How to Get Accounts Receivable

Accounts receivable is a crucial aspect of any business, as it represents the money owed to the company by its customers. Collecting accounts receivable in a timely manner is essential for maintaining a healthy cash flow and ensuring the financial stability of the business. Here are some effective strategies to help you get accounts receivable efficiently:

1. Clear Terms and Conditions: Clearly communicate your payment terms and conditions to your customers. Make sure they understand when payment is due, the accepted payment methods, and any penalties for late payments.

2. Prompt Invoicing: Send out invoices promptly after goods or services have been provided. The sooner you issue an invoice, the sooner you can expect payment.

3. Follow-Up Calls: Regularly follow up with customers who have outstanding invoices. Politely remind them of the payment due date and inquire about the status of their payment.

4. Offer Incentives: Provide incentives for early payment, such as discounts or rewards. This can encourage customers to pay promptly and improve your accounts receivable turnover.

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5. Online Payment Options: Offer convenient online payment options to your customers. This can reduce payment delays and make it easier for customers to settle their debts.

6. Establish Credit Policies: Develop clear credit policies and procedures to evaluate the creditworthiness of new and existing customers. This can help minimize the risk of late or non-payment.

7. Collections Agency: If all efforts to collect accounts receivable fail, consider engaging a collections agency. They have expertise in recovering outstanding debts and can assist in legal actions if necessary.


1. What is the difference between accounts receivable and accounts payable?

Accounts receivable represents the money owed to a company by its customers, while accounts payable represents the money owed by the company to its vendors or suppliers.

2. How can I prevent accounts receivable from becoming bad debt?

Regularly review and assess the creditworthiness of your customers before extending credit. Timely follow-up and clear communication can also help prevent accounts receivable from becoming bad debt.

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3. Is it legal to charge penalties for late payments?

Yes, it is legal to charge penalties for late payments, as long as they are clearly stated in your payment terms and conditions.

4. How long should I wait before engaging a collections agency?

It is recommended to wait for at least 90 days before engaging a collections agency. However, this may vary depending on your business and industry.

5. What is the average accounts receivable turnover ratio?

The accounts receivable turnover ratio measures how quickly a business collects its outstanding receivables. The average ratio varies by industry, but a higher ratio is generally preferred as it indicates a faster collection of receivables.

6. Can I use accounts receivable as collateral for a loan?

Yes, accounts receivable can be used as collateral for a loan. This is known as accounts receivable financing or factoring.

7. How can I streamline my accounts receivable process?

Implementing an automated accounting system, utilizing online invoicing and payment platforms, and regularly monitoring your accounts receivable can help streamline the process and improve efficiency.

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