This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
In this tutorial, you will learn to write and print checks in QuickBooks Online for bills that have not yet been entered. A later tutorial will cover how to pay bills that have already been entered in QuickBooks.
We’re glad you’re completing this free tutorial for QuickBooks Online, our best overall pick for small business accounting software. To get the most benefit from this tutorial, you should follow along in your own QuickBooks account. If you don’t already subscribe to QuickBooks Online, you can choose from a 30-day free trial or 50% off for three months.
This tutorial is one in our series of Free QuickBooks Tutorials. The video below and the step-by-step instructions that follow present the same information.
Creating and printing checks in QuickBooks Online generally is better than writing checks by hand for several reasons:
- Checks created and printed in QuickBooks are entered in the check register automatically and will make your bank reconciliation easier.
- Your expenses are more up-to-date since your bank register is always current.
- Printing checks is not only easier than writing them by hand, but also looks more professional.
There are two methods of paying expenses in QuickBooks Online. The first is to wait until the expense payment is due and then write a check, which is the method illustrated in this tutorial. The second method is to enter a bill when an invoice is received and then pay the bill when it is due. The second method is covered in the next two tutorials.
Avoid recording expenses twice: If you create a check as shown in this tutorial for a bill that has already been entered, the expense will be recorded on your books twice, and the bill will still be shown as outstanding.
How to Write and Print Checks in QuickBooks Online
1. Navigate to Write Checks
Click the New button at the top of the left menu bar and then select Check under Vendors in the second column:
2. Create the Check
QuickBooks Online displays an input screen to create a new check. The exact fields shown on the screen will vary based upon your selections in How to Set Up Advanced Settings:
A. Payee: Select the vendor you are paying from the drop-down box. If the check is to a new vendor, click Add new at the top of the drop-down list and set up the new vendor as shown in How to Set Up Vendors. After selecting a vendor, the billing address should automatically populate.
B. Bank Account: Select the bank account from which you are writing a check.
C. Payment date: Enter the date the check will be issued.
D. Category: Expenses should be assigned to either a Category or an Item (K). If you wish to assign the expense to a category, select it here. If you select a category, you must complete fields E through J.
E. Description: Provide a description of the payment.
F. Amount: Enter the amount of the payment to assign to this category. By default, QuickBooks will enter the entire payment amount. However, the total check amount can be split between multiple categories and items if you wish.
G. Billable: Place a checkmark here if the amount charged to this category will be billed to a customer. However, the preferred method of recording expenses billable to customers is to use items instead of categories as shown in How to Set Up Products and Services.
H. Markup %: If you wish to charge the customer more for this expense than you are paying, enter the markup percentage here.
I. Tax: Place a checkmark here if you are required to charge the customer sales tax when billing them this expense.
J. Customer/Project: Select the customer and project, if applicable, to which you wish to bill this expense. If it is a new customer or project, click Add new at the top of the drop-down box and add the customer or project as shown in How to Set Up Customers.
K. Product/Service: Choose a product or service item to charge the expense. If you need to create a new product or service item, select Add new at the top of the drop-down box and create the item as shown in How to Set Up Products and Services. Once you select an item, the fields for Rate, Billable, Markup %, Tax, and Class will populate automatically.
Choose category or item: The same expense cannot be charged to both a category (D) and a product or service item. However, the same check can include some expenses charged to categories and some expenses charged to product and service items.
L. Qty: Enter the quantity of the item being purchased. This is especially important for inventory items. Once you enter the quantity, the amount will be calculated as rate times quantity.
M. Customer/Project: Choose the customer and project to bill for this item. This field is required if there is a checkmark in Billable.
3. Print and Save the Check
You have two options for printing the check:
- Print later: You can choose to print the check later by placing a checkmark in the Print later field located under the check number. Printing later is convenient if you are creating multiple checks.
- Print now: To print the check immediately, click Print check in the bottom menu bar of the input screen. This will bring up a list of checks to print that will include the current check, plus any other checks you have previously selected to print later. Place a checkmark next to all checks you wish to print and click the green Preview and print button at the bottom of the window.
Print setup: The first time you print checks, QuickBooks Online will guide you through setting up and aligning your printer for your particular style of checks.
When you are finished printing or choosing to print later, click the green Save and close button at the bottom of the create check screen.
You’ve finished another tutorial in our QuickBooks Online Training Course! You can now write and print checks for expenses that have not been recorded as bills. The next tutorial in our QuickBooks Online Training Course is How to Enter Bills, where you will learn the benefit of entering bills as they are received.