Accounts Payable For Online Businesses

Accounts Payable For Online Businesses (Deep Dive)

It is important to have a good understanding of accounts payable for online businesses.

Accounts payable is recording and tracking expenses that your business owes to others.

This includes expenses like rent, utilities, and inventory costs. To keep your business running smoothly, ensuring your Accounts Payable is in order is crucial.

Accounts Payable can be broken down into two parts: how to track expenses and when to pay them.

What Are Accounts Payable for online businesses?

Accounts Payable is the term used to describe money a business owes to other companies due to purchasing goods and services from them.

Online businesses (especially ecommerce) frequently process a third-party invoice. However, accounts payable can also include bank loans.

If you are not free enough to do this, I’d recommend using accounts payable and receivable software like Odoo to automate the process.

There are several advantages of hiring an online CPA to do this for you:

  • Time savings.
  • Enhanced insight.
  • Increased transparency of data.
  • Easy and simple auditing.

When do online businesses use Accounts Payable Transactions?

When a company obtains goods/services before paying for them, an IOU is established as an AP transaction when finally paid. The following are some of the most frequent AP transaction sorts:

  • Wages, bonuses, and other payroll transactions are included in this category.
  • Short-term loans to expand facilities, launch new goods, and weather an economic downturn.
  • Online and offline advertising costs.
  • Contractor, consultant, and other service fees for tasks completed on your behalf.
  • Internet security, utilities, and web hosting.

How to Track Accounts Payable


Data analytics needs to improve small and medium-sized business accounts payable processes.

Your focus should be the KPIs that speak the most about the benefits and drawbacks of your accounts payable process.

Here are four KPIs to track to enhance the effectiveness of your accounts payable process for your online business:

1) Accounts Payable Employee Efficiency

Two variables determine the number of bills an average full-time employee can process each month:

First, the cost of labour involved in accounts payable processing, and second, the amount of time accounts department staff must focus on other concerns.

Efficiency may be calculated by dividing the number of invoices processed each month by the total number of employees.

Further Reading:

2) Exception Rate on Invoices

Invoices are marked as exceptions because they contain mistakes or omissions that affect all of the other metrics on this list. Any invoice that differs from the norm consumes more time, costs more money, and demands greater attention.

Accounts payable teams will need to assess how common this problem is and whether trends have increased or decreased.

The number of exceptions each month should be tracked and then divided by the total number of invoices to estimate the exception rate as a percentage.

3) The Fee to Process a Bill

Considering all data input, routing, and follow-up communications, the cost to handle a single invoice may be significant.

This is commonly regarded as the cost of doing business, but little savings on a single invoice might add up over time to substantial amounts.

To calculate invoice processing costs, work with your accountant to estimate how much time they spend on an invoice, multiply that by the hourly labour costs, and add hard costs like postage.

Then divide by the number of invoices processed that month.

Further Reading:

4) Time to Process an Invoice

It varies depending on the company. At some businesses, it takes over a month to complete an invoice; at others, it takes less than five days. Reducing the typical time to process an invoice necessitates many efforts, but it begins with understanding current performance.

To determine these accounts payable KPIs, keep track of the date and time each invoice is received near a note of when the approval cycle has been completed. This metric tells a lot about the accountant’s strength and sustainability.

The Importance of Effective Accounts Payable Activities

What are accounts payable management? Accounts payable for online businesses are crucial to any financial control.

There’s a deadline for paying off accounts payable in full to avoid defaulting, reacting promptly to suppliers’ inquiries, and effectively communicating with them.

Finally, there are situations when paying accounts payable significantly ahead of schedule (for example, 45 days or more before the due date).

AP loans are important for both ecommerce and non-e-commerce enterprises.

On the other hand, automation software has enabled far more efficiency in ecommerce.

Simply eliminating the requirement to circulate paper invoices saves time and money. However, there are additional advantages to invoicing and accounts payable automation.

Access to line-item data, invoice status, and optimized payment processes are just a few benefits.

Further Reading:

What should accounts payable include?

All of a company’s short-term debts or duties are included in accounts payable. For instance, if a ecommerce store owes money to the supplier, those products are components of the inventory and thus part of its trade payables.

What are some accounts payable examples?

Accounts payable are a record of money owed to employees as soon as they’ve completed their work on an invoice and before the funds get paid.
Such items as logistics, licensing, leasing, raw material acquisition, and employment costs.

What is the best way to set up an accounts payable filing system?

– Find a software (Look for characteristics that allow you to set up standard payment information for each vendor, such as a cash drawer with write-clearing capabilities).
– Set up vendors.
– Create invoices and approve them.
Schedule payment.
– Verification checks.

How do you document accounts payable?

Debit the asset or expense account to which a purchase relates and credit the accounts payable account when recording an account payable. Debit accounts payable and credit cash when a payment on an account payable is made.

Is Accounts Payable a cost or a liability?

The two accounts payable and accrued expenses are liabilities. The amount of cash owed to creditors for goods or services purchased on credit is referred to as accounts payable. Accounts payables has recorded and acknowledged the vendor’s or supplier’s invoices.

If you feel overwhelmed by all these accounting terms,  you can book a free consultation call with Alan Chen, CEO of Free Cash Flow, to discuss how to achieve your online business goals.

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