Journal Entry for Prepaid Expenses With Examples


According to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), expenses should be recorded in the same accounting period as the benefit generated from the related asset. For example, if a large copying machine is leased by a company for a period of 12 months, the company benefits from its use over the full-time period. Prepaid expenses are recognized as assets, while accrued expenses represent liabilities. For prepaid expenses, the two main accounts you’ll need to focus on are assets and expenses. These accounts are increased by debits and decreased by credits. In simpler terms, prepaid expenses are assets that turn into expenses as their value drops.

  • Depreciation expense is usually recognized at the end of a month.
  • Adjusting journal entries are used to reconcile transactions that have not yet closed, but which straddle accounting periods.
  • (Notice in the journal entry above that the debit account is “Equipment,” NOT “Equipment Expense”).
  • We now record the adjusting entries from January 31, 2019, for Printing Plus.

However, the company still needs to accrue interest expenses for the months of December, January, and February. A prepaid expense means that you are paying the full amount for a product or service you haven’t received yet. The software directly integrates with your bank account, so whenever a business expense is made, the appropriate journal entry is automatically created. Want to learn more about recording financial transactions and doing accounting for your small business?

Income Statement Under Absorption Costing? (All You Need to Know)

At the end of the month 1/12 of the prepaid insurance will be used up, and you must account for what has expired. After one month, $100 of the prepaid amount has expired, and you have only 11 months of prepaid insurance left. In addition, on your income statement you will show that you did not use ANY insurance to run the business during the month, when in fact you used $100 worth. It looks like you just follow the rules and all of the numbers come out 100 percent correct on all financial statements. Some companies do this by recording revenue before they should.

Likewise, the $5,000 is recorded as a prepaid expense in the current asset of the balance sheet. Hence, there is no impact on the income statement as the expense has not incurred yet. Consider the previous example from the point of view of the customer who pays $1,800 for six months of insurance coverage. Initially, she records the transaction by increasing one asset account (prepaid insurance) with a debit and by decreasing another asset account (cash) with a credit. After one month, she makes an adjusting entry to increase (debit) insurance expense for $300 and to decrease (credit) prepaid insurance for $300. Prepaid expenses may need to be adjusted at the end of the accounting period.

This is posted to the Interest Receivable T-account on the debit side (left side). This is posted to the Interest Revenue T-account on the credit side (right side). In the journal entry, Depreciation Expense–Equipment has a debit of $75. This is posted to the Depreciation Expense–Equipment T-account on the debit side (left side). Accumulated Depreciation–Equipment has a credit balance of $75.

Types of Adjusting Journal Entries

Balance sheet accounts are assets, liabilities, and stockholders’ equity accounts, since they appear on a balance sheet. The second rule tells us that cash can never be in an adjusting entry. This is true because paying or receiving cash triggers a journal entry. This means that every transaction with cash will be recorded at the time of the exchange.

Automate Prepaid Expenses with Accounting Software

Most often, this is where the prepaid expense line item is recorded. If any prepaid expense will not be used within a year, then it must be recorded as a long-term asset. Companies make prepayments for goods or services such as leased office equipment or insurance coverage that provide continual benefits over time. Goods or services of this nature cannot be expensed immediately because the expense would not line up with the benefit incurred over time from using the asset.

What Is the Difference Between Prepayment and Prepaid Expense?

The word “expense” implies that the taxes will expire, or be used up, within the month. An expense is a cost of doing business, and it cost $100 in business license taxes this month to run the business. There are two ways this information can be worded, both resulting in the same adjusting entry above. The word “expense” implies that the rent will expire, or be used up, within the month. An expense is a cost of doing business, and it cost $1,000 in rent this month to run the business. The word “expense” implies that the insurance will expire, or be used up, within the month.

Had the payment been made by the scheduled date, the entire amount would have been recognized as a prepaid expense as it relates to the subsequent accounting period. Prepaid expense for 10 months should be recognized since it relates to the subsequent accounting period and therefore should not form part of the current year’s expense. Prepayments and prepaid expenses are different from one another. For example, if you have a debt obligation, such as a loan, and you owe $1,000 next month but decide to pay that amount this month, that is a prepayment. A prepaid expense on the other hand is any good or service that you’ve paid for but have not used yet. Current assets are assets that a company plans to use or sell within a year; they are short-term assets.

Each of these is recorded as an asset at the time it is purchased. Its initial value, and the amount in the journal entry for the purchase, is what it costs. After 12 full months, at the end of May in the year after the business license was initially purchased, all of the prepaid taxes will have expired.

Adjusting Journal Entry Definition: Purpose, Types, and Example

Also, cash might not be paid or earned in the same period as the expenses or incomes are incurred. To deal with the mismatches between cash and transactions, deferred or accrued accounts are created to record the cash payments or actual transactions. They are also known as unexpired expenses or expenses paid in advance. It is important to show prepaid expenses journal entry in the financial statements to avoid understatement of earnings.

The first portion, comprising received benefits, is an expense. XYZ LTD entered into an insurance contract for 12 months starting from 1st January 2012. Payment was scheduled to be made in advance by no later than 25th December 2011. ABC LTD pays advance rent to its landowner of $10,000 on 31st December 2010 in respect of office rent for the following year. The entry is mapped to the respective accounts, which are debited and credited accordingly.

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