Accounts Receivable

A company offers products and/or services to its customers to generate sales. The transaction takes place when the customer buys the goods and/or services at the price and conditions agreeable to both parties. Generally the transaction is completed when the customer pays after taking delivery of goods and/or services.

However in cases where there is a long-standing relationship between the company and a customer, the buyer may make payment at a future date. This also takes place when the two parties have a payment agreement.

The invoice as presented to the buyer and that transaction, which is recorded, is referred to as accounts receivable. When the customer pays his invoice, his account is credited with that amount. The accounts receivable ledger records the details of each customer’s transactions and payments received.

Since more and more companies are entering into a transaction with the customers by offering credit, managing accounts receivable can pose serious financial problems for a company if not efficiently managed. For instance, a receivable that remains unpaid for a long time can turn into a bad debt. At the end of the financial year, the total sum of accounts receivable is calculated. Applying discretion, uncollected invoices from the past 365 days (or as deemed fit by the company) are excluded from accounts receivable and classified under bad debts. The total amount thus arrived at is treated as a current asset on the balance sheet of the company.

Finally, an accounts receivable department should have a goal structure for each team member.

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