Customer’s Accounts Receivable is Incorrect

by Dana
(Long Island, New York, USA)

One of my customer’s accounts receivable is incorrect.

I’m using QuickBooks Pro 2008. Within the Receive Payments window, the customer information shows five invoices totaling $27,457.39 and available credits of $10,345.07 for my customer. This makes the balance $17,112.32.

This information is totally incorrect. However, the Customer Balance Detail report, Customer Balance Summary and the Open Invoice report are accurate and reflect each of the customer’s transactions and the correct balance of $16,833.58. I also looked in Accounts Receivable and it relects the correct payments received from this customer.

How do I correct the erroneous information contained in the Receive Payments area and avoid changes to all my other reports? The available credits must be removed as they don’t exist.

I have not applied two recent payments to this customer’s account fearing I will only make a bad situation worse.

What a mess! Can you help? Thank you so very much for any advice you can offer to help resolve this error. I’m at a complete loss here.

Jennifer replies:

Hi Dana!

I’m thinking out loud here.

1. Does this customer appear more than once in your Customer List? If the answer is no, are you 100% certain? Because I’m wondering if some entries have posted to an incorrect or old customer name. If entries have posted among two or more customer names, this will mess things up.

2. I would also look at the difference between what is correct ($16,833.58) and what is shown in the Receive Payments screen ($17.112.32), which is $278.74. Can this number be explained somehow?

3. One other thing I just thought of is to go to the customer’s name in the Customer List, right click, and select Enter Statement Charges. This opens the customer’s A/R register.

You’ll notice that there are three columns along the right. There should be different amounts on each line. Now notice a box at the bottom called Show Open Balance – check it. QB then removes any closed transactions from the first two columns, but keeps the running balance in the third. What remains in the first two columns are any transactions that are still Open (also called Unapplied). See if this gives you any clues.

4. If you are certain that all the entires are posted under the correct name, then I am at a loss without actually seeing your file. This is because all of the reports you mention feed directly into the Receive Payments window – in other words, any transaction you see in that window (and, by the way, transactions appearing here are considered “open” transactions) comes from those reports, especially the ones labeled “Open”.

Sorry that I couldn’t give you a definitive answer about how your customer’s accounts receivable is incorrect, but hopefully I’ve given a few clues to help. Let me know how it goes by posting a comment below. Thanks for writing.

Comments for Customer’s Accounts Receivable is Incorrect

Jul 27, 2008 Back in business…

by: Dana

I was never able to actually figure out how the problem began. It must have been a quirk in the system, or I simply tapped a button I shouldn’t have. I took a chance and applied the credit that appeared in the Receive Payments area. After doing so, his account went into balance in this area and no other reports changed.
Needless to say, now I am very careful when I post any checks received to the Receive Payments area.

Thank you for your helpful assistance.

May 05, 2011 Incorrect Accounts Receivable Balance

by: Christine Vanderberg

I had the same problem. One customer was showing a balance that simply did not exist. I tried applying the “unapplied” amount to the invoice, only to have it reappear after it was zeroes out. I opened the customer register and saw that I had entered the payment the same date as the invoice. The payment was showing before the invoice, and although it was zeroing out, there was a balance on the next line. I tried changing the payment date to a date after the invoice date and that cleared out the error.

Jun 10, 2011 Accounts Receivable amount is incorrect AGAIN!

by: Christine Vanderberg

I’m using QuickBooks for MAC 2011. One customer is showing a balance due when there isn’t one. The payment was applied back in March and the invoice was never credited or “stamped” PAID. Instead, the invoice balance on my A/R reports is increased, but the balance in the customer’s register is correct. When I go to apply a new payment for a different invoice, the March invoice shows up (incorrect amount) as a balance due with unapplied amounts and credits due. What the heck is going on????

Mar 02, 2013 problem with quickbooks

by: Anonymous

I have the same problem. I can’t get rid of a customer balance even though I’ve zeroed everything out, I finally set up that customer using slightly different name, posted all transactions and have the correct balance on it, then marked other as DO NOT USE. I don’t like that way but at least I know the money is correct for the owners.

Jan 17, 2015 Simple Solution

by: Bryan Dulock

I use QuickBooks 2014 for Mac and encountered this same problem. After some testing I discovered how to fix the problem.

Some customers in QuickBooks show balances even though a payment was already received.

In my case the incorrect balance for a customer happens when I do the following:

1. create invoice but don’t save it yet
2. receive payment while on invoice screen
3. save the invoice

It seems to me that this sequence of steps sorts the invoice and payment incorrectly (since the payment has an earlier creation date than the invoice).


Change the invoice date to something prior to the payment date. This gets the invoice and payment in a consistent order. I found that changing the payment date did not correct the issue.

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