Voiding a check in Peachtree is fairly easy: Open the Void Checks screen, select a cash account, highlight the check you want to void, set the void date, and click the void button.  But this common task is the source of a surprising number of support calls, either from people who aren’t sure how to do it, or from seemingly unrelated problems that get traced back to an improperly voided check.

Let’s start by reviewing what Peachtree does when you void a check.  First, it creates a negative payment transaction on the date you specify, using the same check number with “V” added to the end of it.  Next, it marks both the check and the void payment as cleared on the bank reconciliation.  Finally, it flags the original check so that the word VOID will be displayed in the payments window.  The result of this negative payment, in addition to adding the check amount back into your cash balance, is to unpay any invoices or reduce GL accounts that the original check paid.

Regardless of why you need to void the check, the process starts in one of two ways.

1. Choose Void Checks from the Tasks menu.  Using this method, you will be given a list of all uncleared checks.  You will have to find the check number in the list of eligible checks.  You can change the cash account at the top left if necessary.

2. If you have the check open in the payments menu, you can click the Delete Button, which will then show two other buttons.  Click on Void.  (older versions may have a separate Void button.).  This method will bring you to the same list, but will automatically select the check in the list.

Once you have the check highlighted in the list, you need to set the Void Date at the top right of this window.  The void date is very important, and it is probably the most common trouble area in this process.  This is the date on which Peachtree will post the negative payment.  If you discover that you need to void a check right away, the void date could be the same as the original check date.  But if you discover it later, especially if the month has been closed, your void date should probably be today.  If you change the date to sometime in a prior month, you will change that month’s ending balances by the amount of the check.  After you have set the date correctly, click the Void button at the bottom of the window, When you are done voiding checks, click Close.

At this point you are done voiding checks.  But if those checks were applied to invoices, you now have unpaid invoices to deal with.  In the case of a check that was lost, you are all set, because you can select the invoice to pay just like you did the first time.  But if the invoice shouldn’t be paid, such as an invoice that was entered twice, then you need a way to get the invoice out of your payables.  This is the other place that some people make a mistake.  It is very important that you DO NOT edit the invoice to make it $0.  That can cause many different problems including throwing your trial balance out of balance.  The correct procedure is to enter a Vendor Credit Memo (or a negative invoice in older versions) and apply it to the invoice.  Yes, your current month expenses will be affected, but you are really just correcting an expense that was improperly reported in a previous month.

Wow, that is a lot to write about voiding checks.  I hope you are still awake.  And I hope these tips will save you some trouble the next time you need to void a check.