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A vendor ( latin credere believe ' , entrust') under German accounting of creditors of receivables from supplies and services . He is called a creditor because, as a supplier or service provider, he takes on the risks of a lender . The complementary term is the debtor (debtor of claims).


Claims of the creditor are therefore liabilities of the buyer of deliveries and services. Natural persons , companies or legal entities under public law can be considered as creditors .

As a rule, these liabilities result from the delivery of goods or services. In order to differentiate these liabilities from other liabilities, the legislature has created a separate balance sheet item for them in Section 266 (3) C 4 HGB (“Trade accounts payable”) . This is to ensure, within the framework of the balance sheet clarity , that a knowledgeable third party can get an idea of ​​the proportion of liabilities in relation to total liabilities.

Credit risk

The risk of a supplier is that the recipient of his delivery pays too late, not in full or at all, or becomes insolvent . This risk is managed by the supplier in the accounts receivable department, since the recipient of the goods is the customer for the supplier. The supplier can grant his customers credit limits, up to the amount of which he is ready to deliver goods on target . The credit risks are classified using bank information , office information or annual financial statements . If the risks are too high for the supplier, he can deliver against retention of title , which entitles him to retrieve the delivered items from the debtor in the event of a payment default . The retention of title is an original loan security that minimizes or eliminates the credit risk.

If the credit risk materializes through non-payment, a dubious claim arises , which the supplier has to account for with its probable value, which is connected with a forecast of the probability of repayment. If the supplier expects that the purchase price will not be paid in full, it is an uncollectible claim that must be written off . Both types of receivables lead to a correction of the result via the value adjustment / depreciation, which corrects the profit already realized through the posting of sales.


The term vendor is part of many compound words related to the topic. Colloquially, the vendor is often associated with the supplier himself. The accounts payable department deals with the booking and monitoring of the supplier payables from deliveries and services and the monitoring of due dates.

In business administration , especially in balance sheet analysis , the accounts payable target is known as a business key figure for the turnover rate of accounts payable:

The key figure is intended to express how quickly liabilities are paid and is therefore an expression of the payment behavior of a company. Short creditor terms indicate good liquidity , long creditor terms can be attributed to long payment terms , great negotiating power of the creditor with his suppliers or poor creditor management and vice versa. The vendor targets are particularly long for companies with great bargaining power with their suppliers (for retail chains with up to 90 days).

Accounts receivable

Since offsetting is prohibited in the annual financial statements , vendors with overpayments (vendors with debit balances ) are not to be shown as reducing debts under the liabilities, but are reclassified to other assets (as other receivables) in the annual financial statements and are shown in the balance sheet as credit.

See also

Wiktionary: Vendor  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Wöltje, Jörg: Reading, understanding and designing balance sheets . 12th, revised edition. Haufe, Freiburg / Munich, ISBN 978-3-648-07191-5 , p. 17 .
  2. Jürgen Stieß: Financial Management . Oldenbourg, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-486-58782-1 , pp. 169 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  3. Thomas Witzler, Wolfgang Pavelka: Success in retail . Facultas-WUV, Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-7089-0054-4 , p. 128 ( limited preview in Google Book search).