online (QBO) mail server. Your customer’s mail servers might have this type of “spoofing” blocked. To allow mail to pass through their mail servers, have them configure their server to accept QBO mail server host names and IP addresses.   You can find additional information along with a list of the QBO mail server host names and IP addresses in KB 1682.

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89 Comments on “QuickBooks Online is changing the way we send emails to your customers. How will this affect you?”

  1. Dan Klinglesmith Says:

    If this is a problem why not just give us an option to e-mail from our actual e-mail account?

    • Staci Oller Smith Says:

      Great idea Dan! Give that option and save everyone alot of trouble. Like Carl said…most customers won’t be able to make the necessary changes. Heck, i’m not so sure i could either! In the meantime i will just keep my fingers crossed.

    • Faith Hill Says:

      Hello, My customers do not the e-mail invoice form and want a actual invoice, like the one we print. Is this possable.

      • Sherrie Qbo Says:

        You can include the invoice as a PDF attachment, which will look like it does when you print it out. Go to Company>Preferences>Form Delivery>Email Attachments. Hope this helps.


        • karen sherga Says:

          Hi Sherrie,
          I almost burst into tears when I followed your advice and finally got the whole invoice to email with the same look as the printed one. However, now I would love to know how to remove the duplicate invoice info in the email where I have attached the PDF invoice. Gosh! I hope that you read this and maybe you will have another much needed solution! I have spent hours trying to figure the first problem out! Many, many thanks!!!!!

    • Jonathan Says:

      I do that anyway. I select print and use the pdf save button instead of print to save a copy on my hard drive.

  2. Ryan Says:

    It’s not pretty, but this is what you would add to your SPF record to avoid being marked as spam: ipv4: ipv4: ipv4:

    • corradomatt Says:

      Thanks Ryan! Just to be clear, the spf record you are talking about is for our domain so that our emails don’t get marked as spam for our customers. Much easier than asking each customer to add us as a safe sender.

      • Color me real stupid but, what is an SPF record and how is it accessed to put in all the ipv4… stuff?

        • I’m with you Lanette; what is a SPF record etc??

          • Chris Says:

            SPF records are a more advanced option that is set in your domain’s DNS settings. You should pass Ryan’s note along to whoever is managing your website and email addresses. If you do not have your own website (with email addresses @your-domain), this will not help you.

        • Bill48105 Says:

          SPF (Sender Policy Framework) allows you to tell the world who (as in what servers on the internet) is OK to send email ‘from’ your domain so the receiving server can detect spoofing (faking the sender) which is only really spammers these days. (It used to be pretty common practice ‘back in the day’ before spam became such a problem but for years now it is frowned upon since there are proper/better ways to send email on the behalf of others. None of which require the end user – iow the recipient – to modify their server/dns settings btw..) Tons of info online especially @ http://www.openspf.org/

  3. Carl Sapelli Says:

    This is atrocious! Most customers will have no idea what I am talking about nor with they have the where with all to make this kind of change.

    • Carl Sapelli Says:

      Worse yet, I won’t even know they didn’t get the invoice/statement until they are past due and I’m trying to collect.

      • Chad H Says:

        This is currently the case. Try sending an invoice to an INCORRECT email address and notice that nothing happens. There is no bounce report no failure report no NOTHIN’ . I don’t rely on Quicken to email invoices to customers, I just use it as a back-up copy for their records.

        • Sherrie Qbo Says:

          If we receive notification of the delivery error then we will notify you by putting a message on your homepage under Messages and tasks. If you find you are not being notified it’s because we are not receiving notification that there was a delivery error. Here’s a link where you can get more information about this. http://bit.ly/MfhQrX

          • Chad H Says:

            Sherri, I appreciate you taking the time to respond about the issue directly. I suppose that this makes some sense and maybe my email provider (godaddy) could possibly have a setting in place that doesn’t send Intuit a reply when an email bounces. If I send an email from Outlook, web mail, my iPad or my android phone I DO get a failure report if there is a problem with delivery. With Intuit mailing invoices on my behalf I’ve had more the a dozen undelivered emails and have never received any notice on my messages and tasks page. Please just make QBO send invoices from my PC the same way it does from my android phone and iPad by attaching them to my email as a PDF and launching my local client.


          • Carl Says:


            Since I invoice myself as a client of my own homeowners assn, I see that QBO “spoofs” my assn’s email address on invoices and statements emailed. I work with other vendors who spoof my email addresses and many of them have a way to do it that sends the “bounces” back to me.

            Maybe, QBO should consider changing their method so that the “bounces” go directly to the QBO subscriber instead of to QBO to be relayed.

          • themodernfirm Says:

            I control my own mail servers and I have tried sending invoices to bad email addresses on that server as a test where I know with 100% certainty that a bounce notification is being sent back to QBO. But no alert is ever generated in QBO.

            Further, if QBO tries to deliver messages to a non-existent domain (i.e. accidentally typing gmaol.com instead of gmail.com), where there is no receiving mail server, it is QBO’s responsibility to generate an error message. Here again, that does not happen.

            In the 1.5 years that I have used the product I have sent thousands of invoices and never once been notified that there was a delivery error. This seems statistically impossible.

            Sherrie, you are explaining how it *should* work. But we’re trying to tell you that in practice, our observation is that it does not work that way at all.

          • Deborah Says:

            Thats not true. I have heard from many different client’s over the years that I’ve either emailed the wrong email address or they never received my email. I never got any report of a delivery error. EVER. I’m not pleased with the fact that all of my re-occurring credit card customers are sent an email that I never know if they received or not.

  4. Martin Says:

    The people complaining above are dumb, but that is an insane number of IP addresses to have to add. Normally, you’d only have to point to a single domain like spf.intuit.com which would include the full list of approved IPs.

  5. On the subject of emailing invoices, I notice that when I have not billed anything during the month, but the client owes me for services rendered in prior months, the cover email (not the attached invoice itself) states that the client’s current balance is zero. Some clients may see this and not bother to open the invoice, where they would see they have an outstanding balance from prior months. Help?!

    • sherrieg3 Says:

      Hi Michael,

      Will you please contact our customer care team at 800-488-7330 so they can look into this issue with you?


  6. Ed Says:

    Can you make this more complicated?

    • Mojo Says:

      PLEASE don’t encourage them. It’s probably the one request they they would actually work on.

  7. Sandy Says:

    To get around this I e-mail the invoices, statements and estimates to myself and then I save it in their folder and then send it from my e-mail. I know this is many steps but it’s my sure way to make sure my customer received the e-mail.

    • Chad_h Says:

      Sandy, that’s something I do as well.. Isn’t it kind of a sad state of affairs? We can’t trust a multi-million dollar company that specializes in business programs to reliably send email without errors. I have never understood why there is no failure report when an email bounces. Oh well, at least there are workarounds.


      • sherrieg3 Says:

        Hi Chad,
        I posted this same link above, but I wanted to make sure you saw it as well. This link will go into detail as to why you may not be receiving a notification that an email was bounced. http://bit.ly/MfhQrX

      • Janet Richardson Says:

        Do you think they could offer us a discount for having to use a work around for their ineptness in providing a less than satisfactory product. Damnit quick fixing things that aren’t broken. I am seriously researching other options since I am not a large company. Apple Filemaker seems very interesting and I am researching that product. QBO was just perfect for me until they started making all these changes and now telling us it’s unrealiable in sending invoices via email. They are cutting off our income stream or making us do more work to get paid. I am so close to done with Quickbooks.

    • This is absolutely ridiculous, has anyone found another software program that works!!! I am ready to throw QB under the bus & be done with them

  8. Brock Brayboy Says:

    I have had no issues with this. Please leave the same. My god…didn’t u guys just suffer from major downtime due to YOUR own mistakes???? Please have an option to send from my mail. if it’s coming from mine, doesn’t it make much more sense that I’m already not considered junk mail. This is ridiculoous I’m find another program

  9. Debbie Bell Says:

    Wow, I’m glad I read the feedback on this new feature. I was going to start emailing vs mail. I think I will stick to the USPS.

  10. DustinT Says:

    Ya… this is either a really bad idea or a good idea that has been given an atrocious explanation. Surely you must have professionals that can explain to you how complicated you are about to make things.

  11. rmbrennanjr Says:

    I find it sadly amusing that a leading technology company takes a simple task and makes it more complicated for their customers and their customer’s customers. I’m sure the account payables clerk that receives our email invoices is going to be well versed in the techniques to “configure their server to accept QBO mail server host names and IP addresses.”

    • Carl Says:

      … not to mention my home owners assn member trying to reconfigure Comcast’s or Verizon’s.

    • We are a mom & pop small business, I’m the mom & I don’t have a clue about IP addresses or mail servers etc. This is a joke, I can’t believe they are doing this, as big a corporation as Intuit you would think they have Techies that could figure this out.

  12. Dan Klinglesmith Says:

    16 comments and not one good including my first one! OOPS some one at Intuit did not think this statement through!

    Let me try and make it sound a little better the Majority of our (most of us who use QBO not just mine) will not even notice this issue. The ones that will probably have an IT dept. or are actively seeking to limit the SPAM they receive and will be smart enough to make the exceptions necessary for the Intuit mail server ip addresses.

    HOW EVER why is this an issue in the first place why must these emails originate from an Intuit server?????

    Why not just launch my e-mail client with the PDF attached?

    Is it the batch thing? or is it so intuit can justify charging for e-mailing invoices from QBO?

  13. Let me think…how will this effect me? Well…being an association management company it will have a devastating effect during membership renewal time and dealing with hundreds of professionals, some of whom work for international companies and have no clue when it comes to the IT department. Online payment through another resource will move to the top of my “to do” list. This is how it will effect me.

  14. Joanetta Lauderdale Says:

    Glad I read all these posts. This could explain why some of our customers are ‘not getting their invoices’!!! I get more frustrated each month with each new QBO change.

  15. Ric Kern Says:

    This is ludicrous. We’re supposed to contact our customers, disturb their business days with NONSENSE about modifying their email programs to accept email from QuickBooks mail servers? Thank you for your business … as our way of showing our appreciation for you spending money with us, we have a homework project for you and/or your IT dept today. You are going to need to adjust your settings so we can send you invoices. That’s because we use this Mickey Mouse product called QuickBooks Online.

  16. Chris Says:

    I am in a trial period with QBO, I guess I will stay with the desk top version seems like a lot of trial and error!

  17. Specelec Says:

    I would really appreciate being able to confirm delivery of invoices that I email. So perhaps having it use our email account would be a better way to go.

  18. themodernfirm Says:

    Email has been around since the 1970s, can’t we get this figured out?

    Try this… start sending out emails the same way that mass newsletter companies like Constant Contact and MailChip do it.

    1) Stop trying to spoof our email addresses in the backwards way you do it now.
    2) Assign a unique sending email address (i.e. qbo-username@billpay.quickbooks.com to each QBO user so that their clients can easily whitelist if necessary.
    3) Set the reply email address and the sending name to what we specify in preferences
    4) Properly warm up your new mail server IP addresses
    5) Set up proper SPF records on your end so that spam services are aware of your authorized servers
    6) Let us know when there are delivery errors… currently undeliverable messages go into a black hole. Heck, you don’t have to even process them, just pass along emails that bounce directly to the email address on file in QBO.

    Bonus feature would be

    Don’t attach forms as PDFs, instead generate a unique link to view the form so that we you can offer tracking on whether or not an invoice/statement has been viewed by the client. This is what http://www.freshbooks.com does and it’s great.

    • Bill48105 Says:

      themodernfirm has it 100% correct. It is beyond ludicrous intuit/quickbooks sends invoices this way KNOWING THERE WILL BE PROBLEMS!! WTH?!

      Intuit: If you are not willing to ‘get with the times’ and send email on others’ behalf properly (as themodernfirm clearly explained how to accomplish) then at least give users a choice to send the email thru their real email account! Give them PDF they can email manually, email it to their address so they can forward, ask them for their email account login info & send as them, etc. But for most people the simplest & proper way to fix this moronic foobar you guys got is by following themodernfirm’s advice. Perhaps your IT team who runs your mail servers can take a class or something. Or just spend 5 minutes searching online & see themodernfirm’s suggestion is spot on & there’s no excuse not do it properly.

      • Greg Says:

        Completey agree. This is not a hard problem to solve. Google does this with Gmail, and mail can be sent “On Behalf of”. There’s actually a few ways to solve this problem. And the way Intuit is completely ignoring it is just outrageous. Someone should be fired for even recomending a “work-around” of “telling your customers to change their email server settings”. I really don’t know how the current “solution” could even make it into production without about a 1000 red flags going off in every step of the design / development / testing / Prod Support steps. Absolutely unbelievable.

  19. Dawn Says:

    My new business plan: to search for a new online accounting program that actually allows the simple procedure of emailing from your own account, OR making a ton of money developing a new program that does this. Anyone else in on this?

  20. ^DooM^ Says:

    themodernfirm and Bill48105 have this correct. you send from your own domain and set the reply-to as the users email address. Any email dev worth their salt knows this is the correct way to do this. If you try and spoof the users email address, you will get email blocked and your IP’s blacklisted because you will be exhibiting the exact same behavior spammers use to send out email.

  21. Donna Says:

    I agree that is a bad practice for QBO to make changes that require its customers to contact their customers to try to explain what QBO has done.

  22. Katherine Says:

    Is there a way to email customers numerous invoices as just one single email?

  23. Tim0926 Says:

    This may help many of us:
    I have a free DropBox account. When I create invoices, I save them as pdf files and put them in the “Public” folder under DropBox. (That folder is automatically mirrored on a DropBox server.) Then I send my customer an email including links to those invoices.

  24. Mary Ellen Hobbs Says:

    I will be searching for another invoicing program. I don’t have time to contact all my clients to try and explain why QBO is changing the way they are sending emails. In addition my clients don’t want to be bothered with this type of stuff either. Bad move QBO. Please reconsider.

    • Sherrie Qbo Says:

      You don’t need to contact all your clients in regards to this matter. The majority of customers will not be affected.

      • Carl Says:

        Sherrie, If that is the case, then QBO should never have sent out the original announcement as the changes would be transparent to QBO users and their customers.

      • Bill48105 Says:

        Sherrie Qbo: Hogwash. I agree with Carl. If it wasn’t a problem Intuit wouldn’t be posting this article in the 1st place. Here’s a link to help you guys get started on understanding how to fix this problem & most importantly WHY: http://www.openspf.org/Best_Practices/Webgenerated

      • ^DooM^ Says:

        That is just not true. Spoofing email addresses is bad practice. Spammers use the same technique daily and are blacklisted in a few hours. So all you will end up doing is pissing off your entire user base when all your mail IP’s are on blacklists and no emails will be received or end up in the junk/spam folders. Listen to your customers and take advice from professionals in the field of email sending because what you are doing is ridiculous to the point of absurdity.

      • Greg Says:

        Basically, everyone QBO customer using SPF with their domain is affected. If my SPF record is the very standard (for a small company) “v=spf1 mx -all” ALL of my QBO invoices will be rejected by almost every recipient out there. If my mail is not straight out rejected, it will, in all certainty have a significantly higher probability of ending up in the junk-mail folder. Intuit has no way of knowing if the Recipient server flagged the mail as junk and never even delivered it so, for you to say that most customers aren’t affected is probably correct in the sense that >50% of customers are not, however according to a Microsoft Analysis in 2010, 38% of the email they received had an SPF record. I would consider 38% of your customers a large enough number for you to make some changes. What’s most troubling is Intuit’s recommendation for a work around to be to tell the email recipient to change settings on their email server to make up for Intuit’s poor design. SPF is part of sending email in today’s digital world. Intuit can’t keep ignoring that.

      • Jerry W Says:

        Sherrie, I have experienced this same issue with other services. This may not affect everyone now, but in the future as companies start implementing stricter server policies for incoming mail it will be a problem. Intuit needs to fix this before it becomes an issue for ANYONE!

  25. Martha Says:

    I greatly appreciate all the comments from users. Very informative. Unfortunately for us our customers are requesting more email sales receipt because they like the green idea. You convinced me this is a back burner project. Thank you. Looks like you have saved me grief.

    • Carl Says:

      You are correct in assuming that some of us want more, better, and more flexible email sales documents. As a member-owned, non-profit, I am encouraging all my members to accept email invoices and statements.

      And, while many have questioned how non-deliverables are handled, no one has asked QBO to stop offering email sales documents. Many, however, have questioned if QBO uses best practice delivery methods. And, it would appear from QBO’s own comments that you do not.

      Also, in my own comments, I, in no way imply, that I or any other user should stop using email sales documents. Instead, I strongly imply that QBO has little understanding of what they have asked of their customers, who make use of email sales documents, and of these customers’ customers in the blog entry that heads this list of comments.

  26. Deborah Says:

    Is anyone from QB Online paying attention to these replies? Does what we post here really matter? Are you going to find a different (non-shady)way to email our clients directly from QB Online? Or are we just wasting our time?

    • Sherrie Qbo Says:

      We are reading all the comments that are coming in and appreciate all the different points of view that have been brought up.

      • vmoody9 Says:

        But Sherrie, Reading and appreciating are not the same as implementing changes that improve your clients’ (us out here using QBO) experience. What is required for a serious response to serious concerns from your clients?

  27. Karen Says:

    OMG! I have had several customers claim they did not receive their invoices. Now I know why. This is ridiculous. I am NOT calling them to try and explain how they need to change their settings. Quickbooks…PLEASE PAY ATTENTION AND FIX THIS ISSUE. Like others’ postings here, I will start looking for a new software if I can’t rely on the email delivery of my Quickbooks invoices to my customers.

  28. Peter G. Says:

    QBO – you have to be kidding – Is this a joke? Are you actually thinking that we can call customers like Saks Fifth Avenue and Amazon and have their IT department make changes to their firewall so that our invoices get through???? Get real – this is not going to happen. Roll back the changes and stick with what was working. You are playing with fire…
    If you want to make changes do so to improve the system: send back messages to us when emails are bounced… THAT be an improvement….

    HALLO – your customers are upset — all of them that read your post!!! – suggest you reply…

  29. Karen Says:

    Has anyone from Quickbooks responded???

    • Carl Says:

      There were couple of responses early on and mid-stream. Search for “Sherrie” and “Martha. None of the responses indicated any form of empathy for the customer; though, Sherrie did try to be helpful, point people to more info, and ask people to make contact about specific existing issues that came up on this thread.

      • Whitney Says:

        Um, Martha doesn’t seem to be from QBO. I think she’s a user who has decided not to email invoices to her customers because of what she’s read here.

  30. laird Says:

    Where is my QBO sent mail kept? Can I confirm the thing was sent in the first place? How about the option to send a personalized note in the text body of QBO email? My work around is to send to myself and forward to my client from my email acct. with a personalized note thanking them for their business and any explanation required — QBO doesn’t seem to understand. Please re-think this feature as it is inherently flawed. Good day.

    • Dan Klinglesmith Says:

      WE have no access to the actual e-mails sent. BUT if you look at any of your invoices in QBO you will see at the top of the Page a note that says

      Last Delivered by e-mail the recipients e-mail address and the date and time it was sent.

    • sherrieg3 Says:

      There’s a couple places you can see when the email was last sent. When you email a sales transaction it will show the date and time the email was sent at the top of the form. The second place you can look is on the Income List and then you can also create a report showing the transactions sent by email. Here’s a link with information on how to create that report. http://bit.ly/OJsjMu

      You can use the Income List to enter in a personal message to your customer when emailing. Go to Customers>Income List, find the invoice and at the far right click on the arrow. Select Send, a box will appear where you can type a message.


  31. Dan Says:

    I have had many occasions where customers don’t get emails sent from Quickbooks, and I don’t know they didn’t receive it. I usually save as a pdf and mail from my account.

    Can you simply set up a read receipt, so we know that they received the email. This will also tell us if we need to resend or take further action to get them the invoice.

  32. Shaun S. Says:

    I would just like to echo the above comments to say this is taking the ease and convenience out of something that is by nature supposed to be easy and convenient. I cannot expect my clients to have a background in IT, and know how to even 1 ip address, let alone 20. I am finding out weeks after my invoice is sent that my clients have not received it, and I am calling to collect.

  33. Jaks521 Says:


  34. Dave Says:

    Anybody know why they added “Tax Invoice” to the invoice form. (in the Canadian online version).
    Tell me this is an April Fools joke

  35. Steven Says:

    I’ve enabled copy me on all the invoices, Google apps filters almost all the spam from my email (and sometimes people i’ve emailed for months too) so i figure if it gets through to me we’re doing pretty good

  36. Markie Cluff Says:

    I hate this! Everything was fine until they “fixed” what was not broken. I use the “Invoice List” feature when creating invoices throughout the month so that clients don’t receive multiple invoices from us. I rely on the ability to control exactly when the invoices go out. I want to see it and control it. Please put it all back the way it was. I hate this change!!!!!

  37. Catherine Lanzarotta Says:

    I recently had QuickBooks email an invoice to a client but I had unfortunately entered their email address incorrectly. I was not alerted to the fact that the email was rejected so we just found out by luck three weeks later that the client never received their invoice and then we resent it using their correct email address. This affected our cash flow severely. Why wouldn’t we receive an alert that we were trying to email to a “BAD” email address so we could correct it right away?

    • Sherrie Qbo Says:

      This is something we have our engineers taking a look at.


      • Victor Says:

        Ok, Sherrie Qbo, It is now a year later since you posted this. I had the true misfortune of paying to upgrade to your latest product, QB2013 with the latest upgrades as of 8/12/13. What have your engineers found after “taking a look at it”? Email from QB is still a problem. Several calls to your tech support have yielded the recommendation to “Downgrade to an earlier QB product”.

        Just answer me this: How do you folks sleep at night?

  38. laurasch1 Says:

    This is unbelieveable and so typical of QBO. Let us do all of the work, make comments to improve a product that does not meet minimum standards when released. How many people have time to contact all of their clients and try to explain how to configure their email settings? I have wasted an hour of time that I should be working and making money reading through yet another absurd work around.

    I am a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, have been using this product several years and I have become so discouraged that I’m ready to close up my bookkeeping service and go sell paint at Home Depot! The product started out with a great concept but QBO has been unable to meet the standards that should come with an Intuit product and at a hefty price tag. The PC version is around $200-$250 and is supported for around three years; whereas, QBO customers pay nearly $500 each year and have to deal with an inferior product. It’s not ethical! I don’t know how Intuit justifies this. I truly believe they way they keep going is because it is an expensive product and once a client is lured in with the prosepect of the online convenience, they are hooked.

    • Adrienne Says:

      Sigh. Agreed. I’m so bummed I left the Desktop for Mac version, but trading the file was just too much for my bookkeeper and I. But I am very unhappy and was assured there were very few differences between QBO and the desktop version.

  39. william a brown Says:

    i am not interested in on line banking with quick books. remove from your list. thanks w a

  40. s linen Says:

    Thank you Lannette for in your earlier writing stating that you weren’t sure what they were talking about. I am a novice and am only using QBO because an accountant wanted me to( he never reconciled any of the accounts-i later found out!) So for now i am still using it til i can find a product with unlimited help. I have sent QBO feedback and also tired to have the tech do the same about certain areas. While this program may seem easy to most of you accountants and business people there are certain items I wrote about to QBO – one being that the tech should ask if the caller is an accountant or how familiar the caller is with the product before rambling on and on click here then there…As I said I am a novice. Also they seem to make everything so complicated.,–I suggested that they have an Elementary School Teacher there with the software techies so they will learn to make the steps in concise and in order when they are setting up the programming. As i have read all your impressions about QBO I now know it is QBO that has a problem.

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