Contra Account Definition + Journal Entry Examples

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what is a contra revenue account

Once you wrap your head around how they work, you can use these accounts to improve your internal business processes, decipher how your sales and discounts are benefiting or hindering your business and make an effective plan going forwards. Contra revenue is a deduction from the gross revenue reported by a business, which results in net revenue. These deductions what is the difference between supplies and materials for bookkeeping are a common part of doing business, especially if you are trying to retain customers by offering them discounts from the list prices of your goods and services. Contra revenue transactions are recorded in one or more contra revenue accounts, which usually have a debit balance (as opposed to the credit balance in the typical revenue account).

Income Statement

However, one should always remember that the contra revenue account must be analyzed not separately but together with the revenue account, to see and to calculate the difference between these two accounts. When accounting for assets, the difference between the asset’s account balance and the contra account balance is referred to as the book value. There are two major methods of determining what should be booked into a contra account. The net amount – i.e. the difference between the account balance post-adjustment of the contra account balance – represents the book value shown on the balance sheet.

How Does a Contra Account Work in Accounting?

But sometimes, dissimilar transactions are important to consider together within a ledger. A contra account is an asset account that is kept at either a negative or zero balance and is used on a balance sheet to offset the positive balance of a paired asset. To put it another way, a contra account is an account listed within a general ledger with the purpose of capturing the reduced value of a paired or related account when the what is payroll accounting how to do payroll journal entries two are added together. A comprehensive way to determine the correctness of accounting in an organization is to compare the results of inventory with accounting data on the corresponding date. As you know, inventory should cover not only checking inventory, but also all assets, liabilities, etc. During the inventory, real data must be established for all accounting accounts (balance sheet items) on the corresponding date.

What Is a Contra Account?

It is described as “contra” because having a credit balance in an asset account is contrary to the normal or expected debit balance. (A debit balance in a contra asset account will violate the cost principle.) Learn more about contra asset accounts. A debit will be made to the bad debt expense for $4,000 to balance the journal entry.

what is a contra revenue account

Contra equity

  1. As your business acquires new assets (e.g., machinery, office equipment, vehicles), you record the initial purchase value in your Fixed Asset account.
  2. If the amounts of these line items are minimal, they may be aggregated for reporting purposes into a single contra revenue line item.
  3. It is described as “contra” because having a credit balance in an asset account is contrary to the normal or expected debit balance.
  4. Closing entries also set the balances of all temporary accounts (revenues, expenses, dividends) to zero for the next period.
  5. When accounting for assets, the difference between the asset’s account balance and the contra account balance is referred to as the book value.

This contra asset account may be entitled ‘Accumulated Depreciation’ and will record the cumulative depreciation of your plant assets, (property, plant and equipment). Business owners should understand the functions of contra accounts and their importance to maintaining accurate financial records. Also known as a bad debt reserve, this is a contra account listed within the current asset section of the balance sheet. The doubtful debt reserve holds a sum of money to allow a reduction in the accounts receivable ledger due to non-collection of debts.

The actual amount of uncollectible receivable is written off as an expense from Allowance for doubtful accounts. When a contra asset account is first recorded in a journal entry, the offset is to an expense. For example, an increase in the form of a credit to allowance for doubtful accounts is also recorded as a debit to increase bad debt expense. Contra accounts never appear on their own, by their very nature (being in ‘opposition to’), they always appear linked to a particular account.

The sales discount account represents the discount amount a company gives to customers as an incentive to purchase its products or services. Another type of contra account is known as “contra revenue,” which is used to adjust gross revenue to calculate net revenue, i.e. the “final” revenue figure listed on the income statement. The allowance for doubtful accounts – often called a “bad debt reserve” – would be considered a contra asset since it causes the accounts receivable (A/R) balance to decline.

Contra accounts are useful concepts in demonstrating the net effect of two accounts in binary opposition on your financial statement. The effect will generally create a pattern where the gross amount in the normal account, minus the contra account balance will equal the net amount. If you’re finding that you’re spending more time on the books than you’d like, and you would like to spend more time driving your passion, developing your business and continuing to move forwards, contact us today for a free quote.

However, that $1.4 billion is used to reduce the balance of gross accounts receivable. Therefore, contra accounts, though they represent a positive amount, are used to net reduce a gross amount. For this reason, contra accounts are primarily seen as having negative balances because they are used to reduce the balance of another account.

For its day-to-day operations, the business maintains a fleet of 75 identical 2016 Ford Explorer limousines, each initially retailing at $150 thousand. However, these vehicles have experienced significant wear and tear in the intervening years. And currently, Show-Fleur anticipates that it could only sell each one for roughly $50 thousand, meaning the depreciation per vehicle is $100 thousand.

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