QuickBooks & Accounts Payable – How to Correct Negative Balances in A / P


Occasionally, a negative balance appears in Accounts Payable (A / P), and business owners who take care of their own books do not understand how the problem happened or what to do about it. Here's the scoop:

A negative balance in A / P can sometimes mean that bills have been entered, and checks have been written against those bills, but the original bills have been removed or canceled. The invoice payment checks are left "suspended" in the system, creating a negative balance in the seller's account.

If you notice a negative balance in the current account, or even if some suppliers have a negative balance in the Provider list, go to the Reports menu and select Suppliers and Providers. Next, select the Detail of Unpaid Invoices report. Scan the report and look for negative amounts. If you see, double-click on it

After double-clicking, an invoice payment check should open. Look at the bottom half of the screen. Maybe there will be no invoice here, no amount at all, nothing to indicate that this check has been applied to an invoice. If this is the case, leave this window open and go to the providers menu. Select Enter Invoices. Enter an invoice for the provider you just saw on the last screen. Make sure to use the same amount that you saw on the check. You will need to guess the correct due date – better yet, try to find the original invoice so that you can get correct information. After entering it, click Save and New to leave the window open if you have more bills to enter, or Save and Close to close the window if you are done.

After entering the invoice, return to the invoice. Look at the bottom half of the screen – the bill should be there. If this is the case, place a check mark next to it and enter the correct amount (the amount on the check) in the column on the far right. Click Save and Close. QuickBooks will ask you if you are sure you want to register the transaction – click Yes.

Access the detailed report of outstanding invoices and click Refresh. The bill payment check, which caused the negative amount on this report, should now be gone. Follow these steps for all the negative amounts you see on this report.

Important: Please note that you have not refunded the entered bills again – you have not used the bill payment feature. The initial invoice checks were in the system, and we simply applied those checks to the re-charged invoices. If you accidentally reimburse reintroduced tickets, this will not solve the problem of having a negative balance in accounts payable.

If you see negative amounts that have effects against them, it's a problem that goes beyond the scope of this article.


Source by Jennifer A. Thieme

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