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Set up roles and permissions for paying bills with QuickBooks Bill Pay

by Intuit Updated 1 month ago

Learn how to set up roles and permissions for paying bills with QuickBooks Bill Pay.

QuickBooks Bill Pay gives you complete control on your accounts payable (AP) process. QuickBooks Online Advanced or Bill Pay Elite customers may add roles and permissions to bill payments flows, and control who can create, edit, approve, and pay bills.

For example, companies can set up roles and workflows so that every bill above $2000 requires approval before being recorded and then paid.


  • The maximum number of users allowed for your company is based on your QuickBooks Online subscription.
  • If you have QuickBooks Bill Pay Elite, then you have set permissions for bill specific roles. If you have QuickBooks Online Advanced, then you can customize roles.

To watch more how-to videos, visit our video section.

Add a user and assign a QuickBooks Bill Pay role

You can add a new user and set up the right levels of control for your bill payment process:

  1. Log into QuickBooks Online as an admin.
  2. Go to Settings Settings gear icon. then select Manage users.
  3. Select Add user.
  4. Add the user’s name and email address. This will be the email address used to notify the user of required actions.
  5. For Bill Pay specific roles, scroll down in the list and choose one of the following: 
    • Bill approver: Users with this role can only approve bills. They can’t pay bills or take any other action related to bills or payments.
    • Bill clerk: Users with this role can add bills, mark bills as paid, and add and edit vendors. They can't approve or pay bills.
    • Bill payer: Users with this role can view and pay bills, and edit vendor details. They can’t add bills or perform other bill related actions.
  6. Select Send invitation to invite the user for this role.

To learn more, see how you can add, edit, and delete user profiles.

Create a bill approval workflow

Bill Pay Elite customers can add a bill approval workflow. Here’s how:

  1. Select Workflows, then the Templates tab.
  2. Select the Bill Multi-Condition Approval template.
  3. Give your template a name.
  4. In the When this happens block, use the dropdowns ▼ to choose conditions for the amount, vendor, location, or a combination of conditions. This is what triggers the approval process. Select Add Condition if you want to add more than one.
  5. In the Do this block, select the bill approver for when your set conditions are met. Also, you may select the Email to your team checkbox to notify your team.
  6. (Optional) Select ✎ Edit next to Email to your team to change email recipients, Subject, or email Message. When finished, select Save email. Any recipient(s) saved here will receive action required emails when this condition is triggered.
  7. Repeat steps 4 and 5 to fill out additional When this happens and Do this blocks in the event that your initial conditions are not met.
    Note: If a bill isn't reviewed after 30 days, it's automatically denied.
  8. When finished, select Save and enable.

Whenever a user with the right permissions, such as a bill clerk, saves a bill and that bill meets workflow conditions, they’re asked if they want to send it for approval. They can select Send for approval if they’re ready to notify the bill approver, or Close if they want to send the bill later. In that case, the bill is saved with a “needs approval” status until it’s sent to the bill approver.

If you use QuickBooks Online Advanced, you can learn more about setting up workflows for team reminders.

Review bills pending approval

Each time a team member creates a bill that needs approval and the bill approval workflow triggers, QuickBooks creates a task. All bills pending approval appear in the Task widget of your Dashboards so your team can manage everything in one place.

To review open tasks, go to the Tasks menu. You'll see what needs to be done and who owns each task. For Bill approval tasks, the approver can select View/edit bill from the Actions dropdown ▼ of a pending bill to get more details. Then select Approve or Deny.

You can also view all bills pending approval on the Bills page. Go to the Bills page and on the Unpaid tab see all bills that are pending approval under the “Approval Status” column.

If you downgrade from QuickBooks Bill Pay Elite to another plan, and you’re not subscribed to Quickbooks Online Advanced, you’ll lose your roles and permissions settings and bill approval workflows. This means that bills pending approval can be paid without approval, and some roles will still be available but will have limited functionality.

We recommend removing users assigned to bill clerk, bill payer, and bill approver roles before canceling or downgrading from QuickBooks Bill Pay Elite.

QuickBooks Bill Pay: QuickBooks Bill Pay account subject to eligibility criteria, credit, and application approval. Subscription to QuickBooks Online required. Money movement services are provided by Intuit Payments Inc., licensed as a Money Transmitter by the New York State Department of Financial Services. For more information about Intuit Payments' money transmission licenses, please visit the Intuit Payment Licenses page.

QuickBooks Bill Pay EliteQuickBooks Online Advanced

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