Balance Sheet Savvy

Unveiling the Power of Notes Receivable: A Key Asset for Financial Success

Notes receivable are an essential component of a company’s financial assets. They are formal written promises to pay a specific amount of money, along with any accrued interest, at a future date.

In this article, we will explore the definition of notes receivable, discuss how they are reported in balance sheets, and provide examples to illustrate their application in real-world scenarios.

1) Definition of Notes Receivable

1.1 Definition of Notes Receivable

– Notes receivable, also known as promissory notes, are a type of asset that represents the amount of money owed to a company by a party. – These written promissory notes serve as legally binding agreements between the lender and the borrower, outlining the terms and conditions of the loan.

– The party issuing the note, also known as the maker, promises to repay the principal amount along with any agreed-upon interest within a specified time frame. – Notes receivable can be categorized as either current assets or noncurrent assets, depending on the maturity date of the note.

– Current assets are those that are expected to be converted into cash within one year, while noncurrent assets have a maturity period beyond one year. – Including notes receivable in investments may enhance a company’s liquidity and investment portfolio diversity.

1.2 Reporting Notes Receivable

– Notes receivable are reported on a company’s balance sheet as part of the current asset section. – The balance sheet date is the reference point for assessing the current and noncurrent classification of notes receivable.

– In the lender’s balance sheet, notes receivable are categorized as a current asset if they mature within a year from the balance sheet date. Noncurrent notes receivable are those with a maturity period beyond one year.

– The balance sheet also provides information about the remaining principal amount of notes receivable.

2) Examples of Notes Receivable

2.1 Example 1 – Loan to Supplier

– Let’s consider a company that provides a loan to one of its suppliers. The supplier signs a promissory note agreeing to repay the loan amount within six months, with an additional 5% interest.

– The company records the loan as a debit to its notes receivable account, reflecting the amount owed by the supplier. Simultaneously, the company credits the cash account, as it has provided the loan to the supplier.

– As the supplier makes periodic interest payments and the principal repayment, the company records the interest and principal as debits to cash and credits to notes receivable, respectively. – Once the supplier completely repays the loan, the notes receivable account reflects a zero balance.

2.2 Example 2 – Bank Loan

– Imagine a company seeking a loan from a bank to finance its expansion plans. The company signs a promissory note agreeing to the bank’s terms, including an annual interest rate and a repayment schedule.

– The company initially records the bank loan as a debit to its cash account, reflecting the inflow of cash. – Subsequently, as the company makes periodic interest payments, it records those payments as debits to the interest expense account and credits to the cash account.

– When repaying the principal amount, the company debits the bank loan account and credits the cash account based on the agreed-upon repayment schedule. – Once the company completely repays the bank loan, the notes receivable account reflects a zero balance.


In conclusion, notes receivable are important financial instruments that represent the amounts owed to a company. Understanding the definition and reporting of notes receivable is crucial for accurate financial reporting.

The examples discussed in this article highlight the practical application of notes receivable in real-world scenarios, providing a comprehensive view of their usage. By properly managing and accounting for notes receivable, companies can enhance their cash flow and financial stability.

In summary, notes receivable are vital assets that represent money owed to a company, documented through promissory notes. They are reported on balance sheets as current or noncurrent assets, depending on their maturity date.

The examples of loans to a supplier and from a bank illustrate their practical application. Proper management and accounting for notes receivable can enhance cash flow and financial stability.

Understanding and effectively utilizing these financial instruments is crucial for businesses to thrive and maintain healthy financial positions. Remember, notes receivable play a significant role in a company’s financial health and should be managed with care and attention.

Popular Posts