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Accounts Payable

Accounts payable are the amounts a company owes suppliers or vendors for goods or services rendered.

Accounts payable is a key component of a company’s working capital and represents the amount of short-term debt that the company owes to its suppliers.

A company’s balance sheet will show the total outstanding payments in its accounts payable balance. Finance managers or accountants often use bookkeeping software to keep tabs on the accounts payable account for when invoices are received and paid.

Timelines for Accounts Payable

To steer clear from defaulting on accounts payable, companies must pay off debts within the specified period agreed with the vendors or service providers.

If a company’s account payable increases over time, it means it purchased more goods and services without paying cash. If the accounts payable decreases, it means the turn-over rate to pay off debts in due time is higher than the purchase of new goods and services on credit.

How Accounts Payable Affect Business Cashflow

Observing a company’s accounts payable is important because it helps to manage available funds.

Here are some ways accounts payable affect a business’s cash flow:

1. Cash outflow: When accounts payable are due, they cause a cash outflow, which can impact a company’s cash balance. To have constant cash flow, some organizations wait till the closest time to deadlines before remitting accounts payable.

2. Payment terms: If a company has longer payment terms, it may be able to hold onto its cash for a longer period of time, which can improve its cash flow. However, if a company has shorter payment terms and needs to pay its suppliers more quickly, it can have a negative impact on cash flow.

3. Discounts: Some suppliers may offer discounts for early payment of invoices. Taking advantage of these discounts can help a company reduce its accounts payable and improve its cash flow.

4. Late payments: Late payments can have a negative impact on a company’s cash flow, damage relationships with suppliers and potentially lead to additional fees.


Accounts payable are the amounts a company owes third parties i.e. suppliers or vendors for goods or services rendered.

Managing accounts payable is an important part of a company’s cash flow management, as it can impact the company’s ability to pay its bills on time and maintain good relationships with its suppliers.

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