What is a Note receivable?

A “Note Receivable” is a financial instrument representing a debt owed by a borrower to the holder of the note. It is a written promise or guarantee of payment, usually specifying the amount of money to be repaid and the terms and conditions of the repayment.

Key characteristics of a Note Receivable include:


  1. Unpaid Debt: It signifies a financial obligation or amount of money that is currently owed by a borrower to the holder of the note. This debt remains unpaid until the borrower fulfills the repayment terms as outlined in the note.


  1. Written Guarantee: Note receivables are typically documented in writing, providing a formal record of the debt and the terms of repayment. This written agreement helps protect the interests of both the lender (holder of the note) and the borrower.


  1. Asset Entry: In financial accounting, a note receivable is recorded as an asset on the balance sheet of the entity holding the note. This reflects the future cash flow that the note is expected to generate as the borrower repays the debt.


  1. Specific Dollar Amount: The note specifies the exact dollar amount of the loan or debt, making it clear how much the borrower is obligated to repay.


Note receivables are commonly found on the asset side of a company’s balance sheet, indicating the total value of loans due to be repaid by borrowers. These assets represent future cash flows to the entity holding the notes, and they are considered valuable assets that can impact the financial health of the organization.


Lending money and creating note receivables is a common practice in various financial transactions, such as loans from banks, financing agreements, and personal loans. The note serves as a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions of the loan, including the interest rate, repayment schedule, and any collateral or security interests.


While note receivables are considered assets, their value can be influenced by factors like the creditworthiness of the borrower, changes in interest rates, and the overall economic environment. They are important financial instruments for businesses, as they represent the potential for future cash inflows and are a critical component of financial reporting and analysis.