5 Reasons Why Accounts Receivable is Considered an Asset

Apr 25, 2024

Every business owner juggles incoming and outgoing cash flow. However, the challenge often extends to handling funds that are due but not yet received from customers, known as accounts receivable. The status of accounts receivable as an asset often raises questions. Unlike readily available cash, accounts receivable represent a future inflow of cash based on credit sales. 

This article delves into the core principles that establish accounts receivable as a valuable asset on a company’s balance sheet. We will explore the inherent value they possess, the reasons why it’s an asset, and the considerations for effective management to ensure their true potential is realized.

What is Accounts Receivable 

Accounts receivable (AR) refers to the balance of money owed to a business by its customers for goods or services that have been delivered or rendered but not yet paid for. It represents a claim that the business has on its customers for future cash inflows.

5 Reasons Why Accounts Receivable is an Asset

Represents Potential Future Cash Flow 

Accounts receivable signifies money owed by customers who have purchased goods or services but haven’t paid yet. Proper collection efforts, translates to future cash inflows, increasing the company’s financial resources.

Source of Liquidity

A healthy level of accounts receivable acts as a short-term source of liquidity.  This means the company can use this receivable amount to meet ongoing operational needs like paying bills or employee salaries until customer payments arrive.

Indicator of Sales Growth

In some cases, an increase in accounts receivable can indicate growing sales, which is a positive sign for a business.  However, it’s important to monitor this metric alongside collection rates to ensure the receivables are not becoming overdue.

Improves Cash Flow Cycle

According to an article by Business News Daily, accounts receivable is the lifeblood of a business’s cash flow. Ideally, a company wants to minimize the time between selling goods/services and receiving customer payments. Healthy accounts receivable management helps achieve this by ensuring a steady stream of incoming cash, shortening the cash flow cycle, and improving overall financial health.

Can be Used as Collateral

In some situations, accounts receivable can be used as collateral to secure loans from banks or other financial institutions. This provides businesses with additional financing options to support their operations or growth initiatives.

How to Effectively Manage Accounts Receivable?

Implement Clear Credit Policies

Creditworthiness Assessment: Establish a system to evaluate customer creditworthiness before extending credit. This might involve credit checks, references, or minimum order values.

Credit Limits: Set clear credit limits for each customer based on their creditworthiness. This helps control the amount of outstanding debt and minimizes risk.

Payment Terms: Clearly define your payment terms, including the due date, late payment penalties, and early payment discounts (if offered). Communicate these terms clearly on invoices and sales agreements.

Streamline Billing and Collection Processes

Accurate and Timely Invoicing: Ensure invoices are accurate, contain all necessary details (products/services, quantities, prices, payment terms), and are sent promptly after each sale. Consider electronic invoicing for faster delivery and improved efficiency.

Multiple Payment Options: Offer customers a variety of convenient payment options like online portals, credit card processing, ACH transfers, or checks. This increases accessibility and encourages faster payments.

Automated Reminders and Follow-Ups: Set up automated email or SMS reminders for approaching due dates and overdue invoices. Implement a clear escalation process for late payments, with increasing levels of communication and potential late fees.

Prioritize Communication and Customer Relationships

Open Communication: Maintain open communication with customers regarding their outstanding balances. Provide clear information about their account status and be available to answer questions or address concerns.

Payment Plans: For customers facing difficulty paying their entire balance at once, consider offering flexible payment plans to facilitate repayment and maintain positive relationships.

Customer Service: Focus on providing excellent customer service throughout the sales and collection process. Satisfied customers are more likely to prioritize on-time payments.

Leverage Technology and Automation

Accounting Software: Utilize accounting software with integrated AR management features. This can automate tasks like invoicing, sending reminders, and tracking overdue payments, saving time and improving efficiency.

Data Analytics: Utilize data analytics tools to gain insights into customer payment behavior, identify trends, and predict potential collection issues. This allows for proactive management and targeted strategies.

Monitor and Analyze AR Performance

Track Key Metrics: Regularly monitor key AR metrics like average collection period, aging reports, and bad debt ratios. This helps identify areas for improvement and assess the overall effectiveness of your AR management strategies.

Take Corrective Actions: Based on your analysis, take corrective actions to address any problems. This might involve revising credit policies, improving collection procedures, or implementing stricter late payment penalties.

Why Choose First Credit Services

First Credit Services emerges is a BPO company dedicated to redefining and optimizing accounts receivables management, including debt collection services for businesses across diverse industries.Our proven strategies and efficient processes are designed to shrink AR days, boost customer engagement, and enhance cash flow. These improvements are essential for optimizing receivables management and driving your business’s financial health. 

One of the primary benefits of outsourcing accounts receivables management services to FCS is a well-executed process that ensures prompt payment. We strive to provide the highest level of customer service by integrating ourselves into your organization, understanding the nuances of your trade, and training our staff accordingly.

To learn more about our role in streamlining your accounts receivable process visit our website.

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