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Accounting and bookkeeping

What is the difference between accounts payable and accounts receivable?

Keeping track of accounts is one of the hardest, and most important, aspects of South African business owners. Ensuring that both money that you owe and are owed goes far beyond simply paying for goods and receiving the same from customers, it’s about relationships and keeping those on track as you navigate your business to success.

While managing accounts payable and accounts receivable is critical to your business’s success many small business owners struggle to best manage them.

Managing them both starts with the basics and the following also assists in success:

Accounting software helps you keep track of all of the above, and simplify your operations.

What is accounts payable?

Accounts payable are the accounts that you as business owe. These typically include a range of different expenses such as electrical bills, raw materials for your products and much more.

What is accounts receivable?

Accounts receivable are the accounts that are owed to your business by customers. These typically occur in situations where you sell to a customer on credit and invoice them. What they owe you is known as accounts receivables. 

Both accounts payable and accounts receivable help small businesses understand the details around who is owed and who owes them. As with all aspects of the accounting process managing accounts is key and there are a range of ways to do so. Read more about accounts receivable in our in depth article.

Tips for managing accounts receivable

Accounting software allows you to have your financial data on-hand at all times and provides an accurate view of your business to help make more informed decisions and directly ties into the accounts payable and accounts receivable process flow.

Grow Your Business with QuickBooks

Tracking Invoices

Utilizing a tool like Quickbooks allows you to track, manage and report on all areas of your business. It offers a holistic view of your entire accounting infrastructure, customer base as well as project.

Tracking Payments

Understanding where the gaps are and making sure nothing falls through the cracks is critical for any small business. Tracking payments and creating custom reports to keep track of cash flow, and profit and loss statements are simple and effective ways to continuously monitor and measure key areas of your business.

Identifying Delinquent Accounts

Delinquent accounts are accounts that keep small business owners up at night. They are the accounts that are overdue and haven’t been settled yet.

Identifying delinquent accounts is of great importance and ensuring that they are easily identified, kept track of and managed as you put processes in place to ensure accounts are paid, is key.

Quickbooks easily allows you to keep track of overdue invoices to understand who you need to look out for. By utilising the various reports that Quickbooks offers you can ensure accounts are picked up on and managed quickly.

Why accounts receivable and accounts payable matter to a business

Keeping track of accounts payable and receivable and ensuring reporting and insight across the business are key measures for small South African businesses to survive and thrive. 

QuickBooks helps you manage the entire process by tracking invoices, payments, and identifying your delinquent accounts. Get the 30-day free trial today.

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