What are the Receivables in Accounting? Types and Examples

What are the Receivables in Accounting? Types and Examples

7 Min Reads

Emagia Staff

Receivables are the sums that a company’s customers or clients owe it for items sold or services provided on credit. It stands for the business’s right to get paid by its clients. Receivables are listed as assets on the balance sheet and are a significant component of a company’s financial status.

In establishing a company’s liquidity, cash flow, and general financial health, receivables are crucial. They stand in for the money that is anticipated to be received from clients in a specific time frame, typically a year. Effective receivables management is crucial to sustaining a consistent cash flow and assuring the business’s ability to pay its debts.

What are Receivables?

Receivables are unpaid consumer debts that were incurred after receiving goods or services. They are essential to managing a company’s working capital and liquidity. These receivables are recorded in the general ledger as a debit balance and are categorized as current assets on the balance sheet.

What is the Significance of Receivables?

Receivable entries are essential because they guarantee a steady flow of goods or services for both firms and their customers. These entries are documented in the financial statements as part of the bookkeeping process and serve as proof of the link between the account holder and the business owner. When a company grants a customer short-term credit, they record a receivable in their accounting system and send them an invoice to collect payment. Receivables can also be used as security for loans, allowing companies to satisfy their immediate obligations. They are regarded as liquid assets and are a crucial part of a business’s working capital. Enterprises must handle their receivables well since they provide additional funding for operating purposes.

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What are the Different Types of Receivables?

Trade Receivables

Trade receivable/accounts receivable (A/R) is a balance sheet asset that represents amount of money the company is legally entitled to receive. Since accounts receivable have a direct impact on a company’s cash flow and working capital, it is essential to manage them correctly. Finding money to manufacture items or make new sales gets more difficult the longer outstanding AR goes unpaid. Working capital is reduced by unpaid invoices.

Notes Receivables

Common forms of receivable such as notes receivable resemble traditional accounts receivable with the exception of the terms of payment. Notes receivable permit an extended payment period of up to a year longer, although ordinary receivables normally have a two-month window for repayment. A promissory note is used in notes receivables to create an agreement between you and the opposite party regarding the extended payment deadline. You have a legal instrument that supports your claim to payment from the debtor in the form of this promissory note. No interest is assessed on debt settlements that are finished within the prescribed deadline. However, monthly interest will be charged if the debtor asks for the payment time to be extended.

Until the note is paid in full, this series of journal entries will be repeated annually. Notes receivable are often divided into current and long-term categories on the balance sheet. The long-term component includes sums with a repayment duration longer than one year, whereas the current component includes the amount due within the upcoming year.

Other Receivables

There are numerous additional receivables kinds that firms deal with in addition to trade receivables and notes receivables. These include loans given to employees or other businesses, tax refunds, interest receivables, salary receivables, employee advances, and advances on salaries paid to employees.

Interest that a company is due from investments or loans made to other people is known as interest receivable. This can include the interest paid on bonds, bank deposits, and loans made to clients or suppliers.

What are Trade Receivables?

Trade receivables are the unpaid sums that clients owe a company after making a credit-based purchase of products or services. These receivables, which are included on the balance sheet as current assets, are very important to a company’s financial situation.

Assets that are anticipated to be turned into cash within the following year are included in current assets. Trade receivables are just one component of current assets, which also include inventories, cash and cash equivalents, and pre-paid liabilities.

Trade Receivables Example

Let us use a specific instance to demonstrate trade receivables. Consider a scenario where a business sells a consumer some supplies for a total of $500. In accordance with the double-entry accounting rules, the business would credit the sales account with $500 to reflect the rise in sales revenue. The corporation would also debit the trade receivables account in the same amount to represent the rise in the customer’s debt.

When the customer settles the invoice, the business will debit the cash account to reflect the additional cash received from the customer and credit the trade receivables account by $500 to reflect the reduction in the outstanding balance. The cycle of trade receivables is finished with this transaction because the outstanding balance has been paid.

Trade Receivables and Working Capital

A company’s trade receivables or accounts receivable are very important when determining its working capital. Current liabilities are subtracted from current assets to get working capital. Accounts receivable, inventories, cash, and equivalents are all examples of current assets, whereas accounts payable is an example of a current liability.

Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), which gauges the typical time it takes for a business to collect payments from clients after completing sales, is a crucial indicator of working capital. A lower DSO is preferable since it indicates timely invoice payment, which enables the seller to get access to cash more quickly.

In this equation, it is crucial to take the buyer’s perspective into account. In order to increase their Days Payable Outstanding (DPO), buyers could try to extend payment terms.

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Financing Trade Receivables

When a business sells products on credit, one of the challenges it sometimes confronts is having to pay for raw materials and other expenses before getting paid by clients. Due to cash flow issues brought on by this delay, it may be difficult to fulfill client orders or make investments in vital areas such as R&D and business expansion. Companies may choose to finance their trade receivables as a solution to this problem by requesting early payment in exchange for a discount.

Companies can use a variety of strategies to do this, including using solutions for AR financing and receivables finance. As an illustration, factoring enables a business to sell its invoices to a factor at a discount so that it can get paid a portion of the invoice value.

Accounts Receivable Department

Ar refers to the division inside a business that is in charge of collecting client payments, in addition to its meaning as trade receivables. The team in charge of AR is in charge of several duties, such as creating and sending invoices, keeping track of payment deadlines, and pursuing unpaid customers. They might also perform a receivables analysis to learn more about the payment trends of each debtor as well as the overall client base.

The AR department pursues payments from clients who do not make payments by the deadline. These steps can include writing letters and making phone calls, as well as starting legal action or working with outside debt collection companies.


In conclusion, receivables are a crucial part of accounting because they indicate the sums that clients owe a business for products or services they received on credit. They are included on the balance sheet as an asset and are very important in establishing a company’s liquidity and financial stability.

Effective receivables management is crucial to sustaining a consistent cash flow and assuring the business’s ability to pay its debts. Businesses can optimize their management of receivables and increase their overall financial stability by establishing credit policies, keeping track of customer payments, and putting initiatives in place to reduce bad debts.

Businesses may apply the proper accounting procedures and make wise decisions based on the impact of their receivables by understanding the various categories of receivables, such as trade receivables and non-trade receivables.

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How are Receivables Reported in Accounting?

Receivables are listed as assets on the balance sheet in the accounting records.

In accounting, How are Receivables Managed?

Several techniques and methods are used to control receivables. Establishing credit policies, checking client credit, creating and sending bills, keeping track of payment deadlines, following up on past-due payments, and putting collection tactics into practice is part of this process.

How Do Receivables Affect Financial Statements?

Receivables affect the financial statements of the company.

How can a Business Enhance its Management of Receivables?

Businesses can use techniques like providing discounts for prompt payments to encourage on-time payments and establishing clear credit terms and collection policies.

Are Receivables Able to be Sold or Transferred to Outside Parties?

Yes, receivables can be sold.


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