Tracking Bills in QuickBooks, Worth the Effort
Next to payroll, paying bills is probably your least favorite task in QuickBooks. You don’t have to use this feature – you can keep stacking bills on your desk, scrawling the due dates on a paper calendar, and writing checks.
If you’re still operating this way, though, you’re missing out on the numerous tools that QuickBooks offers to track your accounts payable, including the ability to:
Enter bills as they come in
Set reminders for bills due
Pay bills easily
Locate a bill or payment quickly
Enter bills as (or after) you receive items
Link bills to purchase orders
Have instant access to a bill’s status
Settling your debts
It’s good to set reminders for bills. Go to Edit | Preferences and click Reminders. Make sure that that Show Reminders List… box is checked, then click Company Preferences. Find the Bills to Pay row and enter the advance notice you’d like. Indicate whether you want to see a list or a summary, then click OK.
When bills are due, click the Pay Bills icon or select Vendors | Pay Bills. A window opens displaying all outstanding bills. You can pare this down by selecting a date in the Due on or before field and filtering by vendors.
You can easily select the bills you want to pay.
Enter a check mark next to the bills you’re paying, and change the amount in the Amt. To Pay field at the end of the row if necessary. At the bottom of the screen, you can set the payment date and type, use any discounts or credits, and make sure the correct payment account is selected. When you’re done, click Pay Selected Bills.
Tip: You can have credits and discounts automatically applied by going to Edit | Preferences | Bills.
After You’ve Paid Up
There are a number of places where your bills appear in QuickBooks, including:
The Unpaid Bills Detail report
The A/P Aging Detail report
The Vendor Center
In the Recent Transactions pane of some forms
On the bills themselves
You can just pay bills by using Banking | Write Checks or Enter Credit Card Charges. But the payoff for tracking bills is instant access to your accounts payable status, better relations with vendors, and a more insightful accounting of your company.
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