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6.1 Accounts payable and other
. 6.1.1. Accounts payable
Sources and nature of accounts payable
The term accounts payable (often referred to as
vouchers payable for a voucher system) is used to
describe short-term obligations arising from the
purchase of goods and services in the ordinary
course of business.
Typical transactions creating accounts payable
include the acquisition on credit of merchandise,
raw materials, plant assets, and office supplies.
 Other sources of accounts payable include
the receipt of services, such as legal and
accounting services, advertising, repairs, and
 Interest–bearing obligations should not be
included in accounts payable but shown
separately as bonds, notes, mortgages, or
installment contracts.

Internal control over accounts
In thinking about internal control for accounts
payable, it is important to recognize that the
accounts payable of one company are the
accounts receivable of other companies.
Discussion of internal control applicable to
accounts payable may logically be extended to
the entire purchase or acquisition cycle.
Controls Over the
Acquisition Cycle
1. Segregation of duties--purchases and disbursements
2. Approval of purchase orders
3. Numerical control of purchase orders and receiving reports
4. Matching of details of vendors’ invoices to purchase orders and
receiving documents
5. Approval of vendors’ invoices
6. Pre-numbered checks
7. Reconciliation of details of individual disbursements to controlling
8. Reconciliation of vendors’ statements to accounts
9. Use of chart of accounts and review of account coding
Auditor’s objective in audit of
Accounts payable and related liabilities
Most Likely Misstatements
Accounts Payable and Related Accounts
Incorrect recording- purchase/disbursement
Misappropriation of purchases
Embezzlement (disbursement or purchase)
Duplicate payments for purchases
Unrecorded disbursements
Out-of-Period recording of purchases or
Failure to accrue liabilities
Audit procedures of Accounts
Payable and Related Accounts
1.. Obtain trial balance of accounts payable and reconcile with the
2. Vouch balances payable to selected vendor invoices
3. Reconcile recorded liabilities with vendors’ statements
4. Confirm accounts payable
5. Perform analytical procedures
6. Perform search for unrecorded liabilities
7. Evaluate other current liabilities
8. Identify related party payables
9. Evaluate financial statement presentation and
Confirmation of accounts payable
 Unlike the presumption that accounts receivable will be confirmed
. limited exceptions, there is no such presumption about the
confirmation of accounts payable.
 This test is optional because (a) confirmation offers no assurance that
unrecorded payables will be discovered, and (b) external evidence in
the form of invoices and vendor monthly statements should be
available to substantiate the balances.
 Confirmation of accounts payable is recommended when control risk
is high, there are individual creditors with relatively large balances,
and when a company is experiencing difficulties in meeting its
Contrasting Confirmation of Accounts
Payable and Accounts Receivable
. Accounts Payable Accounts Receivable

Primary Audit Completeness Existence


Other Evidence External evidence Internal evidence

Available held by client (i.e., (i.e.., sales invoices,
vendor invoices receiving reports,
and statements) etc.)
Required? NO YES
Accrued liabilities
 Most accrued liabilities represent obligations
payable sometime during the succeeding
period for services or privileges received
before the balance sheet date.
Examples include interest payable, accrued
property taxes, accrued payrolls and payroll
taxes and income taxes payable.
Because accrued items are based on client
estimates of amounts which will subsequently
become payable, subjective factors may make
it difficult to establish control over them.
As a result, these estimates may be
particularly susceptible to misstatement,
especially in circumstances in which
management is under pressure to show
increased earnings.
The basic auditing steps for accrued
. documents on hand that
1. Examine any contracts or other
provide the basis for the accrual.
2. Appraise the accuracy of the detailed accounting records
maintained for this category of liability.
3. Identify and evaluate the reasonableness of the
assumptions made that underline the computation of the
4. Test the computations made by the client in setting up the
5. Determine that accrued liabilities have been treated
consistently at the beginning and end of the period.
6. Consider the need for accrual of other accrued liabilities not
presently considered (that is, test completeness).