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Entering a transaction in an Accounts Payable (A/P) register

You can enter bills and vendor credits directly in your accounts payable (A/P) register instead of using the Enter Bills window to create the transactions.

Why use the register?

There are several reasons why you might prefer to work directly in a bank account register:

  • Speed: You can work more quickly in a register than you can if you fill out a separate check or deposit for each transaction. This is especially true if your checks have relatively few distribution lines and you do not need to track the costs of specific items.

  • You see the entire record of the account: When you're filling out a form such as the Write Checks window, the only transaction you see is the one you're entering. In contrast, a register shows you all the transactions in the account to date.

To do this task

  1. Open the register for your A/P account.

    Open the register
  2. Click in the blank entry at the end of the register.

  3. Enter the date, transaction number, and vendor in these fields:


    The transaction date. Click the calendar icon, type the numeric date, or use these shortcut keys to enter or change the date:


    To change the date to


    Next day


    Previous day

    w (for week)

    1st day of the current week, then the 1st day of previous weeks

    k (for week)

    Last day of the current week, then the last day of subsequent weeks

    m (for month)

    1st day of the current month, then the 1st day of previous months

    h (for month)

    Last day of the current month, then the last day of subsequent months

    y (for year)

    1st day of the current year, then the 1st day of previous years

    r (for year)

    Last day of the current year, then the last day of subsequent years

    t (for today)

    Today's date


    The number of the transaction. This field is optional.


    The name of the vendor.

    To enter the name: Click the drop-down list and choose the vendor. If the name is not on the list, enter the name in the Vendor field and press Tab. When QuickBooks informs you that the vendor is not on your Vendor list, click one of these buttons:


    To do this

    Quick Add

    Add only the vendor's name to your QuickBooks records.

    Set Up

    Add additional information about the vendor (address, phone number, and so on) to your QuickBooks records.

  4. (Optional) Change the date that QuickBooks fills in the Due Date field.

    How QuickBooks determines the due date

    If you entered payment terms on the vendor's record, QuickBooks uses the payment terms to determine the due date. For example, if the terms are Net 30 (which means, "balance due in 30 days") and the date of the bill is January 1, QuickBooks enters the due date as January 31.

    If you did not specify payment terms for the vendor, QuickBooks calculates the due date by using the "Bills are due __ days after receipt" preference in the Bills Preferences window. For example if the preference is set to 10 days and the date of the bill is April 1, QuickBooks enters April 10 as the due date.

    How to set up payment terms

    How to set up payment terms
  5. Enter the amount of the bill or credit:

    • For bills: Enter the amount in the Billed field.

    • For credits: Enter the amount in the Paid field.

  6. (Bills only) Enter the name of the account you use to track this type of expense.

    • If you are distributing the entire bill to one account and you don't need to assign the amount to a customer, job, or class, choose the account from the drop-down list.


    • Click Splits.

    How to enter split detail

    How to enter split detail
  7. (Optional) In the Memo field, enter a note about the transaction.

    The memo appears on all reports that include the transaction.

  8. Click Record.

Did the transaction disappear?

If you sort the register by date and you dated your transaction earlier than today, the transaction may disappear from view after moving to its correct chronological position in the register.

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