Tip #233 – The Differences Between an A/P Check and a Direct Check

Tip #233
The Differences Between an A/P Check and a Direct Check

I’ve been asked this question several times, so I guess it is time I explain this topic.

A check is a check is a check… but not in flowerSoft. J

In flowerSoft there are 3 different types of checks. There are Payroll checks, A/P checks and Direct checks and they all affect your checking account(s) in different ways.

Payroll checks are obviously used to pay employees when the payroll is calculated through flowerSoft. A Payroll check will show different information and therefore print differently than an A/P check or a Direct check.
Since there should be no question as to what a Payroll check is, we will limit this discussion to the differences between A/P and Direct checks.

The first difference is that an A/P check requires a lot more preparation from you before you can write the check.
So an A/P check is not well suited to pay the UPS guy for collect deliveries. That is the type of payment a Direct check is well-suited for.
To use A/P checks you need to have vendors in your system and outstanding invoices from those vendors.
You also need to go through 5 or 6 separate steps (called payment procedures) before you can write the check.

So by this time you are asking “What are the advantages of using A/P checks?”
If you are a small shop, probably not many to make it worth the additional time and effort required.
But if you have a lot of different bills from different vendors to pay each month, or if you want to keep track of the prices paid for certain items, then A/P checks may be for you.

There are several good reasons to go the A/P check route.
When you use A/P checks, you must enter all the invoices received from the different vendors. This allows flowerSoft to tell you how much money you owe at any time.

A/P invoices can be made recurring, just like you can make an order from a customer. So if for example you have a van payment of $300/month, you can enter the first invoice and the rest recurring so you basically only enter it one time.
By entering the detail of invoice you’ll enable flowerSoft to tell you what was the last price you paid for an item; or which vendor has the best price for an item.

A/P invoices will warn you if you try to enter an invoice that was already paid.

If you use A/P checks, you can pay all your bills and print all your checks to all your different vendors at one sitting. A/P invoices get marked paid and removed from your outstanding bills as soon as you post them.

So if you like to keep accurate records and enter all your invoices from your various vendors into flowerSoft, using A/P checks is probably a better choice than using Direct checks.

However, for a quick payment to someone who is waiting for a check you will still need to use a Direct check.
If you do not care or do not have the time to keep track of prices paid, then using Direct checks to pay your bills will work best for you.

If you enter A/P invoices, a Direct check will show you how much you owe that vendor and when and how much the last payment to that vendor was.
If you do not enter A/P invoices, then a Direct check will only tell you what your previous payments to that vendor have been.

So there you have it, now you know what the differences are between A/P and Direct checks.

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