QuickBooks Tip – Creating Lien Waivers & Contract Documents

A QuickBooks Tip for creating Lien Waivers, Releases, and other Contract Documents from within the software by using the Letters function.

Lien Waiver

QuickBooks doesn’t have the ability to automatically generate a Lien Waiver & Release form, or any other Contract Document, like many of the more costly construction software packages, this means that QuickBooks users must find an alternative method to generate these vital contract documents.

Let’s say that you are a Subcontractor and  need to generate a very simple Lien Waiver and Release form to a General Contractor.

One method is to create a Word document that has to be manually updated each time you need to generate  the form.

Another method is to take that existing Word “template” and bring it into the QuickBooks  Prepare Letters and Envelopes function – or create a new template if one doesn’t exist.

We’ll talk about bring the existing document into QuickBooks first:

  • From the Company menu -> choose Prepare Letters with Envelopes
  • Choose Customize Letter Templates
  • Choose Convert an Existing Microsoft Word Document to a Letter Template, click Next
  • From the Choose an Existing Microsoft Word Document window, use the Browse button to locate and select the document that you want to use as your Lien Waiver and Release Template
  • Check the Customer option for #2 – Choose the type of letter for which you want to create a template.
  • Click the Next button
  • Enter a new name for the letter or let it default to the file name and click Ok.

Word will now launch in the background and display your basic Lien Waiver form, which you can now add QuickBooks merge fields to.

In Word 2010, click on the Add-Ins menu item along the top where you can choose to insert My Company Fields and Customer Name Fields into the document.

Add ins tab - Word 2010
Right click on the image to enlarge it

As with any document created through QuickBooks you may not have access to all of the information that you need, so make sure that you do something to call out pieces of information, such as a payment amount, that you will have to enter when you actually create the letter.  One way to easily identify pieces of information such as this is to simply place an “underline” at the spot in the template.

When you need to generate the Lien Waiver:

  • Go to the Company menu -> Prepare Letters with Envelopes -> Customer Letters – OR – from the Customer Center -> click the Word icon -> and Prepare Customer Letters
  • Choose the Customer OR Job that you want to create the Lien Waiver for and click Next
  • Select the Lien Waiver template and click Next
  • Enter the name and title of the person who will sign the letter and click Next
  • QuickBooks will now create your Lien Waiver and open it in Word so you can add any missing information

You may need to “tweak” your template in order to make sure that everything looks correct.  If so, go back to the Company menu -> choose Prepare Letters and Envelopes -> choose Customize Letter Templates ->  choose View or Edit Existing Letter Templates -> click Next -> choose the Type of Letter -> select the template -> click Next -> and when the template opens in Word, make any necessary changes.

To create a new Lien Waiver template:

Go to the Company menu -> choose Prepare Letters and Envelopes -> Create a New Letter Template from Scratch -> click Next -> choose the Letter Type and give the template a name -> click Next -> Word will launch.  Create your template, selecting fields from the Add-In tab.

We hope that you have found this QuickBooks Tip to be helpful, while this doesn’t solve the entire problem, it does help you to automate a time-consuming task.

If you have to generate AIA type billing as well as issue various contract documents, be sure to check out Construction Application for Payment Solution, a QuickBooks integrated add-on that will produce AIA Billing on actual AIA G-702/G-703 forms that you purchase or similar plain paper forms; which has a built-in Contract Document Manager which can gather even more information for your Contract Documents.

2 thoughts on “QuickBooks Tip – Creating Lien Waivers & Contract Documents

  • hello i am trying to create a contract via the letters feature but i can not open it under the customers i get an error on the estimate date field. what do i need to do different?

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