Account Payable vs. Account Receivable

Account Payable vs. Account Receivable

The business's bulk of the accounting is accounts receivable and accounts payable. When revenues and expenses maintain a healthy balance, the business is better able to take advantage of growth possibilities and maintain positive working relationships with customers and suppliers.

A business's short-term liabilities, such as obligations for goods purchased from suppliers and money owed to creditors, are listed in the accounts payable (AP) ledger. Accounts receivable (AR) refers to money that a business anticipates getting from clients and business partners. On the balance sheet, AR is categorized as a current asset.

AP and AR are used by lenders and prospective investors to evaluate a company's financial standing. To expand the company and keep clients, judicious spending is just as crucial as income. Mismanagement on either side of the equation can have a negative impact on your credit and, eventually, your company's viability.

What exactly is Account Payable?

Accounts payables are the sums owed by a corporation to suppliers and other creditors for goods or services that have been ordered and billed for. Payroll and long-term debt, such as a mortgage, are not included in AP, despite the fact that payments to long-term debt are. 

Account Payable vs. Account Receivable

According to the payment terms, both parties agreed to before starting the transaction, accounts payable are normally documented as soon as an invoice is received. A valid bill for goods and services is recorded as a journal entry by the finance department and submitted to the general ledger as an expense. Accounts payable are totaled on the balance sheet, but individual transactions are not listed. 

Processing invoices and expenditure reports as well as making sure payments are received fall under the purview of AP departments. A capable AP staff ensures that vendor information is correct and current and that bills are paid on schedule in order to maintain favorable supplier relationships. 

By making the most of the advantageous payment terms and deals that are offered, the team can help the business save money. By preventing errors and fraud, maintaining the accuracy of cash estimates, and producing reports for executives and other parties, a robust AP practice helps businesses succeed.

On the other hand, what is Account Receivable?

The money that clients owe your business for goods or services for which invoices have been issued is known as accounts receivable. On the balance sheet, current assets are listed as the total amount of all accounts receivable, which includes bills from clients for goods or services provided to them on credit.

Account Payable vs. Account Receivable

Typically, vendors bill clients after delivering services or goods in accordance with conditions set forth in a contract or purchase order. The terms that a business may choose to accept to win a contract often range from net 30 to net 60 or even net 90. However, a business could demand a deposit up front for sizable orders, particularly if the item is produced to order. Additionally, service companies usually charge a percentage of their rates in advance. 

Once a business has provided the client with the requested goods or services, the AR team invoices the client and enters the invoiced sum as an account receivable while noting the terms. 

The team marks the money as a deposit if the client honors the payment terms; at that time, the account is no longer receivable. A dunning letter—which can include a copy of the original invoice and detail any late fees—will likely be sent by the AR or collections team if the client doesn't make their payment on time.

By automatically notifying consumers about past-due invoices and urging fast payment, businesses can increase their KPIs for days' payables. For further in-depth reporting on the client, invoice, due date, due amount, and credit terms, business leaders can dig down into each account or all past-due accounts. Look for the option to opt-out of receiving collection emails for certain clients, such as those with extended contracts.


The terms "accounts payable" and "accounts receivable" are interchangeable. What do you owe and what do you have coming to you? With the aid of this information, you can assess the stability of your company's finances and put procedures in place to improve your cash flow. 

By automating invoice processing and payment, a finance and accounting solution benefits firms by reducing labor costs, enhancing control, and boosting productivity. The program, for instance, can reduce the time and work needed to process invoices by doing away with manual entry and automatically figuring out discounts. 

In order to lessen the possibility of missed bills or fraudulent invoice payments, it automatically manages exception processing when there are discrepancies between invoices and purchase orders and offers real-time insights throughout the entire accounts payable process.