An Accounts Payable (AP) aging report annotates how much is owed, to whom, and for how long. The report is a key tool in determining precisely the state of affairs for the Accounts Payable department and for the business.
The AP aging report is a listing usually either by creditor alphabetical order or by amount of all outstanding invoices or bills. The data is pulled onto the report from the AP records entered and updated on a daily basis. False entries result from mistakes made during the normal work routines within the department, which is why accurate data entry and timely updates are necessary.
The first column consists of creditor name-who is owed. The next is generally the total amount outstanding to that creditor. Then the debt is broken down by age with the portion of the total debt that is within 30 days from invoice receipt in the next column, usually labeled “Current.” Each sequential column thereafter, commonly called a “bucket,” delineates thirty-day increments until 180-plus days.
For example, to date, ABC Company delivered a total of 15,000 widgets starting five months ago on a special order at $1 each, invoiced in two parts. Of the total $15,000 due, $4,000 isn’t yet paid. ABC Company’s sample entry on an AP aging might be:
The original balance total is not listed on the aging entry, because only outstanding debt is required. If the entry on the aging in the Net Total column does list an original balance, it’s a new bill that arrived within the last thirty days. If no portion of the total due was paid at the time of delivery, the Net Total column and the Current column would be identical. Because no portion of that vendor’s invoice has aged beyond the current time period, only zeroes would be listed in the age buckets.
The complete aging would reflect similar entries for each outstanding creditor, with a total of each column and columns total listed at the end of the report.
The purpose of an AP aging report is clear: It outlines how long debts are outstanding and helps prioritize payments. Reducing the aging means reducing liabilities and improving the profit margin and credit lines of any business.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; “Essentials of Accounts Payable,” ©2002. Mary S. Schaeffer; p. 207-224.
John Wiley & Sons, “Wiley GAAP 2010: Interpretation and Application of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles,” ©2009. Barry J. Epstein, Ralph Nach, and Steven M. Bragg; p. 213-268.
Hungry Minds, Inc. “Accounting for Dummies,” ©2001. John A. Tracy, CPA; p. 293-310.