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Pay bills in QuickBooks Desktop

After recording what you owe in QuickBooks Desktop, you can use Pay Bills to settle your payables for different vendors. You can also easily apply the corresponding discount or credit for each payment you make.

How do I pay a bill/payable?

Important: Do not write a check to pay a bill. If you do, the bill will remain open/unpaid which may lead to inaccurate data on financial reports.
  1. Go to the Vendors menu, then select Pay Bills.
  2. If you use more than 1 Accounts Payable account, select the appropriate one from the A/P Account drop-down.
  3. Select the bills you want to pay from the table.

    How do I select bills?

    • To select a bill to pay, mark the checkbox from the checked column.
    • To select all the bills in the list, select Select All Bills.
    • To unmark all bills and start over, select Clear Selections.

    Why is my bill not showing?

    • You may still have to enter the bill.
    • If you already entered the bill and selected the Show all bills radio button, you may need to scroll up/down to find your bill.
    • If there are too many bills listed, you can narrow down the entered bills by selecting Due on or before then specifying the date on the Show bills section.
    • You have multiple A/P accounts and the bill is not in the selected A/P account.
    • The bill is already paid. You can run the Transaction List by Vendor report to check.
      1. Go to the Reports menu,  select Vendors & Payables and then Transaction List by Vendor.
      2. (Optional) Customize the report to include the Billing status column.
        1. Select Customize Report.
        2. Choose Billing Status from the Columns section.
        3. Select OK.
  4. Set any discount or credit that you want to apply to the bills.


    Discount is a fixed amount or percentage you deduct from the total amount you owe to the vendor. You can set QuickBooks to automatically use a fixed amount or you can enter your own. To enter a discount:

    1. Mark the appropriate bill, then select Set Discount.
    2. Enter the amount of discount. Note that the discount amount cannot be greater than the amount of the bill.
    3. From the Discount Account drop-down, choose the account you use to track discount income. You can also select Add New if you don't have one set up yet.
    4. (Optional) If you are using classes to track account balances, choose the appropriate class from the Discount Class drop-down.
    5. Select Done.


    Credit is the amount the vendor deducts from the amount you owe. The Credits window displays the available credit. You can set QuickBooks to automatically use available credits or you can manually set it. To set credits:

    1. Mark the appropriate bill, then select Set Credits.
    2. Select the credits that you want to apply.
    3. Select Done.
  5. Select the payment date and method.


    1. From the Method drop-down, choose Check.
    2. Select the appropriate radio button.
      • To be printed: QuickBooks will prepare a check for the vendor and add it to the list of checks to be printed. You’ll have the chance to print the check at the end of this task.
      • Assign check number: Choose this option if you plan to manually write the check or use a debit card. When you record your bill payment after completing this form, you will be prompted to enter check numbers (or a reference number if you use a debit card) and dates.
    3. From the Account drop-down, choose the bank account from which you want to pay the bills.

    Credit card

    1. From the Method drop-down, choose Credit Card.
    2. From the Account drop-down, choose the credit card account from which you want to pay the bills.

    Cash, debit card, or ATM card , Paypal, or EFT

    1. From the Method drop-down, choose Check (though you're not paying with an actual check).
    2. Select Assign Check number.Note: After completing the form, you are prompted to enter a check number and date. You can leave the check number blank or you can enter something to indicate the type of payment e.g. EFT, PayPal, or Cash.
    3. From the Account drop-down, select the appropriate account from which you want to pay the Bills.

    Direct Deposit

    1. From the Method drop-down, choose Direct Deposit.
    2. From the Payment Account drop-down, select the appropriate account.
      • When you select a vendor who is set up to receive direct deposit payments, QuickBooks supplies a QuickBooks account entry that matches the real bank account you specified during setup (the same for both payroll and vendor payments). Note that you can only change the Payment Account to another QuickBooks account that is associated with the real bank account.
      • Direct deposit funds are always drawn from the actual bank account shown in the Direct Deposit section (or Bank Account Information section for Assisted users) of the Account Maintenance window. To see the Account Maintenance window, go to the Employees menu,  select My Payroll Service and then Account/Billing Information.

    Online Bank Payment

    1. From the Method drop-down, choose Online Bank Payment.
    2. (Optional) Select Include reference number if you want the bill or credit reference numbers to be sent along with your name and account number. The payment will not be sent electronically instead, the payment processor will print and mail a check to the payee.
    3. From the Account drop-down, choose the checking account with the online vendor payment service.

  6. Select Pay Selected Bills.
  7. The Payment Summary window appears. Select Done if you are finished paying bills or select Pay More Bills to return to the Pay Bills window.

    If you pay using Direct Deposit

    1. Select Send Direct Deposit to view the payments that are queued to be sent to the Direct Deposit service.
    2. Select Send.

    If you pay using Online Bank Payment

    1. Look for the payments under the Send Items to your bank section of your Bank Feeds.
    2. Select Send items.

Paying bills is part of your usual A/P workflow in QuickBooks Desktop. To see the complete list of workflows and other vendor-related transactions, refer to Accounts Payable workflows.

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