Accounts Payable Vs Notes Payable

Updated on April 30, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Are Accounts Payable Vs Notes Payable?

The primary difference between Accounts Payable vs. Notes Payable is that the former is the amount owed by the company to its supplier when any goods are purchased, or services are availed. In contrast, the latter is the written promise to give a specific sum of money at a specified future date or per the demand of the holder who received the note.

What Are Accounts Payable Vs Notes Payable

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In addition, accounts payables and notes payables are like debtDebtDebt is the practice of borrowing a tangible item, primarily money by an individual, business, or government, from another person, financial institution, or state.read more categorized under current and non-current liabilities. Therefore, Current liabilitiesCurrent LiabilitiesCurrent Liabilities are the payables which are likely to settled within twelve months of reporting. They're usually salaries payable, expense payable, short term loans etc.read more like notes and accounts payablesAccounts PayablesAccounts payable is the amount due by a business to its suppliers or vendors for the purchase of products or services. It is categorized as current liabilities on the balance sheet and must be satisfied within an accounting period.read more need to be managed for efficient working capital managementWorking Capital ManagementWorking Capital Management refers to the management of the capital that the company requires for financing its daily business operations. It is important for the company in order to maximize its operational efficiency, manage its short term liabilities and assets properly, avoiding the underutilization of the resources and avoiding the overtrading, etc.read more. Businesses need to employ specific processes to successfully manage their current obligations to succeed in the long run.

Accounts Payable Vs Notes Payable Explained

Accounts payable vs notes payable is a financial topic that explains the basic differences between the two forms of liabilities owed by the entity to the lenders. It is necessary to identify them clearly.

Accounts payable is that money which the business has to pay back to its vendors or suppliers due to credit purchase of goods and services. There is no formal agreement and can be verified from invoices or bills. The invoices have details like the payment terms, due date, amount, etc. The business does not have to bear any interest in the same. Since it is for the short term, generally within the same year, It is treated as a current liability in the balance sheet of the entity.

However, notes payable differs from the above in certain aspects even though it represents the money the business owes. The most important difference lies in the fact that notes payable have a written agreement signed by two parties, the borrower and the lender and is issued by a financial institution. The formal contract states clearly the terms and conditions like repayment schedule, principal amount, interest rate, date of maturity, etc. it is typically recorded and treated as a log term liability since it is for more than a year.

Accounts payables and notes payables are vital components for working capitalComponent For Working CapitalMajor components of working capital are its current assets and current liabilities, and the difference between them makes up the working capital of a business. The efficient management of these components ensures the company's profitability and provides the smooth running of the business.read more and other short-term obligations, making the management of these two short-term obligations essential for a company to run its day-to-day business.

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Difference Between Accounts Payable Vs Notes Payable

Short-term liabilities are every business’ financial obligations to maintain proper and sustainable working capital management. A good company will always manage and hold a decent amount of working capital to run the day-to-day business operations. Accounts payables and notes payable are often used interchangeably. They are a part of current liabilitiesCurrent LiabilitiesCurrent Liabilities are the payables which are likely to settled within twelve months of reporting. They're usually salaries payable, expense payable, short term loans etc.read more on the balance sheetBalance SheetA balance sheet is one of the financial statements of a company that presents the shareholders' equity, liabilities, and assets of the company at a specific point in time. It is based on the accounting equation that states that the sum of the total liabilities and the owner's capital equals the total assets of the company.read more, but there is a slight difference when analyzed in-depth and individually.

In this article, we have shown accounts payable vs. notes payableNotes PayableNotes Payable is a promissory note that records the borrower's written promise to the lender for paying up a certain amount, with interest, by a specified date. read more in detail.

Infographics

Here we provide you with the top 7 differences between Accounts Payable vs. Notes Payable. This is in the form of infographics which help in identifying and remembering the differences easily in the form of a chart.

Accounts Payable vs Notes Payable Infographics

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Examples

It is necessary to identify some items which commonly apprear in the financial statements of a company and be able to segregate them under the two heads under the notes payable vs accounts payable examples.

Some examples of accounts payable the invoices that are generated for purchase of inventory of the business, rent payable, utility bills payable or any other short term payments to be made for running the daily business operations.

Similarly some examples of notes payable include bank loans which has to be repaid within a particular time period that is beyond one year, the debentures, bonds or commercial papers issued by the company to its investors for which interest has to be paid, etc.

Thus, the above are some important under the notes payable vs accounts payable examples.

Key Differences

Given below are some key differences between the two financial concepts. They are explained in detail so that the reader can easily understand the basic idea and remember them. The critical differences between Accounts Payable vs Notes Payable are as follows: –

Head To Head Difference

Let’s now look at the head-to-head differences between Accounts Payable vs. Notes Payable.

Accounts PayablesNotes Payables
Always a short-term obligation to the businessCan be a short-term or long-term obligation to the business
Always converted into notes payables.Never converted into account payables.
The amount is generally due to vendors and suppliers.The amount due to the financial institutions and the credit companies.
It is created in the case of low-risk customers. A low-risk customer can be given money because of their good credit history and creditworthiness.  It is created in the case of high-risk customers. A high-risk customer should be given money only when they fulfill certain obligations.
There are no specific terms under accounts payables and no specific payment obligation to the creditors.There is a specific payment term such as maturity period, interest rate, clauses for non-payment, etc.
It is vital for calculating working capital and working capital management.It can be or cannot be taken to calculate working capitalCalculate Working CapitalWorking capital is the amount available to a company for day-to-day expenses. It's a measure of a company's liquidity, efficiency, and financial health, and it's calculated using a simple formula: "current assets (accounts receivables, cash, inventories of unfinished goods and raw materials) MINUS current liabilities (accounts payable, debt due in one year)"read more.
It originates from the purchase of tradable items or inventories.It may evolve in purchasing long-lived assets or borrowing to satisfy the existing obligations.

The above chart on the differences are identified based on some important criterias like amount, time period, convertibility, uses and source or origin. These explanations will help the learner identify both the liabilities efficiently and treat them in the books of accounts accordingly.

This article has been a guide to what is Accounts Payable Vs Notes Payable. We explain the differences between them with infographics, examples & key differences. You may also have a look at the following articles: –

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