Selling Dental Practice Accounts Receivable: Pros & Cons


Dental practice transitions are complex and require careful planning to ensure a smooth and successful transition. One of the critical issues that dentists face during a transition is managing accounts receivable. Accounts receivable refers to the amount of money that patients owe to the dental practice for services rendered. In a dental practice transition, it is essential to decide whether to sell the accounts receivable or not. This article explores the pros and cons of selling accounts receivable in a dental practice transition.

Definition of Accounts Receivable

Accounts receivable is an asset on a dental practice’s balance sheet that represents the amount of money owed by patients for services rendered. In other words, it is the money that patients owe the dental practice for the services they received but have not yet paid. Accounts receivable is an essential indicator of a dental practice’s financial health and its ability to manage cash flow.

Pros of Selling Accounts Receivable

One of the primary benefits of selling accounts receivable is that it provides immediate cash flow to the dental practice. This can be particularly important during a transition when the dental practice may need additional funds to cover expenses related to the transition. Selling accounts receivable can also help the dental practice reduce its financial risk by transferring the risk of non-payment to the buyer.

Cons of Selling Accounts Receivable

Although selling accounts receivable can provide immediate cash flow and reduce financial risk, it also comes with some drawbacks. One of the main disadvantages of selling accounts receivable is that the dental practice may receive less money than the total amount owed by patients. Buyers of accounts receivable typically purchase them at a discount, which means that the dental practice may lose some of the value of the accounts receivable.

Impact on Patient Relationships

Selling accounts receivable can also impact patient relationships. Patients may be confused or concerned if they receive a notice that their account has been sold to a third party. This can be particularly problematic if the buyer uses aggressive collection tactics that damage the dental practice’s reputation. The dental practice must consider the potential impact on patient relationships before deciding to sell accounts receivable.

Alternatives to Selling Accounts Receivable

If the dental practice is hesitant to sell accounts receivable, there are alternative options to consider. One alternative is to offer payment plans to patients. This can help patients pay off their outstanding balances over time while providing the dental practice with a steady cash flow. Another option is to work with a factoring company that can provide immediate cash flow by advancing funds based on outstanding accounts receivable.

Factors to Consider

Before deciding whether to sell accounts receivable, the dental practice must consider several factors. These factors include the size of the accounts receivable, the age of the accounts receivable, the creditworthiness of patients, and the cost of selling accounts receivable. The dental practice must also consider its long-term financial goals and how selling accounts receivable fits into those goals.


Selling accounts receivable can be an effective way for dental practices to generate immediate cash flow and reduce financial risk during a transition. However, it is essential to consider the potential drawbacks, such as the impact on patient relationships and the loss of value of the accounts receivable. Ultimately, the decision to sell accounts receivable should be based on the dental practice’s financial goals and the specific circumstances of the transition.

Are you looking for a trusted dental CPA firm to help manage your practice’s finances? Look no further than Ash Dental CPA! Our team of experts specializes in dental accounting, and can help with everything from tax planning to buying and selling dental practices. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and see how we can help your practice thrive!