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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.

    There are two ways to open a register:

    • To open a register from the chart of accounts, go to the Lists menu and click Chart of Accounts. Double-click the name of the account.

      Note: If the account is an income or expense account, a QuickReport appears instead of a register. Income and expense accounts do not have registers in QuickBooks.

    • To open the register for an individual customer or job, click Customer Center and click the Customers & Jobs tab. Right-click the customer or job and choose Use Register.

    See also

  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 do payment terms work in QuickBooks?

    Payment terms indicate when you expect to receive payment from a customer or when your vendors expect payment from you. For example, if you expect payment from a customer within 30 days and you give a discount of 2% if payment is received in 10 days, the terms are 2% 10 Net 30.

    QuickBooks supplies a list of often-used payment terms on the Terms list. You can easily add new terms to the list. Because QuickBooks uses terms in both accounts payable and accounts receivable, you need only add a set of terms once to the list.

    To apply terms to a transaction, select the terms you want from the Terms list when you are creating an invoice or entering a bill.

    To do this task

    1. Go to the Lists menu, choose Customer & Vendor Profile Lists, and then click Terms List. Shortcut

    2. Click Terms at the bottom of the list and click New.

    3. In the Terms field, enter a word or phrase that will help you recognize the terms when you use the Terms list (what you enter here appears on the list).

    4. Indicate the type of terms that you want to use.

      Standard vs. date-driven payment terms

      Standard payment terms

      Your invoices are due within 25 days of receipt, and you give your customers a 1% discount if they pay within 10 days. These are standard terms, because payment is due within a specific number of days from the invoice date.

      In the New Terms window, click Standard and enter 1% 10 Net 25.

      Date-driven payment terms

      Your invoices are due on the 25th day of the month, and you give your customers a 1% discount if they pay within 10 days.

      To let QuickBooks know that "25" means the "25th day of the month" and not "25 days after the invoice date," click Date Driven in the New Terms window and enter 1% 10 Net 25.

    5. Fill in the fields.

      Net due

      For standard terms, enter the number of days in which payments from customers or bills to vendors are due.

      For date-driven terms, enter the day of the month by which payment is due.

      Due the next month if

      Used for date-driven terms only, to handle cases in which invoices or bills are issued just prior to the due date.

      If the invoice or bill is issued within the number of days you enter, payment is not due until the following month.


      Enter the discount percentage a customer earns for early payment of an invoice or that your business earns for early payment of a bill. If there is a discount, also complete the next field
      ("Discount if paid").

      If there is no discount, enter zero.

      if paid

      Enter the number of days within which a customer or your business can pay and receive a discount for early payment. Be sure to enter the discount percentage in the previous field ("Discount percentage").

    6. Record the payment terms.

      Click Next to record and enter another.

      Click OK to record but close the window.

    See also

  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

    When you enter a transaction in a register, you can "split" the transaction across different accounts, customers, jobs, or classes, so that you can keep track of where your money goes more accurately. For example, if you write a check to a vendor for materials for two different jobs, you can allocate the correct amount from the check to each job.

    Important: From a register, you cannot view or enter a split transaction that includes items.

    To enter a new split transaction

    1. Click in the blank entry at the end of the register.

    2. If you want a different date from today's, click in the Date field and choose the correct date.

    3. Click in the Number or Ref field and review the number that prefills for you. Change the number if you want the transaction to have a different one.

    4. To mark the check as "To be Printed", enter T in the Number or Ref field.

      "To print" appears in place of the check number. (The check number reappears after you print the check.)

    5. Enter the payee, vendor, or other name.

    6. In the Payment field, enter the total amount of the transaction.

      If you don't know the total, leave the Amount field blank. QuickBooks totals the amount as you fill in the splits and displays it in the Payment field.

    7. Click the Splits button on the left side of the register, at the bottom.

      The splits area opens.

    8. In the Account field, enter an account.

    9. In the Amount field, enter the amount to be assigned to this account.

      QuickBooks subtracts the amount entered from the total amount and displays the remainder on the next free line of the Splits window. If you left the transaction amount blank, QuickBooks adds the split amount to the transaction amount.

    10. (Optional) In the Memo field, enter a note about the split amount.

    11. In the Customer:Job field, enter the name of a customer or job.

    12. If this expense should not be passed along to the customer, click in the Billable? column to clear the checkbox.

    13. If you are using classes to track additional information, enter a Class.

    14. Repeat steps 8 through 13 as needed.

    15. Click Record to record the transaction.

  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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