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Learn the difference between bills, cheques, and expenses in QuickBooks Online

by Intuit Updated 2 months ago

Learn how to handle bills to be paid later and bills to be paid immediately using bills, cheques, or expenses. You can find these in the + New menu in your QuickBooks Online account.

When to enter bills

  • Enter bills from suppliers to accurately report your Accounts Payable, especially if you run your reports on an accrual basis.
  • If tracking Supplier balances, entering bills is essential for knowing how much you owe your suppliers.
  • Record a bill for any services or items received that you will pay for later - whether or not there is an actual bill received from the supplier.

For example, when you receive your electric bill, which is not due until the end of the month, use Bill to track what you owe. Then, use Pay bills to clear the bill and generate the cheque.

Learn how to enter bills to keep track of your payables.

When to enter bill payments

  • If you originally recorded a bill in QuickBooks, use Pay bills to close the bill. You can print a bill payment cheque or pay via credit card.
  • Entering a bill payment through Pay bills ensures that the Supplier balance decreases appropriately.
  • Using Cheque or Expense may cause the bill to still show unpaid on your reports.
  • If you paid a bill via electronic payment, enter EFT in the Cheque no. or Reference no. field.

Learn how to record a bill payment cheque or pay a bill using credit or debit card.

When to record cheques or expenses

  • Both Cheque and Expense report a transaction as an expense and a payment simultaneously.
  • While Bills are for payables (received services or items to be paid later) Cheque and Expenses are for services or items paid on the spot.
  • If you need to print a cheque, record an expense as a Cheque, instead of an Expense.
  • If you paid something via credit card, use Expense.
  • If you paid something via EFT, you should still use Cheque or Expense. You can enter EFT in the Cheque no. or Ref no. field.

As an example, if you bought supplies at Office Depot and immediately paid for them, record the transaction using Cheque or Expense. You can skip entering and paying bills, because there's no money owed to Office Depot.

Get help with entering a Cheque or Expense.

Note: If your preferred delivery method for a customer is set to 'Print later', the Expense will save as a Cheque.

To check this, go to your customer's profile, then select Edit. Go to the Payments section and verify that the preferred delivery method is not set to Print later.

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