Accounts receivable are the amounts owed to a company by its customers, while accounts payable are the amounts that a company owes to its suppliers. The amounts of accounts receivable and payable are routinely compared as part of a liquidity analysis, to see if there are enough funds coming in from receivables to pay for the outstanding payable. This comparison is most commonly made with the current ratio, though the quick ratio may also be used.
Receivables are classified as a current asset, while payable are classified as a current liability.
Receivables may be offset by an allowance for doubtful accounts, while payable have no such offset.Receivables usually only involve a single trade receivables account and a non-trade receivables account, while payables can be comprised of many more accounts, including trade payable, sales taxes payable, income taxes payable, and interest payable