Editing Bill Payments

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Editing Bill Payments

If you have made some error in a bill payment that you entered, you can correct that with the Edit button on the Actions Bill Payment List window.


Alternatively, if you open up the register window for the account you pay your bills from, you can right-click on bill payment transactions there and pick Edit Bill Payment from the popup menu, to edit them.


Either of those actions brings up the following window, which is just a minor variation on the window for making new bill payments:




On this window, you can correct the Pay From Account, the Payment Date, the Chq / Ref #, or the Payment Amount. If you change the Payment Amount, the Total Payment amount at the bottom will be updated (after you tab out of the field, or click Save.)


If you need to change the Pay From Account, you can select it with the drop-down list, or just start typing and have it appear via autocomplete.


As with the window for creating a new bill payment, the Chq / Ref # (or Chk Ref # as show above for users in the U.S.A.) is the cheque number or other reference number for the actual payment. The Ref # field in the main area of the window listing the bills being paid is the Reference number of the original bill itself.


Having made your changes, click Save to save them and close this window. (You will first be asked to confirm the change.) You can also click Cancel to close this window, abandoning any changes.


One thing that may be confusing initially is the Outstanding Amount displayed on this window, and how that interacts with what you are allowed to enter as an updated Payment Amount. The Outstanding Amount is how much of this bill is still unpaid, with the amount already paid being considered to include the current Payment Amount. For a bill that you have paid in full, the Outstanding Amount will be $0, as in the example shown above, and the Payment Amount will be the full amount of the bill, that you paid. You can only change it to a lower value (for example if you want to change it to only partially pay the bill).


A more complex example is the following, where one bill payment made was related to two different bills from the same vendor:




In this case, the second of those bills actually had a credit (the negative amount indicated by the number in round brackets), which offset part of the first bill.


In general, the maximum you can pay on each bill is the Outstanding Amount plus the current Payment Amount. Since neither of these bills has an Outstanding Amount, the Payment Amounts cannot be increased.


Of course, you should only change the Payment Amount on an existing bill payment if you haven't really made that payment yet (for instance, you haven't actually written and sent the cheque) and you plan to pay a different amount!


In the case like the example above where there are credit memos from the vendor that are part of this bill payment, the Outstanding Amount (if non-zero) will be negative, and Payment Amounts must also be negative (in order to use up the credit).


Why Can't I Edit the Bill's Splits Here?


We have occasionally been asked this question. You need to understand that a bill payment is a transaction that debits your Accounts Payable account and credits the Pay From Account (a bank or a credit card). The splits between expense accounts are not involved in the bill payment transaction itself at all!


The splits were defined when you entered the bill itself. The “enter bill” transaction credits Accounts Payable and (usually) debits one or more expense accounts. (Of course, other accounts such as sales tax accounts might also be involved.)


So what you really want to be editing, if you think the splits need to be edited, is the original bill transaction itself. As long as the total amount of the bill hasn’t changed, all you have to do is go to the Bill List window, find the bill, and click Edit to edit it – now you have the splits that you want to edit. You will receive a warning about changing the total amount, namely that doing so will require you to also edit the bill payment (or perhaps make a further bill payment).


Of course if you do change the Total Bill Amount, you may have to do something appropriate back here, as explained in that warning message.


This topic was last edited on May 31, 2022