Paying Bills

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Paying Bills

There are two ways of handling bills in ACCOUNTS. You can enter bills for later payment, with the Actions Enter Bills menu option or Enter Bills quick link, or the Actions Bill List menu option or Bill List quick link, or you can record immediate payments to them with the Write Cheques menu option or quick link, the Credit Card Charges menu option or quick link, or on a Register window, for example one for a bank account or a credit card.


For bills that you have entered for later payment, you can record your payment of them with the Actions Pay Bills menu option, the Pay Bills quick link on the main menu, or the New button on the Actions Bill Payment List window. Any of them bring up a window such as the following:




The window can be resized, by clicking and dragging any edge or corner. (However, you will probably mostly only want to make it taller or shorter.)


You use this window to pay one or more bills, for one vendor at a time.


You can use the For Vendor drop-down at the top to limit the list to see only outstanding bills from one vendor. You can also just start typing the name of a Vendor and it will come up in this field, via autocomplete.


The Pay From Account drop-down shows the Bank and Credit Card accounts that you could pay the bill from. Once you have used this window once, this field will be automatically filled in with the account that you paid the previous bill from. (Be sure to check the value, if you pay different bills from different accounts!)


The Payment Date defaults to today's date, or the last-used transaction date, and is the date of the cheque or payment.


The Chq / Ref # ("Chk / Ref #" for users in the U.S.A.) is the cheque number (or other reference number) that you want to be recorded with the bill payment transaction, it any. You cannot enter leading zero's in a cheque number, as that would stop you from being able to print that cheque in the program. If you are paying from a Credit Card account, don't enter a Cheque #! The Cheque # field is initialized to the next cheque number in the selected bank account (one higher than the most recently entered one in that account).


This is different from the Ref # field in the list of bills that can be paid in the main area of the window, which is any Reference # you recorded when you entered the bill.


Once you have selected the Pay from Account (or if it is automatically filled in based on your previous bill payment), the Cheque # field will be automatically filled in with the next available cheque number, assuming it is a bank account. You can also increase or decrease the number in this field by pressing the "+" or "-" keys.


Having filled in those values at the top of the window, click into the Payment Amount field for whichever bill or bills (from the same vendor!) that you want to pay all or part of, and enter an amount. Usually you will be paying bills in full, so your Payment Amount will be the same as the displayed Outstanding Amount. (The Outstanding Amount will usually be the original bill amount, unless you have previously made a partial payment on that bill.)


If there are credit memos listed, the Outstanding Amount will be a negative number (as in the 3rd line in the example window above), and your Payment Amount also needs to be a negative number (to use up all or part of that credit).


As soon as you enter each Payment Amount and tab out of the field (or click the small Pay button or main Pay Now button), the Total Payment field at the bottom will be filled in, with the total of all the Payment Amounts you entered.


Rather than typing in your Payment Amounts, you can alternatively click the small Pay button to the left of that field, to transfer the Outstanding Amount for that bill into the Payment Amount field (as long as that Payment Amount is currently empty or zero).


Although there is no field displayed for a memo for the transaction (what would show up in the Memo field on the register), a memo may actually be filled in for you for the transaction on the Pay from Account, when it is saved from this window. It will be the Memo entered with the bill that was paid, if there was one. (If more than one bill was paid by this bill payment, the memo will be taken from the first bill included in the payment.) This memo will be printed as a memo line on a cheque, if this bill was paid by cheque, unless the vendor has an Account Number, in which case that number will be used for the memo.


Click the Pay Now button to pay the bill. You will be asked to confirm the desired payment first. If payment is recorded successfully, you will receive a message to that effect, and you can then remain in this window to pay additional bills. The accounts used in the transaction created by the bill payment are the Accounts Payable account(s) that the bill(s) were registered against, and the Pay From Account that you specify in this window.


You must understand that clicking Pay Now doesn't actually pay the bill, it merely records the fact that you have paid the bill! You still need to write or print the cheque and get it to the vendor, or make the actual credit card payment, etc.!


The bill payment transaction can be viewed (but not edited directly, except for the Number field, if you need to correct the cheque number) in the register windows for both the Accounts Payable account and the account you paid the bill from. When you view bill payments entered with this window on the register windows, they will show a Type (transaction type) value of "BILLPAY". However, you can edit them in this window, from the register window, by picking Edit Bill Payment from the right-click menu, or pressing Ctrl+E, when the bill payment row is selected.


Click Close when you are finished with this window.


What if there's an Early Payment Discount or Late Payment Interest?


To keep things simple in ACCOUNTS, there are no special features for dealing with such things. If the amount you actually need to pay on a bill is not the same as when you entered it, first go back and edit the bill amount, with the Edit button on the Vendor Bill List window. Then you can come back to this window to pay that current amount.


What if I Made a Mistake?


If you save a bill payment that you should not have saved, or that needs some correction, you can get back to it with Actions Bill Payment List window, and use the Edit or Delete button on that window to make the appropriate correction.

This topic was last edited on May 31, 2022