Contra Account Contra Revenue Account Examples Video & Lesson Transcript

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While returns are more common for e-commerce businesses, for SaaS services, this could also look like a money-back customer satisfaction guarantee after a specific time period. The accounting department needs to record sales returns to help them keep accurate accounting data, analyze trends and understand profits. These contras reduce the equity account and carry a debit balance. Contra equity reduces the total number of outstanding shares on the balance sheet.

If the company is manufacturing such products that have market competition, then the company will have to maintain the policy of sales return, sales allowance, and sales discount. A contra liability account is a liability account that is debited in order to offset a credit to another liability account. Those who are struggling with recording contra accounts may benefit from utilizing some of the best accounting software currently available. 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. By keeping the original dollar amount intact in the original account and reducing the figure in a separate account, the financial information is more transparent for financial reporting purposes.

What is a Contra Revenue Account?

It is linked to specific accounts and is reported as reductions from these accounts. Compare the discounts given to similar types of customers by different sales teams and approval processes. You will quickly find that some managers give high discounts quite easily, compared to others who are in identical management situations. Every time cash, checks, money orders, or postal orders are deposited in the bank, the cash book is debited. That’s to say, an entry is made in the bank column on the debit side of the cash book.

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. There are three commonly used contra revenue accounts which are. Also there is another type of contra revenue account that is also very wide-spread in bookkeeping and accounting.

Credit BalanceCredit Balance is the capital amount that a company owes to its customers & it is reflected on the right side of the General Ledger Account. Outstanding SharesOutstanding shares are the stocks available with the company’s shareholders at a given point of time after excluding the shares that the entity had repurchased. It is shown as a part of the owner’s equity in the liability side of the company’s balance sheet. There is no universal standard discount rate, and your results will vary. There are countries where customers expect relatively high discounts during the negotiation process. The most extreme expectations I have seen have been in China and some Middle-Eastern countries.

  • Like sales returns, companies have to record sales allowances separately.
  • The sales discounts contra revenue account records the discounts given to customers on sales made to them, normally a cash or settlement discount.
  • Company K’s income statement will report the gross Sales of $100,000 minus the sales returns and allowances of $500 and the resulting net sales of $99,500.
  • When the two balances are offset against each other they show the net balance of both accounts.
  • For example, suppose a business has an amount of 1,000 owed by a customer for services provided on account, but also has an amount of 200 due to a supplier for goods it has purchased.

For this reason, contra accounts are primarily seen as having negative balances because they are used to reduce the balance of another account. During this process, the goods may go under physical changes or deformities. Once customers receive the products, they may not work as intended or suffered damages. In exchange, the company will compensate the customers by repaying them or selling them other products. The company that receives the goods back must return them as sales returns.

You must debit the Sales Returns and Allowances account to show a decrease in revenue. Home Depot reports that returns are estimated at the time of the sale based on historic returns numbers. The amount is not reported, and the net sales amount is reported on the income statement. The allowance for doubtful accounts is not specifically reported, but the 10 reported that the allowance is immaterial to the amount. This make sense because Home Depot wouldn’t be carrying accounts receivable with long payment terms.

As you saw in the example, contra accounts can be an important part of your financial statement analysis, but they are hard to find. Companies bury them in the footnotes and often don’t break out the actual calculation. Still, it is important when possible to consider how the net accounts are calculated and be wary of companies that are reporting a ton of bad debts.

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Contra accounts do that by preserving the purchase and acquisition costs of their corresponding accounts and disclosing any deduction in their balances. They can present more information about the assets and liabilities of the company. Such information includes the purchase cost of an asset , the amount of depreciation written off for that asset, etc. Rather than refunding a customer with cash, you might credit merchandise at your business. Accounting for a purchase return with store credit is similar to a cash refund.

The reduction in the sale price of a product due to quality defects or mistakes, in an effort to encourage the customer to keep a product with minor defects in exchange for the discount. Contra LiabilityFinancing fees in M&A are an example of a contra liability, as the fees are amortized over the debt’s maturity – which in turn reduces the tax burden until the end of the term. A contra account enables a company to report the original amount while also reporting the appropriate downward adjustment. You would debit $50,000 as Accounts Receivable and credit $50,000 as Sales. If your client returns $1000 of the products bought, you record Sales Returns and Allowances worth $1,000 as debit and credit $1000 as Accounts Receivable.

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They serve an invaluable function in financial reporting that enhances transparency in accounting books. For Sage 300 CRE its more a matter of Description and then where the account falls on a. This is for work theyve racked up but arent ready to bill the clients yet.

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Therefore the trade discount allowed should be shown in expenses side of trading account. A contra revenue account is a revenue account that is expected to have a debit balance. As an revenue account is normally a credit balance a contra revenue account will normally be a. Contra liability accounts such as discount on bonds payable and discount on notes payable usually carry debit balances.

The account is typically used when a company initially pays for an expense item, and is then reimbursed by a third party for some or all of this initial outlay. For example, a company pays for medical insurance on behalf of its employees, which it records in an employee benefits expense account. Then, when the employee-paid portion of the expense is paid to the company by employees, these reimbursements are recorded in a benefits contra expense account. The net effect of the two accounts is a reduced total benefits expense for the company. Some of the most common contra assets include accumulated depreciation, allowance for doubtful accounts, and reserve for obsolete inventory.

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The impact to the how to calculate stockholders equity statement includes the original sale, the contra account for returns, and the debit to expenses for estimated uncollectible based on net receivable. The balance sheet impact includes the remaining account receivable after returns and the estimated uncollectible. Including contra accounts on a balance sheet is important as it allows for a more transparent view of a company’s financial position. This is especially true in cases where the contra account has a debit balance, as this will reduce the total amount of the corresponding account.

If you buy a pair of shoes from your supplier for $20, that’s a cost, but it’s not yet an expense. That’s because, as far as accounting is concerned, you haven’t really “spent” $20. You’ve just converted $20 worth of cash into $20 worth of shoes; an asset that remains in your inventory. Since you no longer have the shoes, aka the asset, you record a $20 expense on your income statement, But you also record $30 in revenue from the sale, so your net income is $10. Of course, you’ll also have to pay your employees’ wages, your rent, your utilities and other costs. Those are expenses, too, because, without them, you wouldn’t have had a store in which to sell the shoes and collect the revenue.

  • A customer can use cash, credit card or cheque to settle their account.
  • Sales discounts reduce the amounts owed to the sellers of products, when the buyers pay within the stated discount periods.
  • The accruals concept requires companies to account for revenues when they occur.
  • Or, maybe you decide to compensate customers returning items with store credit.
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A contra account is where we record events that are contrary to a general ledger parent account, also called a relating account. Contra accounts allow us to report the true value of a firm’s assets. The balance of the contra account will offset its parent account while still preserving the value of the transactions recognized in the relating account.

For example, a bond with a principal amount of $1,000 may be for only $950. The bond is listed on the balance sheet at the full amount of $1,000, but the cash received is just $950, so a contra liability for the discount is listed to make the entry balance. Revenue AccountRevenue accounts are those that report the business’s income and thus have credit balances. Revenue from sales, revenue from rental income, revenue from interest income, are it’s common examples. Reserve for obsolete inventory is a contra asset account used to write down the inventory account if inventory is considered obsolete.

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An adjunct account is an account in financial reporting that increases the book value of a liability account. Bad debt expense is an expense that a business incurs once the repayment of credit previously extended to a customer is estimated to be uncollectible. To illustrate a sales discount let’s assume that a manufacturer sells $900 of products and its credit terms are 1/10, n/30. This means that the buyer can satisfy the $900 obligation if it pays $891 ($900 minus $9 of sales discount) within 10 days. To report the real value of the financial statement, you will need to record the amount you can reasonably estimate that will probably effect the financial statement classification.


The main contra equity account is treasury stock, which is the balance of all stock repurchased by the company. When a company repurchases shares, it increases the fractional ownership of all remaining shareholders. Contra Asset AccountA contra asset account is an asset account with a credit balance related to one of the assets with a debit balance. When we add the balances of these two assets, we will get the net book value or carrying value of the assets having a debit balance. Expenses are the costs of doing business, but not all costs are expenses. In accounting terms, an expense is a cost incurred to produce revenue reported on the income statement.

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