Scheduling Accounts Receivable
By Peter Emerson
The accounts receivable schedule is a listing of the customers making up the total accounts receivable balance. Most businesses prepare an accounts receivable schedule at the end of each month. Analyzing the accounts receivable schedule may help one identify potential cash flow problems. The typical accounts receivable aging schedule consists of six columns. The first column lists the name of each customer with an accounts receivable balance. The second column lists the total amount due from the customers. Column three is the "current column" that lists the amounts due from customers for sales made during the current month. Column four shows the unpaid amount due from customers for sales made in the previous month. These are the customers with accounts one to 30 days past due. Column five lists the amounts due from customers for sales made two months prior. These are customers with accounts 31 to 60 days past due. Finally, column six lists the amount due from customers with accounts over 60 days past due.
If you're using one of the many available accounting software packages for billing and accounts receivable processing, check it to see if it prepares the aging schedule automatically. Most accounting software packages will prepare an accounts receivable aging schedule at the touch of a button. The schedule allows one to spot problems in accounts receivable early enough to protect a business from major cash flow problems. Overdue amounts attributable to a number of customers may signal that your business needs to tighten its credit policy toward new and existing customers. The aging schedule also identifies any recent changes in the accounts making up your total accounts receivable balance. Almost every business has to deal with customers who are delinquent.
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