Accounts Receivables:
Your Business’ Lifeblood

Interested in streamlining your accounts receivable?
Become an expert on accounts receivables in accounting and discover the advantages of automation.

Accounts Receivables: Your Business’ Lifeblood

Running a business comes with a multitude of responsibilities, one of which is keeping track of all customer payments. Accounts receivable is essential to your business as it ensures you receive payment for your goods and services.

Many businesses struggle with managing their accounts receivable (or accts rec in short), leading to cash flow problems and financial instability. In this blog post, we will explore the basics of accounts receivable and provide you with insights to help you manage it effectively.

What is an Account Receivable?

Accounts receivable in accounting refer to the money a company owes its customers after goods or services have been rendered. These costs are reflected on the company’s balance sheet as an asset.

Since accounts receivable is a business’s assets, managing them effectively is imperative to ensure adequate cash flow. Failing to do so can lead to delayed or missed payments, which can affect the growth and sustainability of your business.

What is an Account Receivable?

Boost your cash flow!

Streamline your invoicing and accounts receivable processes with automation to accelerate payment collection and improve your cash flow. Start optimizing your financial operations with InvoiceAction!

What Accounts Receivable Include

Account receivable definition represents the amounts owed to a company by its customers for goods or services provided on credit. It is an essential asset on a company’s balance sheet and reflects the amount of money expected to be received from customers in the future.

Accounts receivable (AR account) typically includes:

  • Invoiced Sales refers to the amounts billed to customers for goods sold or services rendered. It represents the outstanding balances that are due from customers.
  • Trade Debtors: These are the specific customers who owe money to the company. Each customer’s outstanding balance is recorded as a separate accounts receivable entry.
  • Unearned Revenue: In some cases, companies may receive advance payments or deposits from customers for goods or services that have not yet been delivered. These payments are initially recorded as unearned revenue and are later recognized as revenue when the obligations are fulfilled.
  • Accrued Revenue: If a company has provided goods or services but has not yet issued an invoice or received payment, it may recognize the revenue and record it as an accounts receivable entry.
  • Allowance for Doubtful Accounts: It is common for companies to establish an allowance for doubtful accounts to account for potential bad debts or uncollectible amounts. This allowance is a contra-asset account and represents the estimated amount of accounts receivable that may not be collected.

It’s important to note that the specific components of accounts receivable can vary depending on the nature of the business and its credit policies. Companies may also have different terms and conditions for recognizing and recording accounts receivable based on industry practices and accounting standards.

Tired of chasing overdue payments? Automate your invoice and accounts receivable management with InvoiceAction to ensure timely payments, reduce manual follow-ups, and eliminate the hassle of late payers. Take control of your receivables now!
Book a demo now

What Goes in Accounts Receivable?

Accounts receivable represents the amounts owed to a company by its customers for goods sold or services provided on credit. Here are some common items that go into accounts receivable:

Sales Invoices

When a company sells goods or services on credit, it creates sales invoices that specify the amount the customer owes. These invoices form the basis for recording accounts receivable.

Credit Sales

Any sales made on credit, where the customer can pay later, contribute to accounts receivable. These are typically recorded as an increase in accounts receivable and an increase in revenue.

Trade Debtors

Trade debtors are individual customers or companies who owe money to the company. Each customer’s outstanding balance is recorded as a separate accounts receivable entry.

Promissory Notes

Sometimes, customers may issue promissory notes as a formal promise to pay the company at a specified future date. The value of these promissory notes is recorded as accounts receivable.

Advances and Deposits

If a customer makes an advance payment or deposit for goods or services that will be delivered in the future, the amount received is initially recorded as a liability. The liability is reduced when the goods or services are provided, and the corresponding amount is recorded as accounts receivable.

Sales Returns and Allowances

If customers return goods or receive allowances for damaged or unsatisfactory products, the corresponding reduction in revenue is reflected as a decrease in accounts receivable.

It’s essential to regularly monitor and manage accounts receivable to ensure timely collection and minimize the risk of bad debts. Companies may employ various strategies such as credit policies, collection efforts, and analyzing aging reports to track and collect outstanding receivables.

Save valuable time by automating your invoicing and accounts receivable tasks. With InvoiceAction, you can focus on growing your business while the automation manages invoices, tracks payments,
and generates reports.
Book a demo now

Managing Accounts Receivable

To manage your accounts receivable, tracking who owes you money and when payments are due is essential. There are two main ways to do this: manually or using an automated system.

  • Manually tracking your accounts receivable (AR in accounting) can be time-consuming and error-prone, while automated systems like invoicing software can streamline the process.
  • Invoicing software can generate invoices, track payments, and send payment reminders, helping you stay on top of your accounts receivable.

Another critical aspect of managing your accounts receivable is setting clear customer payment policies. This includes outlining payment terms and conditions in writing, such as late fees or interest charges.

Clear payment policies help your customers understand their obligations and can prevent disputes in the future. It’s also essential to communicate your payment policies with your customers and follow up on delinquent accounts regularly.

Consider working with a reputable collection agency if you’re struggling with accounts receivable management. Collection agencies can help you recover unpaid debts quickly and efficiently and allow you to focus on running your business. When selecting a collection agency, look for one with a proven track record, experienced staff, and ethical practices.

Accounts receivable management is crucial to your business’s financial stability and success. By understanding the basics of accounts receivable terms, tracking payments, setting clear payment policies, and working with reputable collection agencies, you can help ensure consistent cash flow and prevent financial instability.

Take the time to review your accounts receivable terms management policies and make necessary adjustments to improve your business’s overall financial health.

Final Thoughts: What is Receivable in Accounting

In the world of accounting, the term ‘receivable’ is often used to refer to amounts owed to a business by its customers or clients. By monitoring and managing their receivables effectively, businesses can ensure they receive timely payments, reduce the risk of bad debts, and maintain a positive cash flow. Understanding what receivable means in accounting is fundamental for any business owner, entrepreneur, or accounting professional.

Manual data entry can lead to costly mistakes. Embrace InvoiceAction to eliminate errors and ensure accurate invoicing and accounts receivable management. Enjoy peace of mind and maintain a professional image with flawless financial processes.
Book a demo now


What are accounts receivable?

Accounts receivable refers to the amounts owed to a company by its customers for goods sold or services provided on credit. It represents the outstanding payments that are due to the company.

How do accounts receivable work?

When a company sells goods or services on credit, it creates an account receivable entry to record the amount the customer owes. The company expects to receive payment from the customer within a specified period, usually through an agreed-upon payment term.

Why do companies have accounts receivable (AR in accounting)?

Companies offer credit to customers as a way to encourage sales and build customer relationships. By allowing customers to make purchases on credit, companies can increase sales volume and provide convenience to customers who may not have immediate funds to pay.

What types of transactions contribute to accounts receivable?

Accounts receivable are created through credit sales, where customers can defer payment for a specified period. Each sale made on credit contributes to the total accounts receivable balance.

How are accounts receivable managed?

Companies implement various strategies to manage accounts receivable effectively. This includes establishing credit policies, conducting credit checks on customers, sending timely and accurate invoices, monitoring aging reports to track outstanding balances, and following up with customers for payment collection.

What happens if accounts receivable are not paid?

Companies may employ collection efforts to recover the outstanding amounts if accounts receivable are unpaid within the agreed-upon terms. This can involve sending reminders, making phone calls, or even enlisting the help of collection agencies. Companies may sometimes need to write off bad debts if the receivables become uncollectible.

How are accounts receivable recorded in financial statements?

Accounts receivable are reported as assets on the balance sheet, typically under the current assets section. They represent the amount of money expected to be collected within one year from the date of the financial statements.

Unlock valuable insights into your cash flow, payment patterns, and customer behavior with automated invoice and accounts receivable systems. Leverage data analytics to make informed business decisions and drive growth. Start harnessing the power of InvoiceAction for more intelligent financial management!
Book a demo now

Can accounts receivable be sold or assigned to another party?

Yes, companies can sell their accounts receivable’ to third-party financial institutions, known as factoring companies. This allows companies to receive immediate cash by transferring the rights to collect the receivables to the factoring company, albeit at a discount.

How do accounts receivable impact cash flow?

Accounts receivable’ affect cash flow as they represent future cash inflows. When customers pay their outstanding balances, it increases the company’s cash flow. Efficient accounts receivable management is essential for maintaining a healthy cash flow position.

Looking for
Document Capture demo?
Request Demo