Accounts Payable in QuickBooks: A Complete Guide

Beyond crunching numbers and creating budgets, there are several elements of accounting to keep track of. One of the most […]

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Beyond crunching numbers and creating budgets, there are several elements of accounting to keep track of. One of the most crucial is the accounts payable process. The sums your company owes to external vendors for goods and services that you have not yet paid for, similar to credit card transactions, are called accounts payable. Production costs, inventories, and repair services are a few examples of accounts payable expenses. For a full understanding of the accounts payable system, go through the blog and know about Accounts Payable.

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What are the Accounts Payable Processes?

The total amount of debts you owe to other businesses for products and services they invoiced you for is known as Accounts Payable, or AP. Where are accounts payable located? The current liabilities section of your balance sheet contains the accounts payable debts for your company. Instead of being considered long-term debts such as a business loans, these sums are considered short-term debts.

Only businesses using the accrual basis of accounting, not cash-based accounting, are subject to accounts payable. Due to the accrual method of accounting, income and expenses are only recorded after they have been invoiced and paid. Instead of expecting immediate payment, accrual accounting uses invoice processing to both procure and offer services on a credit basis. You typically have 30 days to pay a bill after receiving an invoice from a vendor for a good or service.

Look at an example of the accounts payable process in action. Let’s imagine that you run a restaurant and that you wish to order fresh tomatoes from a nearby local food vendor.

  • A $100 purchase order is placed by your restaurant for 100 pounds of tomatoes.
  • You receive a $100 invoice from the food vendor with payment terms and a due date.
  • Add the total amount due ($100) to your accounts payable.
  • When your restaurant pays the vendor, the debt is removed from your accounts payable and $100 is deducted from your cash flow.

Why are the Accounts Payable Processes Important?

The accounts payable process contributes significantly to your company’s accounting operations in a number of ways.

Cash Flow:

You will have a better understanding of how to handle your business’s finances if you list all of your debts in detail, along with who you owe each one. In actuality, 56% of organizations struggle with cash flow forecasting problems because of AP concerns. With more insight, you may more easily avoid errors and can also strategize your spending and saving and settle your debts with ease.


Some vendors charge late fees for late payments, while others give discounts for paying in advance. In any case, keeping track of your amounts due can help you save money.

Debts Management:

It is important to pay your bills, whether they relate to your personal or business finances. Additionally, keeping track of payments and completing them on schedule is a great strategy to facilitate positive vendor relationships. After all, nobody enjoys a long-standing IOU.

Historical Records:

Invoice data entry through AP not only ensures organizational peace of mind and also produces a comprehensive picture of transaction history. A thorough database of your outgoing payments can make it easier for you to identify and resolve spending problems more efficiently. Additionally, a thorough audit trail can greatly improve the efficiency of IRS, internal, and third-party audits run much smoother.

Who Handles Accounts Payable?

Depending on the structure of your small business accounting system, there are a number of methods you can go about managing accounts payable. Accounts payable management might be designated to a specific department that handles AP, included in general bookkeeping and accounting responsibilities, or you may opt for AP automation.

You could also be listed on invoices as the approver if you operate a business. Or, in larger organizations, this position can be integrated into the CFO’s duties.

Common Examples of Accounts Payable Debts?

You now understand what accounts payable is: the money your company owes other companies. But which costs are included in the accounts payable category?

Here are the common examples of debts that you can search in the accounts payable category that include:

  • Inventory
  • Supplies
  • Raw materials
  • Repair services

Remember that this is not a complete list of all the line items that you might discover in your accounts payable. Let’s explore the details of the accounts payable procedure in more detail.

The word “Accounts Payable” only applies to short-term debts that your company owes. In contrast to long-term debts like loans, which may take years to pay off, this indicates that you expect to pay the amount within a year. Because the funds never make it to your income statement, technically speaking, the amounts are debts rather than expenses. Instead, the only representation of accounts payable on your balance sheet is as current liabilities.

What if You are not Able to Pay off these Short-term Debts?

You’re likely to receive a call from your supplier, which, if you’re not careful, might endanger your vendor connections. In fact, 90% of employees in the AP department reported routinely getting calls from vendors requesting payment. The vendor may be permitted to extend the due date if you are unable to pay an invoice by the specified deadline, which is ordinarily within 30 days. This reclassification is referred to as a “long-term note” in accounting, which is basically a drawn-out IOU. Being open and honest with vendors is a good idea if you do find yourself in this circumstance. Keep in mind that your payment affects not only how you handle your finances, but also how they live.

Know about the Difference Between Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable

Did you remember the example of a restaurant that we used previously in this blog? The bill for the fresh tomatoes was placed in your accounts payable as the restaurant owner. You have to give your tomato supplier that sum of money. However, the vendor put that $100 invoice to their Accounts Receivable because it is money they plan to receiving.

This procedure works both ways. Consider that the fresh tomatoes you ordered are used to produce tomato jam by your chef. A nearby neighborhood local market places an order with you for ten jars in order to stock their shelves with your product. Then you give them their ten jars of tomato jam along with an invoice for the whole amount of the order. This is because you are selling the product and you expect to receive money from that order, simply you will add the amount to your accounts receivable rather than your accounts payable fund. Simply, accounts payable refers to the money you owe, and accounts receivable is the amount you expect to earn.

How to Manage Your Accounts Payable in 5 Steps?

So how do you put the accounts payable process into practice? The accounts payable workflow essentially consists of 5 steps:

Assign Vendor Details:

With the help of this you track of contact information, orders, and deadlines for payment. Using codes such as 10, 30, and 60 will signal when vendor payment is due. Here Net 10 means that payment is due in 10 days, net 30 is due in 30 days, and so on.

Create Your Chart of Accounts:

An organizational chart called a Chart of Accounts outlines where your accounting transactions are recorded. A bank account’s name will typically be linked in the chart to a code, financial statement, and category, such as current liabilities.

Invoice Approval:

You should check your invoice for accuracy and confirm that the product or service request has been fulfilled before initiating payment.

Process Payment for Outstanding Invoices:

You can start invoice payment to the appropriate vendors once you have confirmed the accuracy of your invoices. It could be necessary to let the merchant know that payment is coming, depending on their preferences and your chosen payment method.

Record and Repeat:

It’s time to update your books to reflect the most current information after you’ve finished steps 1-4. Accounting software allows you to Automate the Reconciliation procedure. You can remove vendor payment from your list of accounts payable once the money has been received from them. Weekly, repeat the procedure.

Automate the Accounts Payable Process with QuickBooks

Your small business’s success is influenced by a variety of factors, including finding talent, bringing creative goals, and generating leads, to name a few. Effective business accounting calls for incorporating the accounts payable process, but with just 24 hours in a day, finishing it might be difficult.

You may automate expense management with QuickBooks and resume your favorite business-related activities. More time implies more control over your own trajectory, whether that means getting your hands dirty on a construction site or wowing clients and securing contracts.

With the help of QuickBooks you can organize and manage your bill:

  • You pay your payments on time every time since they are all conveniently organized in one place.
  • QuickBooks automatically records and tracks payments made to vendors via check or Direct Deposit, helping minimize error.
  • Use the finest techniques for you and your vendors to pay your bills. You are free to pay with free bank transfers or a debit card, when your vendor can receive payments by direct deposits or paper check.
  • With a credit card, you can either defer bills to keep cash longer or make partial payments.
  • Scalable, automated processes enable you to grow while also saving time. Paper invoices are less necessary than the online process automation.
  • Increased insight of your business expenses optimizes spending efficiency.

Bill vs Expense in QuickBooks, What’s the Difference?

  • A bill is an expense. However, they do have two distinct meanings in QuickBooks.
  • A bill is money that your business owes but will pay at a later date.
  • Any money spent by your company at the time of purchase is considered an expense.

If still you are confused then read the further explanation.

  • When you use cash or a check to pay for a product or service for your business. In case you pay online with Paypal, credit card, or similar, that is an expense. At the time of the purchase, the money left your company.
  • A bill is something you receive after making a purchase, but you won’t be paying for it right now. Although you have already paid for the item, the funds won’t leave your business’ bank account until a later date.
  • There are a number of reports in QuickBooks that let you view outstanding bills. It would not appear on such reports if you entered an expense that should have been a bill.
  • There are a number of reports in QuickBooks that let you view outstanding bills. You won’t be aware that you owe money if you enter a bill as an expense because it won’t appear on those reports.

Users can configure Depreciation in QuickBooks in a number of ways. You learned how to set up these approaches from this blog. Depreciation can be crucial to enter for a number of accounting-related reasons. Methods to enter were also shared in this blog. You can now calculate it and finish up the accounting operations for your company. If still, you are facing any issue then you call the help desk as they are available round the clock for the users.

This article is about the accounts payable and the bills and expenses differences. Everything is properly explained, in case you still face any issue about this then you can connect with Dancing Numbers experts via LIVE CHAT they are available round the clock for the user.

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Frequently Asked Questions (Faqs)

How to Record Accounts Payable?

● To record accounts payable you have to first press the +new button that is on the left-hand menu. After that click on Bill.
● Then fill out the necessary information
● Lastly, save and close

What are the 4 Functions of Accounts Payable?

Maintaining a record of every payment and expense, such as payroll, purchase orders, invoices, statements, etc. Verifying entries and comparing system reports to balances in order to reconcile processed work keeping historical records. Paying employees involves creating paychecks and verifying expense reports.

Can You Change a Bill to an Expense in QuickBooks?

You would need to delete the bill and manually create the expense because it is not currently possible to convert bills to expenses.

What is Considered a Bill in QuickBooks?

Transactions that are owed to vendors are referred to as bills. It is an invoice that your vendors send to you in order to get your money. It is an invoice that you must enter as a bill that they expect your payment as their customers.

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