The ax accounts payable or A/P describes money the a business owes its suppliers. Accounts payable shows up as a liability account in bookkeeping. The shows how much a firm owes sellers or providers for assets or services that it purchased and received ~ above credit. On credit or method your obtain the business or product now and also pay later. We describe this type of setup as trade credit.

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Put simply; the term refers to unpaid bills.

Accounts payable only refers to short-term debts – not long-term debts. Carriers have many different varieties of short-term debts, consisting of payroll prices (wages or salaries), short-lived loans, and also income taxes.

Notes payable is not the same. Notes payable or promissory notes room debts that are developed by legal tool documents. Be careful, some world mistakenly usage the 2 terms interchangeably. has the following meaning of the term:

“Accounts that space owed to providers (trade creditors) as distinguished from accrued interest, rent, salaries, taxes, and other together accounts. Account payable are shown under existing (short-term) legal responsibility in the balance sheet.”

Investors, providers considering credit terms, and also lenders (banks) research the relationship in between accounts payable and also accounts receivable come determine just how well a company manages that finances.

Company department

The term may also refer come a firm department the is in charge of payment invoices. In smaller businesses, that might be simply one person.

For example, if a supplier phone call me asking me why an invoice has actually not to be paid, I might say: “I will speak to you back about this in one hour. I require to check with accounts payable to find out.” i then talk to the world or room in charge of paying invoices.

Accounts payable vs. Account receivable

The hatchet contrasts through accounts receivable, which has actually the opposite meaning.


Accounts union is the money that a firm is owed. If your company supplies ACME Inc. With, for example, wood today, and also expects to be paid in 30 days, ACME fan your agency money. We ar that money fan in the account receivable part of the balance sheet.

All fan money that will leave a company we refer to as accounts payable, while every owed money that the firm will get from clients and customers is accounts receivable.

The balance sheet

A balance sheet summarizes a that company assets and also liabilities and also owner’s equity. The balance paper points come a offered time, i m sorry is usually the end of a year, half-year, or quarter.

Accounts payable appears under existing liabilities ~ above the balance sheet.

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Items on account payable, i.e., invoices that must be paid, have actually a date next come them. This day tells united state by once payment need to be made to protect against default. Come default way to be unable to pay back a debt.