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Chapter 9

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Paying your Bills

Accrual basis accounting  XE "bills:paying"  XE "pay bills" deals with income, expense, and net worth.  Accounting activity also deals with another critical factor:  regardless of your net asset position, do you have enough money to pay your bills? If yes, this transaction consumes an asset to dissolve a liability.  Your liquidity is reduced, but net worth is not affected.

Pay Bills is on the Activities menu, or the Purchase and Vendors tab of the Navigator.

Payment Date will be the date of record for paying these bills, and will appear on a check, if used for payment.  Cash basis reports will consider payment to be on this date, even if the debt is merely transferred to the credit card.

Always check the date on every transaction.

Pay By allows selection of check, credit card, and if set up, online payment.  If Check and To be printed are selected, the check will be set up to be printed.  If the latter is blank, the next manual check number will come up on the check. (For re-setting the default, see Chapter 5.)

Bank or credit card account (box with word Checking) should be verified.

Ending Bank Balance (at the bottom) gives a dynamic report of the bank or credit card account balance, after checked bills are paid.

Show bills due ... limits which bills will appear for payment.  Bills due after this date will not appear, unless the other option is checked.

Clear Payments or Pay All Bills (the same button, at the bottom) sets Amt. Paid to zero or to the amount due.

Discount Info requires one bill   XE "Discount Info:pay bills"to be active -- click in the  b  column, or Amt. Paid.  Suggested Discount shows what any discount would be, according to the terms entered on the bill, but the discount taken may be set by the user.  The purchase discount account is generally an income account.

The check ( b ) column, on the Pay Bills window, selects or deselects bills for payment.

Date Due column shows date as set up when the bill was entered.

Vendor name is as shown in the list of names.  The check will show the vendor name as shown in the Address block of the vendor record.

Ref No contains the eleven characters of text entered with the bill, which will appear on the check skirt.

Bill Amt.  is nobodys name, but the original amount of the bill.

Amt. Due is the portion of the bill which has not been paid, useful in progressive payments.

Disc. Date is calculated from the terms entered with the bill.

Amt. Paid pops up with zero or the amount due (driven by Pay All Bills ) but you may enter any amount, up the amount due.

OK or Next completes bill payment, and check writing proceeds immediately, or the amount is recorded as a credit card charge. 

NOTE

Did the bill payment do what you wanted?  It is a good idea to go immediately into the checking or credit card account register and verify the actions.

Check for Bill Payment  XE "check:bill payment" will be printed with the Ref No (from Enter Bills) in the Memo field of the detail section.  No other information can be carried through Pay Bills to the check.  If you should want more information in the Memo field, it is possible.  It is not easy, but it is possible.  The procedure follows:

Start in Write Checks, and write a check to the vendor, for the bill.  In the detail section, use only the Expenses tab (not Items )  and enter:

Account                  Payables

Amount                  Total to amount of bill

Memo                    What you want to say; check will print somewhat more than            window shows (if classes are active.)  For additional lines, press   Tab several times, to get to the Memo field on the next line.

Customer:Job        Must be Vendor name

Class                      May be shown, but is of no use here.  Payables is a balance            sheet account

After that check is recorded, it must be connected to the bill.  Opening Pay Bills, the check will appear as a bill with a negative amount.  Select it and the check, and click OK.  The bill and the check will then be marked paid.

Information for the vendor may also be printed XE "bill payments:identifying"  XE "remittance advice"  with a report, before using Pay Bills.   Click Reports|A/P Reports|Unpaid Bills Detail.  Click on Filters, then  Names, and select the name of the vendor involved. Clicking Paid Status shows the choice has been made to show only bills with the status as Open.  (In older versions, this is under Invoice Options.)  When these steps are done, click OK to see the report. 

UnderHeader/Footer, the report name could be changed to Payment Detail.  The report could be memorized under that name.  When it is called as a memorized report, the same vendor will appear, but another vendor can be readily selected.  This is more convenient if you have selected Preferences|Reporting|Display Customize Report window automatically.  This report does provide the vendor with useful information about a multiple payment.

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Last modified: May 21, 2004