7.10. Bills

A bill is a request for payment you receive from a vendor. GnuCash can track bills.

A credit note is the document you receive from a vendor to correct products or services rendered that you were incorrectly charged for on a bill. GnuCash can generate and track credit notes via the same menu entries as bills.


This section applies to both bills and credit notes. In order to avoid repeating everything twice and to keep the text easier to read it will refer only to bills. You can apply it equally to credit notes. Only where the behaviour of credit notes differs from bills this will be explicitly mentioned.

7.10.1. New

When you receive a bill from a vendor and want to enter it into GnuCash, you must create a new bill. To create a new bill use the BusinessVendorNew Bill menu item, and fill in the resulting window appropriately.

  • Bill Information - Type - the type of vendor document to create - either a bill or a credit note.

  • Bill Information - Bill ID (optional) - the identification number of the invoice as emitted by the vendor (IE: the vendor’s internal number for this invoice).

  • Bill Information - Date Opened - the date the Invoice was emitted by the vendor.

  • Billing Information - Vendor - the issuing vendor. If you remember the company name you entered in the New Vendor window for this vendor, start to type it in this field and GnuCash will try auto complete it for you. Else, press the Select... button to access the Find Vendor window described in Section 7.9.2, “Find and Edit”. Highlight the vendor you are looking for with a click in the search results, then press the Select button.

  • Billing Information - Job (optional) - associates a vendor job (see Section 7.11, “Vendor Jobs”) with this bill. If you remember the job name you entered in the New Job window for this job, start to type it in this field and GnuCash will try auto complete it for you. Else, press the Select... button to access the Find Job window. This window is very similar to the one described in Section 7.9.2, “Find and Edit”. Highlight the job you are looking for with a click in the search results, then press the Select button.

  • Billing Information - Billing ID (optional) - the vendor’s ID for the bill (e.g.: their invoice #).

  • Billing Information - Terms - the pay back terms agreement for this bill. A list of registered terms is available within the pop up menu. If you specified a default value for the selected vendor, this field is initialized with the default.

  • Default Chargeback Project - Customer (optional) - the customer to associate with this bill. This is used to charge your customer later.

  • Default Chargeback Project - Job (optional) - the customer job to associate with this bill.

When you click the OK the Edit Bill window opens.

7.10.2. Edit

From the Edit Bill window you can enter an itemized list of goods and services you purchased, in a manner similar to how the account register works. For credit notes you enter an itemized list of goods and services the vendor refunded instead.


Saved column layout works a bit differently in invoices from the account registers: Layouts are not saved for each invoice; instead a layout can be saved as a default for invoices to override the calculated widths using the View>Use as Default Layout for Vendor Documents and the calculated widths restored as the default with View>Reset Default Layout for Vendor Documents.

There are 12 columns in the Invoice Entries area:

  • Date - The date this item was sold.

  • Invoiced? - X means the item is attached to this invoice, an empty box means the item is not attached to this invoice. If the box is empty you can attach the item to the invoice by first selecting the item row and then clicking in this box.

  • Description (optional) - is what the item or service is called.

  • Action (optional) - is a user defined field. You can place Cost Center information here, or use one of the 3 predefined actions, Hours, Material, or Project.

  • Expense Account - selects the expense account to charge for this item.

  • Quantity - tracks how many of the items you bought.

  • Unit Price - is the unit price of the item.

  • Taxable? - is this item taxable? X means yes, a blank field means no. You can click the field to toggle the setting.

  • Tax Included? - has the tax already been included in the unit price? X means yes, a blank field means no.

  • Tax Table (optional) - this is a pop up menu of all the available tax tables. If the item is taxable and tax has not been included in the unit price, then this tax table is used to compute the amount of tax.

  • Subtotal (uneditable) - computed subtotal for this item (less tax)

  • Billable - is this item billable to the chargeback customer/job?

When you have finished entering all the items, Post the bill.

7.10.3. Post

When you finish editing a bill, you should Post the bill. You do not have to post the bill, you can close it and return to it later. You have to post the bill eventually. Posting a bill places its transactions into an accounts payable account. The Post Bill window appears and asks you to enter information:

  • Post Date - specifies the date for the transactions entered into the accounts payable account.

  • Due Date - is the date on which payment for the bill is expected.

    • If you specified payment terms when you created the bill, the date is calculated according to selected terms, and the entry field is insensitive.

    • If you did not specify payment terms, enter the expected payment due date here.

  • Description - is an arbitrary description. When bill transactions are placed in the accounts payable account, this description is entered in the memo field of those transactions.

  • Post To Account - selects the accounts payable account in which bill transactions are posted. You can select the account from a list of existing A/Payable accounts.

  • Accumulate Splits - determines if bill items which transfer to the same account are combined into a single split for that account or entered individually. For the sample bill for Letterhead and Envelopes, the setting affects post results as follows:

    • Checked (splits are accumulated) - a single transfer of $100.00 to the Expenses:Office Supplies account is recorded.

    • Not checked - the transaction created in the A/Payable account, shows two transfers to Expenses:Office Supplies account $75.00 and $25.00. The memo fields in the splits indicate the purchase of Letterhead and Envelopes (the item descriptions entered on the bill) respectively.

7.10.4. Find

To find an existing bill, use the BusinessVendorFind Bill menu item. From the results of the search, you can select a bill to edit, or view.


Before you can edit a posted bill, you will need to Unpost it.


There are other ways to access an existing bill. These are similar to accessing invoices for your customers. See Section 7.4.4, “Find” for more information.