Dictionary of all accounting terms
Accounts payable is a claim for payment that is owed to a business that the customer hasn't yet paid for.
Accounts are usually in the form of invoices created by a business and delivered to a customer for payment. The payment terms may differ based on the agreement between the business and its customer, although Net 30 is standard.
Accounts receivable is then the opposite of accounts payable, as the business is owed money, rather than owing money.