Split purchases for home office use

New user, trying QF… I searched and see many questions about split payments. I have a few of these, my broadband (I have a home office) for example needs split between business and personal use. All the solutions I’ve seen seen a bit long winded or complex, some are a few years old. So what 's the latest easiest way to split a (say) £50 payment between business and drawings?

My current online bookkeeping software does this simply and in it stride. But its costly!


I just noticed that a Power User subscription offers

Split bank tagging

When posting your bank entries directly to a nominal code, you can split the entry over multiple codes, much like a journal.

Would that help me?

Hi @glasgow

Welcome to QuickFile :slight_smile:

This post may be of help to you: How to claim for use home as office

Hope this helps, but any further questions, please let us know.

That looks complex. Also, have I read here that being VAT registered is a problem for splitting? I am!

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Only put the business portion as a purchase in QuickFile, mark that as paid from the drawings account and then mark the payment out of your current account as a transfer to drawings.

Thanks, I think I see how that works. But does this assume I’m entering my purchases in Purchases? I tend to work on a cash basis, I buy goods or services and pay immediately. I’m used to uploading a bank statement and working from there, assigning purchases to categories; phone, stationary, petrol, etc.

Perhaps I’m more used to a more modern way of doing this in other accounting apps and QuickFile is a little more traditional? (Not knocking, just observing.)

I don’t want to have to go back to the old MYOB days of manually entering everything I buy. Perhaps there’s another way of ‘repaying’ (say) my mobile phone bill using journals?

I’m trying and so far quite like QuickFile so I’m really keen to make it work for me!

If you’re VAT registered then you must create purchases for your purchases and sales invoices for your sales as QuickFile only considers sales and purchases when building the VAT return, it doesn’t consider “something not on the list” tags or journals. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to create them all by hand from the purchases list: if you tag something as “payment to a supplier” then you can create a new purchase record there, and if you use the receipt hub that can create new purchases as part of that workflow too.

The place where this becomes a bit awkward is the one you asked about in your original post - when you want to split a payment as part “purchase” and part “drawings”. If you tag the original bank transaction as “payment to a supplier” it’ll create a purchase for the full amount, you then need to go through to that purchase and either:

  • “modify” it, change the amount to just the business portion (or add a negative line for the personal use), save changes, go back to the preview screen, click through to the “a payment #… has been attributed to this purchase”, then “refund balance” to the drawings account. Or
  • “more options” -> “credit note”, credit the personal use element, and refund to your drawings account

Both options will have the right overall effect - the total amount goes out of your current account, the P&L and VAT return include just the business element, and the balance goes back into drawings. I personally tend to use either option 1 (modify the created purchase) or the method I described in my previous post of manually creating a purchase for just the business element, paying it from drawings and then tagging the current account money out as a transfer to drawings, but the credit note approach is handy if you’re using the receipt hub to attach receipts as it means the original purchase record still matches the total on the receipt.

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Thanks Ian, very helpful and useful. I think the second option of creating a credit note would work best for me. It’s splitting by another name! I’m also used to having my receipts match up with my bank account payments.

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I missed the deadline an my original topic has closed.

@ian_roberts solution was good, but I was thinking…

Rather than create a credit note for the personal use part of a purchase, could I invoice myself for the personal use and ‘pay’ that via my Drawings account?

In Ian’s solution I need to create a credit note for each purchase involving personal use. How about I save them all up until the end of the VAT quarter and issue a single invoice to me? I could create a recurring invoice with all the purchases - so there would be three lines for broadband, three for mobile etc etc. I think this would be less work, if it works?


You can’t do it as an invoice but you could do it as one big purchase credit note with a dummy supplier (you can create a standalone credit note not attached to a particular purchase by simply creating a “purchase” with a negative value). However I don’t think there’s any way to do those as recurring, or even to create a new credit note as a clone of an existing one - you’d have to enter it all by hand from scratch each quarter. The issue is that credit notes are a one-shot thing in QuickFile, they can’t be modified after creation.

The reason you shouldn’t do it as an invoice is that that would show up in the wrong part of the VAT return - you’d be adding to boxes 1 and 6 rather than subtracting from boxes 4 and 7, and while the overall VAT liability is the same in both cases it means you’re overstating your box 6 turnover.

Ok, here’s another possible solution. I believe I read this idea here but I can’t find the thread again to quote.

Example: Invoice from BroadBand Provider for £100 inc VAT. Paid via direct debit. Personal usage is 25%. I need to split the transaction so I only claim £75 inc VAT against business.

So I propose deleting the line relating to this from my imported bank statement. Then add a new transaction for £75 (£62.50 +VAT) and tag that as internet. Then another for £25 as drawings. The result is I have two lines so not exactly replicating my bank statement but my running balance is correct.

Any good reason I can’t do this?

That would be perfectly fine too. Some people are more bothered than others about keeping their QuickFile bank account view in perfect sync with their statement but if you’re in the “less bothered” category then as long as the balance at the end of each day is correct and all the amounts end up in the right categories and in the right place (which may be nowhere) on the VAT return then the exact detail of how you record it is up to you.

Thanks, yes, I’m less bothered. Its pretty much how I’m working now with different software.

“Someone” should write up a Knowledge BAse article about split purchases. There appears to be may ways to do this. My first impression of QF was I wouldn’t be able to use it because splitting was not available or Too Hard.

Thanks again.

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