An accounts payable (AP) is a liability for an amount owed to a creditor, usually for the purchase of goods or services.
Consider a buyer who makes a purchase and takes delivery of the goods but does not pay the seller immediately. The seller is, therefore, selling "on credit." As a result, the buyer and seller now have a creditor-debtor relationship. The processing of accounts payable is a core responsibility of bookkeepers. The bookkeeper may issue and monitor purchase orders (which result in accounts payable) and then match them with invoices when they are received. The bookkeeper then codes the invoices with the proper general ledger information and obtains approval for payment. Bookkeepers check to pay the invoices and ensure bills are paid in a timely manner. 

Accounts receivable (AR) are legally enforceable claims for payment held by a business for goods supplied and/or services rendered that customers/clients have ordered but not paid for.  AR is sort of a mirror to AP. The AR process begins with billing customers for goods or services. Bookkeepers prepare and send invoices to customers and ensure they are entered into the proper accounts in the accounting system. Customer statements are prepared and sent out and bookkeepers often contact customers with past-due invoices to make payment arrangements.

This course focuses on important concepts bookkeepers should be prepared to manage/understand in relation to all the components of accounts payable and accounts receivable. We review the concepts of purchase orders, receipting, payments, billing, collections, and accounts receivable aging.

NOTE: This course is one of a series of courses developed for the Professional Bookkeeping Certification program on Illumeo. The full curriculum of courses will provide you with the ultimate foundation to a career as a bookkeeper.

Note: Information within this course comes from readily available public domain documents and is utilized by the trainer as a supplement for relaying the course content.

Learning Objectives
  • Explore the definition and types of accounts payable.
  • Discover examples of how to record various accounts payable transactions.
  • Explore the importance of the supplier relationship.
  • Explore various types of accounts payable metrics.
  • Recognize AP’s role in the financial structure of a business.
  • Identify AP job responsibilities.
  • Explore the definition and types of accounts receivable.
  • Explore accounts receivable payment terms and its relationship to the AR aging.
  • Identify accounts receivable job responsibilities.
Last updated/reviewed: August 14, 2023

Included In Certifications

This course is included in the following Certification Programs:

14 CoursesProfessional Bookkeeping Certification

  1. Bookkeeping: Terminology and Process Execution
  2. Bookkeeping: Debits And Credits
  3. Bookkeeping: Cash vs. Accrual
  4. Bookkeeping: Payroll And Expenses
  5. Bookkeeping: Legal Entity And Chart Of Accounts
  6. Bookkeeping: Journals, Subsidiary Ledgers and General Ledger
  7. Bookkeeping: Responsibilities
  8. Bookkeeping: Fixed assets and inventory
  9. Bookkeeping: Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable And Receipts
  10. Management Internal Control Essentials
  11. GAAP Principles, Assumptions and Considerations
  12. GAAP Presentation of Financial Statements
  13. Bookkeeping Basics – Case Study Scenario
  14. Useful Bookkeeping Tools

15 CoursesNot-For-Profit and Small Business Entities Certification

  1. Introduction to Not-for-Profit Entities
  2. Introduction to Accounting for Not-For-Profit Entities
  3. Identifying and Implementing the Proper Balance of Internal Controls
  4. Segregation of Duties for Core Business Processes
  5. Bookkeeping: Journals, Subsidiary Ledgers and General Ledger
  6. Bookkeeping: Payroll And Expenses
  7. Bookkeeping: Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable And Receipts
  8. Effectively Managing and Controlling Travel and Entertainment (T&E) Expenses
  9. Management Internal Control Essentials
  10. Financial Statement Essentials for Not-for-Profits
  11. Not-for-Profit Financial Statements Part 2
  12. Not for Profit Financials - Focus on Net Assets
  13. Cyber Risk in Small-Medium Entities
  14. Fraud in Small-Medium Entities
  15. Not-For-Profit Accountability and Responsibility
49 Reviews (205 ratings)

Reviews

5
Anonymous Author
This course is excellent. The instructor takes the time to thoroughly explain basic bookkeeping & the processes & roles/duties of the AP and AR teams. She goes through everything slow enough for you to be able to obtain all the information, and she includes examples. The slides that go along with it were very helpful. Highly recommend this course.

5
Anonymous Author
I learned from this course about two important bookkeeping processes: account payables and account receivables, and a lot details such as payment terms, aging report, bad debt, etc. The lecturer also presented helpful examples about AP journal entries, AR journal entries, and the aging report.

5
Anonymous Author
The course was informative, and teacher did a great job on explaining accounts receivable and accounts payable. The examples were good and allowed one to understand concepts better. I also felt the tools and technology explanation was a great discussion point.

4
Member's Profile
well done course on the topics of AP and AR. It may be useful to add more material on how common accounting software has simplified and automated more of the tasks the accountant needs to do to maintain these accounts

5
Anonymous Author
This course is filled with a lot of useful information. She goes into detail on AR and AP with good descriptions and examples. This course would be good for anyone going into bookkeeping, or an AP/AR position.

5
Member's Profile
By now everyone who takes Lynn's class knows they are in for a treat. What an amazing teacher, speaker, and mentor. Lynn keep the classes coming. Best regards, Larry

5
Anonymous Author
Lynn Fountain's presentation is clear and provides entry examples for both sides--creditor and debtor. Great refresher course! The slides were also clear and helpful.

5
Anonymous Author
This course is a good review of the accounts payable and receivable processes and includes explanations of some metrics and ratios used in analyzing those processes.

4
Anonymous Author
I have acquired a better understanding on the difference between Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable and what key roles they play in the business environment.

5
Anonymous Author
This course was very informative and greatly explained. It goes over the both AP and AR responsibilities and the reason behind all actions. Would recommend.

5
Member's Profile
This course highlighted the basis of typical AP and AR functions in relation to the elements of managing AR and AP in a fast paced and growing business

4
Anonymous Author
Good course and overview explaining Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable and receipts. Instructor is clear in explaining topics and gives good examples.

5
Anonymous Author
This course provided a thorough overview of accounts receivable and accounts payable. It also provided examples of what the journal would look like.

4
Anonymous Author
Enjoyed the course and its overview of the AP / AP responsibility areas particularly, which included recommendations to improve the processes

4
Member's Profile
Good at presenting basic concepts. I'd like to share the slides with my accounting clerk level staff who need to know a bit more.

4
Anonymous Author
Very good course ,the examples were easy to follow. I love the exact descriptions of the accounts receivable job resposiblilites.

5
Anonymous Author
Excellent refresher on Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable functions, with practical examples utilized and journal entries.

5
Anonymous Author
This course flows well and is a solid refresher course. The added elements on process automation made it a well-rounded course.

5
Anonymous Author
Very informative course which i found very easy to follow with the professor being so knowledgeable on the topic at hand.

4
Anonymous Author
Simple and easy to follow. Would like to have seen more examples to increase my understanding of the materials presented.

5
Anonymous Author
Great course, full of good information about AR/AP, and includes basic introductory accounting. Highly recommend.

5
Anonymous Author
This course is good for bookkeeping professionals to understand the areas of AP and AR from day-to-day function.

4
Member's Profile
This is a good high level course on the fundamentals of accounting for accounts payable and accounts receivable.

4
Member's Profile
very informative as the rest of the certificate program . Thank you for the easy to understand explanations.

5
Anonymous Author
Nice entry level course that would be beneficial for someone starting out or as an easy refresher course.

5
Anonymous Author
Thorough presentation of information relevant to the topic, with helpful examples throughout the lecture.

5
Member's Profile
Great course with lots of information and good slides for future reference. Would recommend to others.

5
Member's Profile
Very good examples to go over the payales and receivables. And good overview of job respocibilities

5
Anonymous Author
Great overview of the AP and AR functions in businesses and also what their responsibilities are.

5
Anonymous Author
It was very well taught. By the end of the courses I felt like all of my questions were answered.

4
Anonymous Author
Excellent overview of accounts payable and accounts receivable for a beginner or as a refresher.

5
Anonymous Author
Very knowledgeable understanding regarding the differences between disbursements and receipts.

4
Anonymous Author
Excellent descriptions and examples of account receivable and accounts payable scenarios.

5
Anonymous Author
This is very informative and helpful in knowing the responsibilities of each position

5
Member's Profile
It is good to learn what our bookkeeper knowledge base. This was helpful. Thank you.

4
Member's Profile
very thorough presentation of the Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable functions.

5
Member's Profile
Great review for AP/AR. The information in this section is concise, yet fulfilling.

4
Anonymous Author
Bit of confusion in this one with slides. Overall a decent entry level presentation.

5
Member's Profile
I enjoyed learning the difference between Account Receivables and Account Payables.

5
Anonymous Author
I found the exercises within the course to be extremely helpful. I learn by doing.

5
Anonymous Author
Very easy to follow along and contains lots of good information about each role

5
Anonymous Author
An excellent course to understand Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable.

4
Member's Profile
Good overview of the subject material. Covered all the major points.

5
Member's Profile
I enjoyed taking this class, it helped me to refresh my knowledge.

5
Anonymous Author
Great comprehensive course on the subject. Love the examples given.

5
Member's Profile
The instructor is very good at explaining the bookkeeping process.

5
Member's Profile
Very easy to understand, It is all very uncomplicated to learn.

5
Member's Profile
Examples were helpful and the information well structured.

5
Anonymous Author
Very entry level course. I would recommend for beginners.

Prerequisites
Course Complexity: Intermediate

No Advanced Preparation or Prerequisites are needed for this course. However, it is recommended to take the other courses in the series prior to completing this one.

Education Provider Information
Company: Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
Contact: For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 or send an e-mail to .
Instructor for this course
Course Syllabus
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW
  Introduction to Bookkeeping Basics – Accounts Payable/Disbursements and Accounts Receivable/Receipts6:50
  Accounts Payable14:33
  Exercise4:12
  Supplier Relationships and AP Analysis11:11
  AP Process Efficiency5:11
  Accounts Receivable10:26
  AR Payment Terms and AR Aging16:39
  AR Collection Period6:07
  AR Job Responsibilities8:37
  Summary1:30
Continuous Play
  Accounts Payable/Disbursements and Accounts Receivable/Receipts1:25:16
Supporting Materials
  Slides: Bookkeeping Basics – Accounts Payable/Disbursements and Accounts Receivable/ReceiptsPDF
  Bookkeeping: Account Payable and Accounts Receivable Glossary/IndexPDF
Review And Test
  REVIEW QUESTIONSquiz
 FINAL EXAMexam