What is Accounts Receivable Financing?

Accounts Receivable Financing, also known as invoice financing, is a financial arrangement where businesses use their outstanding invoices to secure immediate funds from a lender. This type of financing is especially useful for UK businesses that need to improve cash flow, manage working capital more efficiently, and maintain liquidity without taking on additional debt.


Key Aspects of Accounts Receivable Financing:

  1. Definition:
    • Accounts Receivable Financing involves using a business’s accounts receivable (unpaid invoices) as collateral to obtain a cash advance from a financing company. The business receives a percentage of the invoice value upfront and pays a fee for the financing service.
  2. How It Works:
    • Invoice Submission: The business submits its unpaid invoices to the financing company.
    • Advance Payment: The financing company advances a percentage of the invoice value, typically ranging from 70% to 90%.
    • Collection: The business continues to collect payment from its customers. Alternatively, the financing company may take over the collection process.
    • Final Payment: Once the customer pays the invoice, the financing company releases the remaining balance to the business, minus the financing fee.
  3. Benefits:
    • Improved Cash Flow: Provides immediate access to funds, improving liquidity and allowing the business to meet its short-term obligations.
    • No Additional Debt: Unlike traditional loans, accounts receivable financing does not add debt to the balance sheet, as it is not a loan but an advance on receivables.
    • Flexible Financing: The amount of financing available grows with the business’s sales, providing a scalable solution.
    • Outsourced Collections: In some arrangements, the financing company handles collections, reducing administrative burdens.
  4. Costs:
    • Financing Fee: The financing company charges a fee for its services, usually a percentage of the invoice value. This fee can vary based on factors such as the creditworthiness of the customers and the volume of invoices financed.
    • Advance Rate: The initial payment is a percentage of the invoice value, with the remainder paid after the customer pays the invoice.
  5. Types of Accounts Receivable Financing:
    • Factoring: The financing company buys the invoices outright and takes over the collection process.
    • Invoice Discounting: The business retains control over its sales ledger and collections, with the financing company advancing funds against the invoices.
  6. Eligibility:
    • Businesses with strong creditworthy customers and consistent sales volumes are more likely to qualify for accounts receivable financing.

Example of Accounts Receivable Financing:

A UK-based technology company has £100,000 in outstanding invoices with 60-day payment terms. To improve cash flow, the company uses accounts receivable financing.

  • Financing Agreement: The company enters into an agreement with a financing company that offers an 85% advance rate and charges a 2% financing fee.
  • Advance Payment: The financing company advances £85,000 (85% of £100,000) to the technology company.
  • Collection: The financing company either collects the full invoice amount of £100,000 from the customers or the technology company collects it.
  • Final Payment: After deducting the 2% financing fee (£2,000), the financing company pays the remaining £13,000 to the technology company.


  • Advance Payment: £100,000 × 85% = £85,000
  • Financing Fee: £100,000 × 2% = £2,000
  • Final Payment: £100,000 – £85,000 – £2,000 = £13,000


Accounts Receivable Financing is a valuable financial tool for UK businesses that need to improve cash flow and manage working capital efficiently. By converting outstanding invoices into immediate cash, businesses can maintain liquidity, meet their financial obligations, and focus on growth. Understanding the benefits, costs, and types of accounts receivable financing can help businesses make informed decisions about whether this financing option is suitable for their needs.