A business needs a system to manage its money. Business accounts are used to track the cash balance, money owed to the business, money owed to creditors and payroll paid to employees. The number of accounts a business needs will vary, but business accounts are universal for all businesses.The business checking account is the backbone of a business. From this account payroll is deducted, bills are paid and sales are deposited. This account is also generally the first relationship a business will have with a bank. Proper maintenance of this account can forge a relationship that could prove beneficial if the business needs funding for expansion or a line of credit.
Businesses that accept credit cards will need a merchant account for payments made via credit cards. Merchant accounts also accept online payments that might be made through a credit card or PayPal. A merchant account allows the business to accept all forms of payment, an attractive and convenient benefit to customers. Accounts are set up through a bank and a third-party processor. A business with an online presence will find a merchant account especially helpful.
Accounts payable are a listing of accounts the business owes to its creditors. Examples of these type of accounts include mortgages, car notes and lines of credit extended to the business by other businesses. This account is different from typical business expenses because they are long-term or revolving accounts. Payments on these accounts are typically disbursed from the business’ checking account.
Receivable accounts are the opposite of payable accounts; these accounts represent money owed to the business by other businesses. For example, if the business extends credit to its customers, the amounts owed to the business is a receivable. Money is not credited to this account, instead, payments on a receivable are deposited into the business’ checking account. This account, along with the payable account, are informational accounts.
When a business has employees, money from the business checking account is moved into the payroll account. Using separate accounts to pay employees makes tracking the amounts easier for general accounting and tax purposes. Not all businesses use a specific payroll account, but instead elect to deduct the total amount of payroll from the business account, but from an accounting standpoint, using the payroll account makes things easier.