Aging Method of Accounts Receivable Uncollectible Accounts

The technique is to sort receivables into time buckets (usually of 30 days each) and assign a progressively higher percentage of expected defaults to each time bucket. This time bucket reporting is readily available as a standard report in most accounting software packages. Many packages also allow one to alter the duration of each time bucket. Accounts receivable aging is a type of financial report used by businesses. It distinguishes open accounts receivables—or customers with outstanding balances—based on how long an invoice has been unpaid. The final point relates to companies with very little exposure to the possibility of bad debts, typically, entities that rarely offer credit to its customers.

Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. Over 1.8 million professionals use CFI to learn accounting, financial analysis, modeling and more. Start with a free account to explore 20+ always-free courses and hundreds of finance templates and cheat sheets. Both the aging and percentage of net sales methods, as well as other methods, are used in practice. To demonstrate the application of the aging method, we will use the data from the Porter Company.

What Is Aging?

If the Allowance for Doubtful Accounts has a balance from the previous month, the journal entry will be done for the difference between the current balance and the desired balance. In accrual accounting, if you bill a customer $500 for work done in December, you count that $500 as income in December, even if you haven’t received the money yet. If, however, Paulsen usually pays within 30 days, it would be prudent for Craig to reach out to them to determine why they are late paying now. This column shows balances that were due at some point in the past 30 days, but they have not yet been paid. Upgrading to a paid membership gives you access to our extensive collection of plug-and-play Templates designed to power your performance—as well as CFI’s full course catalog and accredited Certification Programs. It is determined by adding to $0 any additions to the allowance account during the year, then adding to that total any write-offs of Accounts Receivable during the year.

This allows them to collect these bills as soon as possible to move the money into the bank account. The aging method usually refers to the technique for estimating the amount of a company’s accounts receivable that will not be collected. The estimated amount that will not be collected should be the credit balance in the contra asset account Allowance for Doubtful Accounts. The debit balance in Accounts Receivable minus the credit balance in Allowance for Doubtful Accounts will result in the estimated amount of the receivables that will be converted to cash. An example of an accounts receivable aging report is sorting invoices by their outstanding date.

The aging report is an essential tool to estimate potential bad debts used to revise allowance for doubtful debts. The general method is to derive the historical percentage of invoice dollar amounts and apply the percentage total columns of the aging report. To identify the average age of receivables and identify potential losses from clients, businesses regularly prepare the accounts receivable aging report.


Aging reports help track how long customers owe money to identify collection issues or determine credit terms. With accounting software, you’ll be able to generate accounts receivable aging reports. QuickBooks accounting software is extremely flexible, allowing you to customize customer settings to send invoices and reminders. This way, you can stay on top of customer payments and take action when needed.

How to Use an Accounts Receivable Aging Report

Account receivables are to be created if an entity does the sale of goods on a credit basis. If an entity does not sell the goods on credit and maintains the cash policy then there will not be any accounts receivables to be created. When the Allowance for Doubtful Accounts account has a debit balance, it means that the original estimate did not match up with the reality of what happened with Bad Debts. Because it was an estimate, we can simply make a journal entry to true up the account. When making an adjustment to the account when it has a debit balance, take the balance and add it to the desired balance to determine the journal entry amount. The A/R aging shows the due dates (and past-the-due-dates) of unpaid customer invoices.

Type of Accounts Receivable Aging

Check out Maxio’s A/R Management Playbook to learn more ways to reduce A/R aging and increase your cash flow. It’s worth noting the reason we multiply by 360 days—as opposed to the year’s actual 365. Choosing 360 allows you to avoid overcomplicating your DSO with fractions.

You can think of each column on the accounts receivable aging report as a “silo” of amounts due or past due for each date range. Depending on their customers’ payment history and behavior, many business owners don’t get overly concerned about amounts in the 1-30 silo. They might give the customer a friendly phone call reminder or send them a statement with a reminder, but most business owners won’t take any further collection action at this point. Businesses can use accounts receivable aging to decide whether to continue doing business with a certain customer or whether to require them to pay in advance or in cash. It can be used to decide whether to pursue an invoice in court or through a collections agency. If the company cannot collect the amount owed, the accounts receivable aging report is used to write off the debt.

How Can I Improve the Accounts Receivable Aging?

In this article, I have explained how to calculate the aging of accounts receivable in Excel. If you have any suggestions, ideas, or feedback, please feel free to comment below. Accounts payable (A/P) aging report show the balances you owe to other businesses. This could be for services your company receives, inventory and supplies.

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