Accounts payable are money owed by an organization to its suppliers as a liability on the balance sheet of the company. Generally, it is different from invoices payable, which are simply debts incurred by formal legal instruments. Most often, when a company owes money to suppliers, both companies make an agreement under which the company must make payments to the suppliers. Under normal circumstances, a supplier will agree to accept less than the total amount due to settle the accounts payable.
The concept of accounts payable is most familiar to businesses that operate on a short-term basis. Often, these businesses are seasonal and the income generated does not continue over the entire year. In such a situation, a short-term financing facility may be required, for example, to meet payroll until the next quarterly or monthly period. At that point, the company must begin assessing its cash flow and determining how much of that cash flow is needed to be spent on accounts payable. If too much cash is needed, then those expenses are not incurred until the next period, providing a net increase in cash flow.
However, there are situations in which a company must pay accounts payable early in its operating year to maximize its cash flow. In these cases, the company must make payments early to receive the full benefit of the interest accruing from the prior period. In many cases, the payment received is close to the prior period’s termination date, which results in an exceptionally large payment amount. At this time, however, the cash flow problems of the company are often alleviated by increasing the available credit.
For most businesses, accounts payable are a direct expense. That is, they are an expense that arises from activities related to normal business operations. For instance, if manufacture releases merchandise to be sold, it will take an itemized list of all of the manufacturing costs associated with that release in its accounts payable. If those costs are not documented in the normal course of business, it becomes very difficult to determine the exact cost of those activities.
A company’s accounts payable are considered a direct expense when payments are due under the accounts payable system. A charge based upon those accounts payable will be recorded in the statement of general ledger and will trigger a triggering event that causes a notice of deficiency charge to be generated. This means that a creditor will be notified of an impending deficiency charge if the balance of the account payable is more than the fair value of the account payable.
The deficiencies are charged against the owner or owners of the company and are reported at the end of the reporting period. In most cases, creditors are paid collection costs. The charges are reported on the company’s accounts payable and trade payables at the end of each reporting period. The charge is documented in the records of the accounts payable and trade payables systems. The deficiency charges are reported as revenues on the company’s statement of accounts payable and are included as an itemized cost in the statement of the general ledger.
The accounts payable process can result in the collection of a variety of payments, such as in the case of chargebacks. Under these circumstances, a creditor or charge holder will request that the company withhold a certain amount of the credit and debit balance that is due. The withheld amounts are then applied to the corresponding accounts payable balances on the accounts payable system. There are many types of accounts payable, including Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, and Payables. Chargebacks occur when a credit facility is repaid and the credit facility agreement is converted into a chargeback agreement.
Companies can benefit by utilizing accounts payable financing when they are experiencing difficulties collecting their receivables. The accounts payable financing option is a common method of short-term financing for small businesses. When a business fails to make a payment on accounts payable, the Accounts Payable Department will pursue collection efforts until the payment is completed. Small businesses are sometimes able to work out payment arrangements with their accounts payable financing company without the need for legal action. However, it may be necessary for the company to engage the services of a third-party collection attorney in cases where collections are unsuccessful.