Recording Notes Receivable Transactions

For each sale, you issue a notes receivable to the company, with an interest rate of 10% and a maturity date 18 months after the issue date. If a customer signs a promissory note in exchange for merchandise, the entry is recorded by debiting notes receivable and crediting sales. Since the note has matured, the holder or payee removes the note from Notes Receivable and records the amount due in Accounts Receivable.

For example, when the previously mentioned customer requested the $2,000 loan on January 1, 2018, terms of repayment included a maturity date of 24 months. This means that the loan will mature in two years, and the principal and interest are due at that time. The following journal entries occur at the note’s established start date. To illustrate notes receivable scenarios, let’s return to Billie’s Watercraft Warehouse (BWW) as the example.

Double Entry Bookkeeping

So, it can accrue a bad debt balance which it can use to write off any notes receivable that later becomes uncollectible. Hence, a dishonored note is a note that the maker defaulted to pay at maturity. The debit impact of this transaction is recognition of the notes receivables in the balance sheet.

  • Square says that the advantage of this percentage-of-sales method is that the business does not have to make large payments when business is slow.
  • For sales made to the customer on credit, the amount receivable shows the debit balance on the asset side.
  • To show the initial recording of notes receivable, assume that on 1 July, the Fenton Company accepts a $2,000, 12%, 4-month note receivable from the Zoe Company in settlement of an open account receivable.

By transferring the note to Accounts Receivable, the remaining balance in the notes receivable account would only contain the amounts of notes that are yet to mature. ABC Company will also indicate the default on Company XYZ’s subsidiary accounts receivable ledger. Subsequently, if the accounts receivable prove uncollectible, the amount will then be written off against the Allowances account. According to these rules, we record assets, dividends, and expenses as a debit and not a credit.

Format of Notes Receivable

However, if the principal amount to be collected is expected to take more than a year, it is reported as a Non-current Asset in the balance sheet (under the investment section). Remember that keeping accurate records and monitoring your note receivables regularly can help you avoid potential issues down the line. And don’t forget about the importance of managing your cash flow effectively by collecting payments on time and making smart investment decisions. Mastering the art of note receivable finances is crucial for any business that wants to maintain a healthy cash flow. Understanding debits and credits, as well as how to calculate interest on a note receivable, are essential skills to have in your financial toolkit. With a promissory note, the third party who issued the note (called the maker) promises in writing, to pay an amount of money (principal and interest) to the business (called the payee) at a given time or on demand.

Parties in the arrangement for note receivable

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If the interest is being treated as simple interest, with no compounding, the unpaid interest is just carried forward in the Interest Receivable account. Note receivable in January has a debit balance of $200,000 that represents the original amount of the note. At the end of the year, we posted $4,055.56 to interest receivable when we recognized the amount of revenue earned for October through December. In reference to our preceding example, assuming Jenny had agreed instead to pay all of the interest income on the maturity date of the note, which will be in 90 days. This would mean that Anne accrues the interest in each of the three months of the note. After the third month, the note has now been completely paid off, and Anne’s Apparel has recorded a total of $246 in interest revenue over the three-month period.

Mastering the Art of Note Receivable Finances: Understanding Debits and Credits

For example, if you have a $10,000 note with an annual interest rate of 8%, your monthly interest rate would be 0.67%. If you started with an outstanding balance of $10,000 at the beginning of January, then you would owe $66.67 in interest for that month. Once you have the annual interest rate, divide it by 12 to get the monthly interest rate. Multiply this number by the outstanding balance on the note at the beginning of each month to calculate how much interest is owed for that month.

d month

Interest Receivable decreasing (credit) reflects the 2018 interest owed from the customer that is paid to the company at the end of 2019. The second possibility is one entry recognizing principal and interest collection. When interest is due at the end of the note (24 months), the company may record the collection of the loan principal and the accumulated interest.

At the maturity date of a note, the maker is responsible for the principal plus interest. The payee should record the interest earned and remove the note from its Notes Receivable account. Thus, the payee of the note should debit Accounts Receivable for the maturity value of the note and credit Notes Receivable for the note’s face value and Interest Revenue for the interest. As the holder of the note, your business acts as a creditor and has the right to receive payments from the debtor over time. The borrower must sign this legally binding document which outlines all repayment details such as interest rates and payment schedules. For example, the maker owes $200,000 to the payee at a 10% interest rate, and pays no interest during the first year.


Standardization via tools such as collections email templates can reduce errors, increase customer satisfaction, and improve cost-effectiveness. Automation can further improve the above, as well as help boost revenue, increase cash flow visibility, speed up collections, and deliver superior customer experiences. Maker is the person/individual/organization that issues promissory notes. Understanding what notes receivable are and how they work is crucial for anyone looking to invest in this type of financial instrument.


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