What Bills/Credits did that QuickBooks Check Cover?

Written by Charlie Russell

QuickBooks is a very “rich” product, it includes a lot of features. So many that it is hard to know about them all, or to remember them when you are working with a particular issue. Here’s a simple but useful feature that I have somehow overlooked all the years that I’ve been working with the product.

The question that I was asked was – “how can I show my vendor exactly what bills and credits this check is paying”? Well, that is simple, just look on the check stub. However, a check stub only shows 15 payments and credits!

Here’s an example. Dianne’s Auto Shop has submitted 17 bills that should be paid:

QuickBooks Bills to be paid

I’ll select all of these, and click on the Set Credits button to select a couple of credits to apply:

Applying Credits to the check

Here’s the check. Notice that only 15 of the bills are shown, and no credits. So, when the vendor receives this check, they don’t know what has and hasn’t been paid. You can bet that they’ll call and ask for details, trying to figure out what that $321.34 covers (they always seem to forget the credits that I could apply).

QuickBooks Check with stub

There are a couple of ways to do this, and QuickBooks may remind you of some. I had turned off the “one time message” reminder that QuickBooks displays when this happens, long ago.

The best, if these are bill payments, is to print a Bill Payment Stub. Select File then Print Forms and then Bill Payment Stubs, select the checking account and date range, select your check, and click OK. You get a very nice document that you can send along with the check that has all of the details.

QuickBooks Bill Payment Stub

If you have a check that is not paying bills, this won’t work. Here’s another sample check, one that wasn’t created using Pay Bills:

QuickBooks check NOT paying bills

For this, click the Journal button at the top (or select Reports and Transaction Journal) and you get a summary report that will hopefully be sufficient. Not as much supporting detail, a bit harder to follow:

QuickBooks Check Transaction Journal

This doesn’t work as well for a check that is paying bills, as that transaction journal only prints a summary, not the details.

How about a QuickReport? You can right click on the check and select the QuickReport, but that shows all of the vendor’s activity for that date, so you might have more information than applies to this one check.

Silly me, this has been there all along, I had just forgotten about it. That is one of the things about QuickBooks, there are a lot of clever little features like this hidden about. Now, if they only had the bill payment stub as an option right there in the check, instead of hidden up in the File menu…

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About the author

Charlie Russell

Charlie Russell has been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had an 8-bit microcomputer with one 8 inch floppy disk drive. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise, as well as being a Xero Certified Partner. Charlie started blogging about QuickBooks in 2008 (Practical QuickBooks) and has been the managing editor and primary writer for the Sleeter Report since 2011. Charlie can be reached at charlie@ccrsoftware.com

Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog.


  • I have had this issue for a long time and was excited to see a solution, however I duplicated the scenario and the bill payment stub does not show the original invoices or the applied credits. The only thing that was different from this example is I only had 5 transactions, but this should not matter. Any suggestions.

    • I duplicated the scenario and was able to see the credits on the bill payment stub, but I was testing it out for a client who also said they couldn’t see the detail. I was using QBPremier2011, maybe that makes a difference?

  • I love the bill payment stub, but I think the problem stems from a credit that pays an ENTIRE bill. Then neither the credit nor the bill shows.


  • In order for all the invoices and credits to appear in their original amount on the bill payment stub, the credit needs to be of a lesser amount than the invoice you are applying it to. If they are the same amounts, then one washes out the other and nothing will appear.

    • When the invoice and credit equal each other out and you apply them with a check it should show up. it is dumb that it doesn’t. Our vendor requires us to use both the bill and credit.

  • Great info. What version of QB is this as I don’t have a journal button in my check writing screen. Excellent solutions.

  • Ah, thanks for the reminder that I should always mention what QB product I use, and to look to see what products support the feature! I’ll try to be more careful on that going forward.

    -I was using the ProAdvisor version of QuickBooks 2012 in this, but I’m not sure if it was Premier or Enterprise (it is there in both).

    -I only looked back one year, but this feature IS still there in 2011.

    -The journal button isn’t found in all versions/editions, I see it in the Accountant editions. It isn’t there in other editions. However, you can still find the journal in the Reports menu in other editions.

    -Credits showing, or not showing, depends on circumstances. If you have an invoice, and you just apply the credit to it, no “payment” has been created. That is, no check. So if you just apply a credit to a bill, it isn’t going to show on the bill payment stub. However, if you have several bills and you are paying them, and there are some credits, all paid in one check, then the credits WILL show on the stub even if the amount matches one specific bill.

    Hope that clarifies things and makes sense.

    • I have had to teach people not to use a credit to cover an entire bill or a bill of a lesser value. Even if they use the credit to pay a bill but leave one dollar due and then use another credit to cover the balance OR pay the dollar alongside all of the other bills, then all of the bills and the credits will be listed on the Bill Payment Stub.

    • I have to disagree with you…the credits DO NOT show on the stub if the credit pays a bill in full. Christine Galli’s post below states that she has had to teach people not to use a credit to cover an entire bill, or a bil of a lesser amount. That’s all well and good – and we’ve learned that the hard way – but isn’t there ANYWHERE in Quick Books that you can at least see the entire list of bills paid and credits applied…I am trying to recreate the work of a previous bookkeeper who apparently discarded any bills and credits that zero’d each other out – and now my vendor’s statements are a mess! I have been spending days trying to reconcile these statements!

  • I have tried every way mentioned, as well as the 2014 upgrade but I still do not get a full breakdown of the cheque if a credit was used to pay the full amount of the invoice. The credit shows but the invoice that it was applied to does not! I am so frustrated! My vendor wants a reconciliation of the cheque and all I see are amounts that add up to a $2000. credit instead of the $625. that the cheque paid.

    • I assume that you are using the Canadian version, and I’ll note that there are differences between the Canadian version and the US version that I work with. I don’t know what the differences are, but we often run into that.

      Forgive me if I’m confused – are you trying to verify the check, the invoice, or the entire customer account? If you have a check for $625, then a check based report is only going to show you the $625, not including the credit, since the credit doesn’t relate to the check itself. If you want to see the effect of the credit then you have to look at a different source of information, if I understand what you are saying.

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