Updates on official way to pay utility bills?

Has there been any update for an official process for paying utility bills? Things like water, electric, etc?

I’m looking for a workflow where person A enters it, and then person B approves it, and every two weeks then we do a check run and prints checks for all open bills.

I have read a bunch of the work around or ways to do it with journal entry, but as others have said it’s way too easy with journal entry to make mistakes for someone who is just entering bills.

Also utility bills for us sometimes have multiple, so being able to split the line items to different accounts would be helpful. For example electric and water we pay as one, but account for differently.

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For utility bills, wouldn’t you just use a Purchase Invoice?

More precisely, what Item should you use? This isn’t obvious for people who are coming from a paradigm where there’s only one Dimension (Account Name/Number) available.

@john-50 In an inventory management system like ERPNext, everything is an Item, including things that are not able to be physically inventoried.

I’m sorry about your QuickBooks trauma. Why do you need to split the utility bill? Presumably it’s for tracking a purpose that isn’t actually related to the account?(This would be an exception in a multi-company allocation scenario but that’s deep into the weeds). Using the account to determine the profitability of a Department, Branch, business unit/Cost Center, or manufactured item is unsustainable. It makes more sense to be able to look at your books in multiple dimensions, which is (almost) completely configurable in ERPNext.

Great questions.

I am exploring using for rental property business, we have 15 companies that use different managers - it’s been a struggle to get consolidated financials and have a global picture - so that’s my use case. Some of our utility bills for real estate have one bill, but it has water and electric on it - it’s nice to see water seperate from electric on the P&L.

It makes sense to me to some extent about having the items that are used in purchase process. It just seems a little different and more complex than it might need to be from a user perspective to enter simple bills.

If you don’t need to manage inventory or have some custom workflow requirement, ERPNext may not be a great fit for your business. Those are places are where ERPNext is best in class per value.

Paco from the ERPNext Spain community is working on customizing ERPNext for property management. I’ll point him here to see if you have overlapping requirements.

This is part of the design of Purchase Invoices. You can include multiple lines in a single bill, and each line can book to a different P&L account. They also can handle workflows, batching payments, etc. For what I understand your use case to be, Purchase Invoices are ERPNext’s intended solution.

That said, I agree with @tmatteson that ERPNext may be too heavy an instrument if you’re just looking to track bills.

Journal Entries are the fallback accounting transaction. They can do pretty much anything, but they’re very low level and likewise require users to think like an accountant. Other doctypes can abstract the process a bit more (see above).

Thanks for all the fast responses. So it actually works really well for how I have been trying it - using cost centers for properties within entities is perfect and everything is extremely customizable. I have a software development background so I love that this is a solution that is customizable.