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Bill shows as unpaid after writing a cheque in QuickBooks Desktop

When you enter a bill in QuickBooks, you can pay it using the Pay Bills feature.

However, if you Write Cheques to pay for existing bills, the two transactions won't be linked. The bill remains in an unpaid status.

If you created a cheque to pay for an existing bill on accident, don't worry. Use one (not all) of the following solutions:

Solution 1: Keep the cheque and delete the bill
Use this option if you don't need all of your payment information to appear in Accounts Payable.

Not sure if you should use the Write a Cheque or Pay a Bill feature? Use Write Cheques:
  • when you settle bills as they arrive.
  • if you don't need reports showing how much you owe.
Use Pay Bills:
  • if you recorded your payables with the Enter Bills feature
  • when you prefer to pay bills all at once or regularly (for example, on the same day each month).
  • if you want to see reports showing how much you owe.

Note: To prevent accidentally creating a cheque for open bills, QuickBooks 2019 guides you to the appropriate workflow. If you try to write a cheque when you have existing bills, the Cheque for Bills window appears. It gives with a list of open bills for the supplier and the Go to Pay Bills option.

Use this option if the cheque has been reconciled.

  1. Open the cheque you created. Change the Expense account to Accounts Payable.
  2. From the Customer: Job dropdown, select the supplier name. If you don't enter a name, QuickBooks will ask you to choose a supplier for the Accounts Payable line item.
  3. Select Save & Close.

Then pay the bill.

  1. Go to the Suppliers menu, then select Pay Bills.
  2. Select the bill connected to the cheque.
  3. Select Set Credits, then go to the Credits tab.
  4. Put a check on the credit. Change the amount as needed.
  5. Select Done. Then select Pay Selected Bills.

Now if you check the transaction history, it shows the regular cheque as the payment.

Use this option if you want to see all of your payment info (including past data) in Accounts Payable.

  1. Before you start, back up your company file.
  2. Go to the Banking menu and select Use Register.
  3. Find the Cheque Register.
  4. From the Select Account dropdown, choose the bank account you used when you write the cheque. Then select OK.
  5. Look for the cheques you created in error. Take note of details like the supplier name, payment date, cheque number, and the amount paid.
  6. When you're done, close the register.

Next, pay the bill.

  1. Go to the Suppliers menu, select Pay Bills.
  2. Select the appropriate Accounts Payable account.
  3. Select Show all bills.
  4. Select the bills you paid using the Write Cheque feature. If you have written one cheque for multiple bills, you need to choose all the corresponding bills.
  5. For the Payment date, choose the original payment date you used for the cheque/s.
  6. From the Method dropdown, select Cheque.
  7. Select Assign cheque number to attach the correct cheque number to the payment. When prompted that the cheque number has already been used, choose Yes to continue.
  8. From the Account dropdown, select the bank account you used for the cheque.
  9. Select Pay Selected Bills.

Now go back to the Cheque Register. You should see two entries (CHQ/CHQ and BILLPMT) with the same cheque information. Delete each CHQ/CHQ entry.

  1. Double-click the entry.
  2. Select Edit and then select Delete.
  3. Select OK.

This is only available in QuickBooks Accountant Edition and QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise 18.0 (or later).

  1. From the Accountant menu, select Client Data Review and then Fix Unapplied Supplier Payments and Credits.
  2. Go to the Suppliers tab.
  3. Select the appropriate Accounts Payable account.
  4. Select the supplier.
  5. On the Payments/credits column, select the appropriate cheque.
  6. On the Bills column, select the appropriate bills.
  7. Select Apply. If you selected the incorrect transaction, you can choose Unapply to unlink it.
  8. Select Save.

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