For QuickBooks 2018 and earlier versions, a bill will show as unpaid if you use Write Checks when paying the outstanding debt. The PAID stamp will not appear on the bill if the payment was not recorded through Pay Bills.

Use Write Checks:

  • When you settle bills as they arrive.
  • If you do not need reports showing how much you owe.

Use Pay Bills

  • If you recorded your payables through Enter Bills.
  • When you prefer to pay bills at once, for example, on the same day each month.
  • If you want to see reports showing how much you owe.

Choose the solution most appropriate for your Write Check entries:

Solution 1: Keep the check and delete the bill

Use this option if you do not require all of your payment information to appear in Accounts Payable.

Solution 2: Link the check to the bill

Use this option if the check has been reconciled.

  1. Change the Expense account to Accounts Payable.
    1. On the check that you created, change the Expense account to Accounts Payable.
    2. From the Customer: Job drop-down, choose the vendor name. If you do not enter a name, QuickBooks will ask you to choose a vendor for the Accounts Payable line item.
    3. Select Save & Close.
  2. Pay the bill.
    1. Go to the Vendors menu, then select Pay Bills.
    2. Choose the bill/s corresponding to the check.
    3. Select Set Credits, then go to the Credits tab.
    4. Put a check on the credit. Change the amount as needed.
    5. Select Done, then choose Pay Selected Bills.

Note: If you check the transaction history, it will show the regular check as the payment.

Solution 3: Remove the check and pay the bill

Use this option if you want to see all of your payment information (including past data) in Accounts Payable.

  1. Back up the QuickBooks company file.
  2. Go to the Check Register.
    1. Go to the Banking menu, then select Use Register.
    2. From the Select Account drop-down, choose the bank account you used when you write the check, then select OK.
    3. Look for the checks you created in error. Take note of the details like the vendor name, payment date, check number, and amount paid.
    4. Close the Register when done.
  3. Go to the Pay Bills window.
    1. Go to the Vendors menu, then select Pay Bills.
    2. Select the appropriate Accounts Payable account.
    3. Select Show all bills.
    4. Select the bills you paid through Write Check. If you have written one check for multiple bills, you need to choose all the corresponding bills.
    5. For the Payment date, choose the original payment date you used for the check/s.
    6. From the Method drop-down, select Check.
    7. Select Assign check number to attach the correct check number to the payment. When you are prompted that the check number has already been used, choose Yes to continue. You will be prompted for each check number that you are duplicating.
    8. From the Account drop-down, then choose the bank account you used when you wrote the check.
    9. Choose Pay Selected Bills.
  4. Go back to the Check Register.
    1. You should now see two entries (CHK/CHK and BILLPMT) with the same check information.
    2. Delete each CHK/CHK entry.
      1. Double-click the entry.
      2. Go to the Edit menu, then select Delete.
      3. Select OK.

Solution 4: Fix Unapplied Vendor Payments and Credits

Important: This is only available in QuickBooks Accountant Edition and QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise 16 and later.

  1. Go to the Accountant menu, then select Client Data Review > Fix Unapplied Vendor Payments and Credits.
  2. Go to the Vendors tab, then select the appropriate Accounts Payable account.
  3. Choose the appropriate vendor.
  4. On the payments/credits column, choose the appropriate check.
  5. On the bills column, select the appropriate bills.
  6. Select Apply. If you selected the incorrect transaction, you can choose Un-apply to undo the link.
  7. Select Save.
Check to Bill Pay in QuickBooks 2019
Great news! When you create a check for a vendor, QuickBooks 2019 now shows the bills open. You just have to link the check, then you're done! To know more about this new feature, see Pay bills in QuickBooks Desktop.