What’s in Your Check Number Field?

check QuickBooks for MacI bet you already know that QuickBooks for Mac records most of the bills you enter and pay as “checks,” regardless of whether we’re actually writing out checks, paying a contractor with PayPal, whipping out your debit card, or forking over a fistful of cash.

But here’s a fun fact: Check Numbers matter, so don’t leave that useful slice of QB real estate blank! Put the right info into the Check Number field, and you’ll save yourself buckets of time later on.

Here’s how you can make the best use of the Check Number field, depending on what kind of payment you’re actually making.


Put the correct check number in the Check Number field, whether you’re printing a check or writing it out by hand.


If you’re paying somebody in cash, enter CASH or ATM in the Check Number field.


Do you use PayPal for a few bills, like most everybody else these days? Put the word PayPal in the Check Number field so that QuickBooks can identify the transaction correctly.

Tip: We don’t have codes yet for the e-payment systems that are similar to PayPal. So if you’re using one of those systems, save yourself some hassle and just use PayPal or one of the debit card codes in the Check Number field. (We promise we won’t tell!)

Debit Cards

Most of the world uses debit cards to pay bills these days. To make the most of QuickBooks’s capabilities, use one of the following codes in the Check Number field when you make a debit card payment:

  • Debit
  • Debitcar
  • DBT
  • DBT card
  • Dcard
  • Debit cd
  • Visa
  • Masterc
  • MC
  • Mcard
  • Chase
  • Discover
  • Diners

When you put the right code into the Check Number field, later on you can sort reports by check number. This can minimize massive headaches when you’re combing QuickBooks for one specific payment, or you need to see all the payments you made with PayPal or your debit card.

Even better, if you’ve put the right codes into the Check Number field you can shave hours off the time you spend preparing your taxes. The QuickBooks 1099 Wizard uses the information in the Check Number field to find payments you don’t need to report to the IRS, like debit cards and PayPal (as of tax year 2011) and excludes them automatically from your forms. QB also sees the checks and cash payments you’ve made, and includes them on your 1099 forms.

See—that little Check Number field makes a big difference in QuickBooks!

About Liz Hamill Scott

Liz Hamill Scott is the newest member of the QuickBooks for Mac team, but she's no stranger to QuickBooks. For the last few years, Liz has used QuickBooks for Mac to track the many expenses she incurs as a travel, food, and lifestyle writer. The author of The Imperfect Traveler's Guide to Traveling With Pain, five Moon Handbook travel guides to California and numerous magazine, newspaper, and blog articles, Liz loves advocating for travelers with hidden disabilities and takes the business of being a sole proprietor seriously. You can find Liz on the web at travelswithpain.com. See all of Liz's articles

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