Pledging Accounts Receivable

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on January 30, 2024

Definition and Explanation

Pledging accounts receivable is essentially the same as using any asset as collateral for a loan. Cash is obtained from a lender by promising to repay.

If the loan is not repaid, the collateral will be converted to cash, and the cash will be used to retire the debt.

The receivables can be either an identified set of notes and accounts or a general group in which new ones can be added and old ones retired.

The collection of a pledged receivable has no impact on the loan balance.

The pledging agreement usually calls for the substitution of another receivable for the one collected.

As an example, suppose that Sample Company borrows $80,000 on 31 December 2023, and agrees to pay back $81,600 on 1 April 2024.

Further, it pledges $100,000 of trade receivables for the loan. The company would make three journal entries as follows:

Pledging Accounts Receivable Journal Entry

The last two entries can be combined, but they are shown separately here to facilitate a comparison of pledging with the other approaches.

The only financial statement disclosures provided for pledged receivables are notes or parenthetical comments.

A similar notation is provided for the notes payable.

Assignor Collects

As an alternative to pledging, the company may decide to assign its receivables to a lending institution.

Under this arrangement, the original holder essentially transfers title to the third party but agrees to collect the receivables and pay the cash to the factor.

Suppose that Sample Company obtains $80,000 cash on 31 December 2023 by assigning $100,000 of its trade receivables.

The company agrees to place the collections in a special restricted checking account from which it will repay the original $80 000 plus a $2,400 finance charge on April 1, 2024.

These journal entries would be made as follows:

Pledging Accounts Receivable Journal Entry

To record partial collection of the assigned accounts:

Partial Collection of Assigned Accounts Journal Entry

To accrue the finance charge:

Finance Charge Accrued Journal Entry

To reclassify the uncollected accounts and unrestricted cash:

Reclassification Journal Entry


The disclosures that would be provided on various balance sheet dates are shown in the following example, under the simplifying assumption that no other activity took place.

Pledging Accounts Receivable Example

Notice that the payable to the factor is contra to the assigned accounts. Any restricted cash balance is, in turn, contra to the payable account.

Most arrangements of this type call for more frequent payments than the example shows.

The net result of the assignment is that Sample Company obtained $80,000 by giving up $82,400 of receivables.

Pledging Accounts Receivable FAQs

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website or view his author profiles on Amazon, Nasdaq and Forbes.