Difference Between Payable and Expense (With Table)

As a buyer or seller, both persons are engaged in commerce. It was originally exchanged goods and services directly between two people or by barter. It was sometimes called trade. Money was then coined as an auction, and credits were then bought. 

This resulted in the complication of trading and the introduction of accounting processes that allow individuals and companies to handle their costs correctly and, in the case of credit users, payable or liabilities.

 The management of these accounts includes a strong knowledge of accounting principles and the economics of the company. These accounts can be used in an organization to help the firm build a more coherent cash balance while also encouraging stock to be sold for short-term profits.

Payable vs Expense

The difference between expense and payable is that Expenses are the expenses owed by the company over one accounting period but not necessarily paid for within the same accounting period, while the money owed to the provider by the firm is payable whether any products or services are bought or available.

A payable means an existing obligation or loan to be settled on the terms and conditions negotiated by all parties. Examples include electrical costs, cable bills, and phone bills, which already require users to use the service and are granted later payment of a fee. The spectrum of payable payments in the industry is wider and complex. Invoices and checks are used, and newspapers are held in which all payables are specified.

Expenses are the payment of money for goods and services to another individual. When you pay for the rent or buy food, drugs, automobiles, or clothing, you are charged. In business and accounting, a charge refers to the cost of generating income charged to another person or business company in cash or value. It triggers a decrease in the value of a company and a liability acquisition.

Comparison Table Between Payable and Expense

Parameters of Comparison PayableExpense
MeaningThe money to be paid by the corporation to the creditors shall be the short-term sum.Expenses are used to report expenses on the books before it is billed. Expenses are used in accounting.
OccurrencePayable only occurs when credit is purchased.Expenses are used in both organizations.
ExampleOnly documents owed to creditors are payable.Rent, income, interest on bank loans.
Balance SheetThese payments are an integral part of the daily routine and are seen on the balance sheet as payable.Expenditure is intermittent and is classified as Expenditure as the existing debt in the balance sheet.
Counter- partyThe costs will be paid to staff and banks.These expenses are reported only when creditors are paid.

What is Payable?

The payable shall include all costs arising out of credit transactions by suppliers/sellers of products or services. Present obligations are payable and are due within 12 months of the transaction date. In balances, the most commonly incurred non-financial costs include benefits, wages, interest, and royalties.

Both costs incurred by purchasing credit of products or services from suppliers shall be included in accounts payable. Present obligations that are to be accrued in the near term are accounts payable. This concept is used to describe the short-term debt of a corporation which has to be taken out to prevent default within a certain period.

In the case of balance sheets, non-financial costs also used in the grouping include pay, compensation, interest, and royalties. When the company purchases goods or services on loan, the accounts payable are reported on a balance sheet. Only documents owed to borrowers are used in accounts payable.

What is Expense?

The word is used to build up. If an enterprise costs, this means that there is a growing proportion of outstanding bills. The Accrual accounting principle says that all inflows and outflows should be registered. If real cash is paid or not, this is done. That is the most recognized in the accounts before the invoice.

Examples are services used for a whole month but obtained at the end of the month. Workers working for the whole time but paying the staff at the end. Consumption of services and merchandise, but no submitted invoice. At the close of the financial period and the adjustment of entries necessary to represent current costs, the accrued expenses are reported on the balance sheet.

This is because these expenditures must always be measured and updated to account for the full sum after receipt of bills. There are mostly costs such as rent, bank loans, and salaries where every month payments are made. Accumulated costs, or accumulated liabilities, are accumulated over the course of time. The portion of outstanding bills increases as a company collects costs.

Main Differences Between Payable and Expense

  1. Expenses are an accounting term in which the expenses are reported in the ledger before they are charged, whereas payables are the money to be paid by the corporation is short-term payable to the creditors.
  2. Expense is intermittent and is classified as an expense as the existing debt in the balance sheet, whereas payable as an existing obligation on the balance sheet is part of the daily operation.
  3. Expenses are used in both organizations, whereas payable only occurs when credit is purchased.
  4. Expenses are items you owe, but for a time, there are no invoices, whereas the invoices issued from the company are payable.
  5. By the end of the financial year, expenses are realized on the balance sheet and remembered by the adjustment of journal entries, whereas payables recorded on the balance sheet are the business purchases goods or services in cash.


Expenses are what have already been accrued that is expected in the future. On the other side, obligations are payable and will soon be compensated. Payable are those already payable, while expenses are those previously charged. 

Electrical bills, telecommunications bills, and those paid with credit cards or bills are among the examples of purchases, while supplier payments and loans are examples or expenditures. To balance their books, companies require these two accounts. Eventually, accountants become aware of what the enterprise has as its unpaid liabilities and what the accounts payable are.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/41140426
  2. https://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTotal-ZGCW201207017.htm
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