What is Notes Receivable? (Definition and Examples)

July 27, 2022

What is Notes Receivable? (Definition and Examples)

Notes receivable are debts that are due to the business from its customers. These can include promissory notes, open accounts or any other types of trade receivables. Notes receivable are usually recorded on the balance sheet as assets and are marked down to their present value.

The main purpose of recording notes receivable on a company's balance sheet is to show its ability to collect outstanding amounts owed by customers in the future. If this value is too high, it can be a sign that the company may have been extending credit too liberally.

In this article we will go into more detail, and answer the question: what are notes receivable? We will also explain everything else you need to know about this important financial concept.

What is an example of notes receivable?

Notes receivable are financial instruments that represent the debt owed by a debtor to the lender. The terms of notes receivable are such that they must be repaid by the borrower at some point in the future, typically within one year.

Notes receivable are often used as collateral for loans and other forms of financing. For example, an individual or company may use their notes receivable as collateral for a mortgage loan to purchase a home or other real estate property.

The most common type of note receivable is a promissory note, which is essentially an IOU from one party to another. This can be done through a variety of means including hand-written notes or electronic documents stored on the Internet or in computer databases

Is notes receivable an asset?

Notes receivable are generally considered to be an asset on a company's balance sheet. Notes receivable are basically loans that a company has extended to customers, and the company expects to be paid back at some point in the future. Note receivable assets can include both short-term and long-term notes payable.

The main difference between notes receivable and accounts receivables is that notes receivable are considered a more secure form of debt for companies, because they're secured by collateral or assets that can be sold if there is default on payment. Accounts receivables, however, are unsecured debts that don't have any collateral backing them up.

What is notes receivable on balance sheet?

Notes receivable are short-term, unsecured promissory notes that can be issued by a company to raise funds. Notes receivable are used as a financing source for the company and are typically issued to investors who are willing to accept a lower interest rate than they would receive from a bank or other lending institution.

Notes receivable appear on the balance sheet as an asset with a corresponding liability. The amount of any principal or interest payments received on the note will be recorded as cash inflows in the statement of cash flows.

Is notes receivable a debit or credit?

This is a common question, so are notes receivable debit or credit? The answer is that notes receivable is a credit. Notes receivable are treated as accounts receivable, which are listed on the balance sheet as assets. When an account receives payment, it is credited to the account and only then is it subsequently debited to Cash or Accounts Receivable.


Notes receivable are short-term loans made to companies or individuals. The principal amount is paid back in a series of scheduled payments over the course of one year or less. Notes receivable can be secured or unsecured, depending on the borrower's credit history.

The difference between notes receivable and traditional loans is that banks do not make these loans directly to borrowers. Instead, they sell them to investors and institutions who purchase them as investments.

Notes receivable accounting is relatively straightforward. We hope this brief guide has given you some insight into what notes receivable is, how it works, the difference between notes receivable vs accounts receivable and how to handle notes receivable on your balance sheet.  


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