Learning Center
Accounts payable reports and reporting

Accounts payable reports and reporting

We get it. 

Reporting isn’t exactly one of the most entertaining aspects of working in accounts payable.

It’s a necessary one, however, not only for reporting upwards to management but for understanding the effectiveness of your AP policies and procedures.

So, if you work in accounts payable, you’ll need to have a handle on the various reports your AP software can produce.

If you’ve even had a brief look at the reports section of your given tool, though, you’ve probably asked yourself the same question we all have:

Is all of this actually necessary?

To help you determine what to include in your own reporting cadence, we’re going to explore 12 accounts payable reports that will help you measure and improve the way you process payments.

Side note: Many of these AP reports can be automatically created in BILL, so you can focus on analyzing the data instead of putting it together.

Key takeaways

Effective accounts payable reporting help manage payments and track spending

Prioritize creating AP reports that will be helpful for your business goals

Save time by automating your accounts payable reports

1. Accounts payable aging report  

The AP aging report is one of the most critical, and is one that all accounts payable teams should run.

This report summarizes all of the invoices owed by your business, broken down by vendor and date.

This can help you prioritize outgoing payments so you don’t miss due dates. You can also compare reports month on month to track changes in AP aging based on new policies you’ve implemented.

Example of accounts payable aging report
Accounts payable aging report example

2. Account payable reconciliation report 

The accounts payable reconciliation report outlines all accounting activity related to issued payments.

The point of this report is to check that you’re making the right payments to the right suppliers and that you aren’t carrying any delinquent liability accounts. 

You’ll compare the AP reconciliation report against the general ledger. If there are discrepancies, this could indicate an incorrect payment or human error and warrants further investigation. 

Accounts payable reconciliation report example
Accounts payable reconciliation report example

3. History of payments report

The history of payments report shows all of your outgoing payments for a specific time period (e.g. the previous year, quarter, month, etc.)

This report is particularly important for businesses that must adhere to annual operating budgets.

You can use it to review payments made under various expense categories (utilities, software, wages, etc.) and then predict spending for the remainder of the financial year.

4. Voucher activity report

The voucher activity report is similar to the history of payments report.

The difference is that you filter the period of time you want to see as well as specific criteria, such as spending from a given department, a specific business group, or a particular project.

For instance, if you want to track spending for the marketing department against their allocated operating budget, you can run a voucher activity report that specifies that criteria.

The vouchers that come up on the list will include the transaction amounts and dates as well as the creditor to which the payment was made.

5. Top vendor report

The top vendor report lists all of your spending by supplier and then sorts the data by spending amount.

That is, the vendors with whom you spend the most get listed first, and so on.

The top vendor report can help AP teams prioritize payments based on who is owed the most money, depending, of course, on your specific vendor agreement.

It can also be used to negotiate more favorable AP terms and to forecast future expenses to specific accounts. 

6. AP trial balance report 

The AP trial balance report summarizes all spending by date. 

In some cases, it might group them by vendor or another category, depending on your specific AP tool and your settings within it.

Accounts payable teams run this report to show the debits and credits to each GL account to make sure that expenses have been coded correctly and that the ledger entries in their financial statements are accurate and match correctly.

7. Credit memo report 

The credit memo report details all of the credit memos issued and owed by each of your vendors.

Credit memos are adjustments to bills that either reduce the amount of a current invoice or are used to offset future ones. 

Generally, they are issued by vendors for invoices already paid because goods were damaged, returned, or charged incorrectly.

You can use the credit memo report to help you manage expenditures to given vendors (for instance, prioritizing using a given vendor to make use of available credit), as well as to ensure that credits are applied correctly in upcoming invoices.

8. Discount report 

A discount report shows you all of the different discounts you could receive from vendors, such as early payment discounts.

With this information in hand, you can prioritize outgoing payments to given suppliers in order to take advantage of an early payment discount or implement policy exceptions to lock in the discount each month.

9. Open invoice report 

The open invoice report is very straightforward.

It lists all of your unpaid invoices and unapplied credit memos for the date range specified. This will be a critical report for diving deeper into the specific debts you have yet to pay.

10. AP turnover report 

The accounts payable turnover report is a key measure not only of overall financial health but of back office efficiency.

It measures how quickly your company makes payments to suppliers. That is, how quickly you turn over outstanding accounts payable.

This report compares the payments you’ve made in the given period to your average AP balance to give you a turnover figure (higher = faster = better).

The AP turnover report can be used to:

  1. Determine whether you’re paying your bills on time
  2. Understand early if you have cash flow problems
  3. Assess short-term liquidity and financial condition
  4. Help banks and other lenders decide whether to offer a line of credit
  5. Prove to large suppliers that your business is safe to pay off bills over time rather than in a lump sum

11. Recurring invoice report 

The recurring invoice report tracks invoices that you receive on a regular basis. Software subscriptions will probably make up the bulk of this, along with rent and utilities.

The recurring invoice report acts as a kind of checklist for making sure bills get paid on time. 

They can also be looked at alongside one another to detect anomalies like unusually high invoice amounts.

Additionally, AP teams use this report to forecast spending due to the consistency of these invoices. 

In some cases, your accounts payable automation solution can be set to pay such invoices automatically if the invoice falls within specific thresholds that you set for that expense and supplier.

12. Accounts payable GL code report 

Our final AP report is the accounts payable GL code report.

This one simply helps your company confirm that your AP team has coded expenses correctly in the general ledger, helping to improve the overall accuracy of record keeping.

Automate accounts payable reporting 

Reporting is an important part of the AP role. 

It's critical for understanding the effectiveness of your accounts payable policies, as well as your company’s overall financial health.

Often, though, reporting can feel like it gets in the way of your “actual work,” like getting those bills paid.

BILL, our accounts payable automation solution, can help with that.

With BILL, you can set up all of your favorite reports and jump in whenever you would like to review previous history and even forecast into the future.

Get started today to see exactly what we mean.

BILL and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on, for tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. BILL assumes no responsibility for any inaccuracies or inconsistencies in the content. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this site has been obtained from reliable sources, BILL is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information in this site is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied. In no event shall BILL, its affiliates or parent company, or the directors, officers, agents or employees thereof, be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information in this site or for any consequential, special or similar damages, even if advised of the possibility of such damages. Certain links in this site connect to other websites maintained by third parties over whom BILL has no control. BILL makes no representations as to the accuracy or any other aspect of information contained in other websites.