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Why You Should Be Using AP Reports

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Last editedJun 20222 min read

Your business’s accounts payable (AP) department helps track invoices, make payments, and generate important financial reports. Yet beyond these daily operations, accounts payable reports provide a treasure trove of data and insight. Here’s a closer look at the wider importance of accounts payable, along with some of the most valuable AP reports.

What is an accounts payable report?

Accounts payable analysis reporting involves tracking and recording a company’s business expenditure. This includes small, everyday expenses as well as larger payments made over time. When tracking and recording company spend, AP ends up with a large volume of valuable financial data that can be compiled into reports. AP reports document in detail how much your business spends on cash expenses, utility payments, software, mortgage or rent, and other typical costs.

These expenditures are compiled within your AP system and drawn up into time-sensitive reports, so you can view changes in spend over time. It helps you monitor cash flow through seeing your business’s outgoings, while shining a light on how well the business pays its debts.

The importance of accounts payable reports

It’s well worth setting up a system for accounts payable analysis reporting. Not only can you monitor cash flow and pay off debts more effectively, but you can also gain valuable insight. Here are a few reasons to take a closer look at AP reports:

  • You can verify that you’ve paid outstanding bills.

  • You can monitor how well you’re paying invoices on time.

  • You can review your vendor data to strengthen relationships.

  • You can be more hands-on with expenditures and adjust the budget.

Common types of AP reports

Accounts payable handles many aspects of company spend, so how does this translate into AP reports? Here are a few accounts payable report samples you’re likely to come across.

  • Aging Report: This shows your vendors alongside payment due dates, helping ensure that a business stays on top of which payment deadlines are approaching and which are past due.

  • Account Reconciliation Report: This shows accounting activity related to debt repayments and liabilities. It should be compared to the general ledger to ensure all transactions are accounted for. Any discrepancies should be investigated in case of error.

  • Payment History Report: This straightforward report lists all expenditures for a set period of time, helping your business determine how well it’s sticking to the budget. It also shows whether you’ve paid each vendor, and the date that payment was made.

  • Voucher Activity Report: This is used by AP to view spending within specific parameters or for certain projects. It pulls up payment vouchers within a set of criteria.

  • Vendor Analysis Report: This pulls together all information about each vendor, helping you manage relationships more efficiently based on past sales and payment data.

How to get the most from your AP reports

As you can see from the accounts payable report samples listed above, there’s an array of ways to arrange payment data. The importance of accounts payable is not only tied to paying your bills on time; these reports also provide valuable insight into your vendor relationships and departmental spend. So, how can you make the most of them?

  • Set up automated reminders

  • Keep vendor contact details up to date

  • Archive all payment data

  • Use automated AP software

Automated AP software offers the easiest way to generate the reports of your choice using real-time payment and invoicing data. Cloud-based software comes with built-in reporting capabilities, alongside customizable features to adjust timeframes and other filters. View general ledger data, purchase orders, invoice status, and vendor details immediately from a central dashboard.

Cloud-based AP and accounting software integrates easily with payment collection services like GoCardless for a streamlined workflow. GoCardless works with over 300 partners to help you manage invoices, payments, and AP reports from a single location.

We can help

GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.

Over 70,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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