Accounts Payable Subsidiary Ledger – Definition

Cite this article as:"Accounts Payable Subsidiary Ledger – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated September 18, 2019, last accessed October 20, 2020,


Accounts Payable Subsidiary Ledger Definition

An accounts payable subsidiary ledger is an account book that tracks all expenses of a business and the number of suppliers that the business owes. This ledger shows the transaction history of a particular business and the amount of owes its suppliers, as well as current and outstanding accounts payable.

An accounts payable subsidiary ledger is also called creditors’ ledger or AP subledger (subaccount). This ledger has a separate account for each vendor or supplier containing the amount the company owes each of them.  The amount payable in this subsidiary ledger is compared to the one in the general ledger to ensure accuracy.

A Little More on What is Accounts Payable Subsidiary Ledger

Accounts payable subsidiary ledger or AP subledger is important to all businesses that take inventory of materials or products which are delivered by suppliers. Through the AP subledger, a business has an idea of which of its vendors it is owing and how much.

AP subledger show specific amounts that a company owes specific suppliers, the total amount of then reconciled with the accounts payable balance in the general ledger. Unlike accounts payable in the general ledger that only reveals the total money payable by a business, account payable subsidiary ledger reveal details. For example;

General ledger: $40,000

Account payable subsidiary ledger: Vendor A $8,000, Vendor B $5,000, and so on.

Reference for “Accounts Payable Subsidiary Ledger” › … › Accounting Information › Small Business Basics › Operating a Business

Academic research on “Accounts Payable Subsidiary Ledger”

Incentives, effort, and the cognitive processes involved in accounting-related judgments, Libby, R., & Lipe, M. G. (1992). Incentives, effort, and the cognitive processes involved in accounting-related judgments. Journal of Accounting Research, 30(2), 249-273

The practice set: a new spin on an old idea, Savage, H. M., & Law, D. B. (2003). The practice set: a new spin on an old idea. Journal of Education for Business, 79(2), 75-78. In this article, the authors describe their experience in extending a manual practice set to accounting software. The Systems Understanding Aid by Arens and Ward (2001) has been used for some time in the authors’ Accounting Information Systems course. The extension involved requiring students to redo the project using Peachtree Complete Accounting© software. The manual project gives students an appreciation of the work required in a business. The computer extension exposes students to the use of general ledger software for a project that they already have completed; thus they know what results the software should produce.

A Phased engagement approach to forensic accounting, Renick, M. J. (2007). A Phased engagement approach to forensic accounting. CPA JOURNAL, 77(6), 62.

Enterprise system case using Microsoft Dynamics GP via DynamicsCloud, Watson, M. W., Klamm, B. K., Segovia, J., & Lehman, M. W. (2016). Enterprise system case using Microsoft Dynamics GP via DynamicsCloud. Journal of Accounting Education, 37, 67-92. This case increases your understanding of enterprise systems by applying course concepts in an active-learning setting. Specifically, you build on previous course knowledge by using Microsoft Dynamics GP via a cloud provider, DynamicsCloud. Cloud applications allow companies to reduce information technology costs and use one consistent platform across the entire company, whether they have one or many locations across the globe. The case consists of three main parts (i.e., system overview, data collection and storage, and information retrieval) and integrates internal controls and exercises within each part of the case. Upon completion of this case, you will understand the basic functions of an enterprise system. Activities require you to collect and process data in the revenue and purchasing cycles, identify internal controls within the system, and provide useful information for decision making. In addition, you gain hands-on experience using an enterprise system and acquire skills that transfer to other enterprise systems or to upgraded versions of Dynamics GP, which companies can use to support global operations. The case should increase accounting information system knowledge, system navigation skills, and the ability to learn on your own.

BUSINESS ACQUISITION: A CASE STUDY WITH VARIOUS ACCOUNTING FRAUDS., Self, S., Fudge, T., Sullivan, G., & Harrington, T. (2016). BUSINESS ACQUISITION: A CASE STUDY WITH VARIOUS ACCOUNTING FRAUDS. International Journal of Business, Accounting, & Finance, 10(2). Fraud can take an almost infinite variety of forms. The current case study investigates various accounting fraud circumstances related to specific business acquisition process. The acquisition involved the purchase of a large interstate truck-stop station located on Interstate 20 in Texas. The variety of frauds discovered included: accounts receivable fraud, asset fraud, liability fraud, hazardous waste disposal fraud, and others.

Was this article helpful?