What is Accounts Payable and its Journal Entries?

Accounts Payable – Explanation and Journal Entries

Accounts payable are obligations of a business that originate because of purchases made on credit (e.g. for raw material, finished goods etc.), the money is yet to be paid for these transactions. Accounts payable account can be created by anyone who buys goods or services on credit and promises to pay for them later. It can be a sole trader, a partnership firm or a full-fledged business.

It is a short-term liability that is supposed to be paid to the supplier(s). It is also known as trade creditors, “AP” & “P2P” (Procure to Pay). Accounts payable are shown on the liability side under the head current liabilities (the left hand side of a horizontal balance sheet).

 

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Let us say a supplier extends credit to your business Unreal Pvt Ltd. and agrees that your business will be making a payment within 45 days of the date you are billed.

Now, you are billed 1,00,000 for goods bought on credit. The amount will be considered as dues to be paid or, in other terms, an “account payable” by your business till the supplier is paid. It is similar to the situation when a person has received his latest electricity bill which he is allowed him to pay within the next 30 days. Now, it acts as payable for the individual till the time its actually paid.

 

Key Highlights:

  1. Accounts payable are created when you buy goods on credit.
  2. Accounts payable should be paid back to the suppliers within the agreed period of time. 
  3. Accounts payable act as a short-term debt, hence shown on the liability side under the head “current liabilities” of the balance sheet.

 

Journal Entries Related to Accounts Payable

Below are two main scenarios linked to the accounts payable cycle, where, in the first case, the credit purchase is recorded, and, in the second case, the cash paid to the supplier is recorded in the books of accounts.

 

At the time of recording an invoice

 Purchase A/C  Debit
   To Accounts Payable A/C  Credit

 

 

(This can also be recorded at a particular vendor level, in this case the vendor who has raised the invoice will be credited)

 

At the time of paying an invoice

 Accounts Payable A/C  Debit
   To Cash or Bank A/C  Credit

 

 

(This can also be recorded at a particular vendor level, in this case the vendor paid will be debited)

 

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