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Advances to subcontractor

Best way to enter an Advance to a subcontractor. Mid month advance, usually applied to the end of  month entry.
I'd like to enter a 'credit' to their account so I can easily apply it to the invoice. Can I enter as a credit note, and apply a payment to it?
Currently the amount is being entered as a bill (posted against loans to subcontractor), bill is paid. Then the amount is deducted from next invoice against the same account.

 

It's too easy to miss repayments this ways. Any better suggestions?