What is an 'Accounts Payable Subsidiary Ledger'

An accounts payable subsidiary ledger is an accounting ledger that shows the transaction history and amounts owed for each supplier from whom the business receives credit for purchases. The balance in the customer accounts is periodically reconciled with the accounts payable (AP) balance in the general ledger to ensure accuracy. The AP subsidiary ledger is also commonly referred to as the AP subledger or subaccount.

BREAKING DOWN 'Accounts Payable Subsidiary Ledger'

The utility of the accounts payable subsidiary ledger lies in the fact that it can show at a glance the amounts owed to specific suppliers. For example, the general balance may show a total accounts payable balance of $50,000, but it will not show which supplier is owed how much. This information can be gleaned from the accounts payable subsidiary ledger. It will show, for example, that Company A is owed $2,000, Company B is owed $6,000, Company C is owed $9,500 and so on. Like other subsidiary ledgers, the accounts payable subsidiary ledger merely provides details of the control account in the general ledger. Other subsidiary account ledgers include the accounts receivable subsidiary ledger, the inventory subsidiary ledger, and the equipment subsidiary ledger. 

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