Account Payable Explained in 1000 Words

The amount of bandwidth available for managing payment operations determines whether accounts payable process outsourcing makes sense for your firm. Accounts payable outsourcing might be advantageous for some businesses that lack the resources, time, and automation tools to run their own AP process, which begins with the acquisition and receipt of products or services.

We look at the benefits and drawbacks of accounts payable outsourcing and contrast it with employing in-house AP automation software.

What Are Accounts Payable?

Accounts payable are short-term obligations to vendors and suppliers for products and services acquired on credit. Accounts payable can also be referred to as trade payables. Accounts payable is a balance sheet account that is part of working capital (current assets minus current liabilities).

The Scope of the AP Process

The Accounts Payable process includes practically all payments made by a company for products and services; payroll, on the other hand, isn’t really part of the AP process and falls under the category of human resource management. The AP keeps track of all financial elements of the company’s purchases, which is necessary for audit and tax purposes.

A component of business process outsourcing is accounts payable outsourcing (BPO). A corporation engages an expert third party to record and process its vendor invoices, accounts payable, and payments electronically, lowering the in-house financial strain.

Accounts Payable Outsourcing PROs and CONs



1. Better AP systems also prevent invoice duplication. Duplicates may result in multiple payments, increased expenditures, decreased profitability and cash, and a negative influence on cash flow management.

1. Data storage methods used by AP outsourcing firms are vulnerable to security breaches and unlawful access by third-party data providers such as internet service providers.

2. When a business employs accounts payable outsourcing, it pays for the services of skilled individuals who do not require internal training.

2. The primary benefit of having in-house accounts payable divisions is that firms have control over procedures and technology. Because in-house staff are more accessible, queries and complaints may be directed to the appropriate people immediately.

3. Accounts payable outsourcing firms frequently employ AP automation software to improve efficiency.

3. Inefficient AP procedures might jeopardize a company’s supply chain, or the network that connects it to its suppliers.

Accounts payable vs. notes payable

Both notes payable and accounts payable are liability accounts that handle borrowed cash. They are, however, not synonymous.

Again, you use notes payable to record information about a loan. Accounts payable are used to record liabilities owed to vendors.

Notes payable serve as a written pledge. However, there is no formal pledge in the case of accounts payable.

Outsourcing Services for Accounts Payable

Outsourcing accounts payable has become a typical company practice due to the development of BPO services. Purchase orders and invoice discrepancy resolution are two frequent accounts payable operations that are outsourced. Other companies provide accounting, payroll, and accounts receivable outsourcing to businesses in India and other countries.

Accounts Payable vs. Bills Payable

Accounts payable is a current liability on a company’s balance sheet. Bills payable are recorded as a credit entry in the accounts payable account. Each account payable entry, including bills due, is coupled with a payment period. A vendor invoice, for example, may state that payment is due within thirty days after the invoice date.

Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable Comparison

Accounts payable and receivable is reconciled to see whether enough money is coming in to satisfy existing bills. The current ratio is most usually employed for this, however the fast ratio can also be utilized.

1. Receivables are considered a current asset, whilst payables are considered a current liability.

2. Receivables typically consist of only one trade receivables account and one non-trade receivables account, but payables might include many more accounts, such as trade payables, sales taxes payable, income taxes payable, and interest payable.

3. Receivables can be offset by a provision for dubious accounts, but payables cannot.

Many payables are necessary to develop things for sale, which may later result in receivables. 

Key Points

1. Account payable departments must deal with outliers such as missing and mismatched invoice information, which can result in significant delays.

2. Accounts Payable Processing controls expenditure and eliminates multiple/duplicate payments for the same product/service.

3. Paper and manual procedures are connected with opacity, preventing AP teams from following the company’s cash flow in real time.

Outsource Accounts Payable Services to BPO

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