This problem bugged me for a while. I had an old credit card transaction that I only discovered months after the fact that it was not supposed to be entered as a credit card payment. The credit card statements for that month and many months after were already reconciled. There was a bill that was created in Quickbooks that was fully received but never paid. As a result, the vendor was showing a negative balance. On the other hand, the credit card was reconciled without any problems, because the payment was entered as an expense on an expense account (as opposed to a bill payment).
After trying to re-enter the payment as bill payment and deleting the original transaction, I realized that this would make the credit card account to un-reconcile. That means creating a tedious extra work for months worth of reconciliation, in order to get everything in the right spot.
After some thinking and trial and error (always work after good backup when experimenting), I think I came up with, in my opinion, most elegant solution that will not affect inventory, balance sheet (as inventory is ultimately depleted and deducted as COGS).
1. First, in Quickbooks main menu select Vendor > Vendor center and search for the vendor, and the credit card transaction in question under the Vendor information. Double-click the transaction to open it. This should open a “Credit Card Purchase/Charge” window.
2. In the Expenses tab, under ACCOUNT change the Account to Accounts Payable, and under CUSTOMER:JOB, type the vendor name/code. Click Save & Close. This should change the Vendor balance to 0.00 in the Vendor Center. What happened is that, you now have a credit with the vendor that is sitting in your Accounts Payable account, but you no longer owe the vendor, according to Quickbooks.
3. From the main menu, select Vendor > Pay Bills and tick the box for the unpaid bill. Look at the section below the bills, in the “Discount & Credit Information For Highlighted Bill” and you should have Total Credits Available that includes the billed amount. This amount may differ, as it may show other credits with the vendor, but assuming no other credits, the same amount should appear.
4. Click, Set Credits and a Discounts & Credits window will pop-up. Tick the credit you want to apply in the list, take a note of the payment date (this is important for step 6), and click Done.
5. Back to Pay Bills window, you should now see the Credits Used filled out with your credit, and Amt. To Pay will show 0.00 (This means no double transaction in credit card account to deal with!).
6. We are not quite done yet. That Bill Payment we created, still crammed a useless 0.00 payment in your Credit Card account, even though we used credit to apply to the bill (it’s Quickbook after all, keeping us on our toes). This should not harm anything but I personally don’t like rogue entries in my account transactions, so simply go to the transaction in your credit card account detail window and delete it.
Done! No more unpaid bill, vendor balance is 0.00.
I hope this helped to regain your sanity and if you have any questions, comments, or if you have a better way of dealing with converting a credit card payment to bill payment in Quickbooks, please go ahead and comment – I would love to hear about it!
Disclaimer: Please always consult your accountant before following any of my suggestions. I am not an accounting professional and I only share tips that worked for me. I disclaim any and all responsibility for any errors or losses you may incur by following any of my articles or suggestions. Proceed at your own risk.