Contra Asset Examples, How a Contra Asset Account Works

Contra Asset Examples, How a Contra Asset Account Works

contra expense account

In other words, contra revenue is a deduction from gross revenue, which results in net revenue. Depreciation is an accounting method of allocating the cost of a tangible asset over its useful life to account for declines in value over time. A contra account is an account used in a general ledger to reduce the value of a related account. At the end of the first year, the net value of the equipment would be $300,000 – $50,000 in accumulated depreciation, so the net value of the equipment at the end of the first year would amount to $250,000. Sales Returns account which is maintained against Sales account is basically contra-revenue account.

Budgeted, paid for, and partially earned in one period but not fully earned until a later period. Paid for by the customer, recorded, and earned in one period. Paid for by the customer and recorded in one period but not fully earned until a later period D.

Is drawings a contra account?

A drawing account acts as a contra account to the business owner's equity; an entry that debits the drawing account will have an offsetting credit to the cash account in the same amount.

BondsBonds refer to the debt instruments issued by governments or corporations to acquire investors’ funds for a certain period. Hearst Newspapers participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. Harold Averkamp has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. He is the sole author of all the materials on

Why are Contra Accounts Important?

Equity accounts record the claims of the owners of the business/entity to the assets of that business/entity.Capital, retained earnings, drawings, common stock, accumulated funds, etc. 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.

contra expense account

The information featured in this article is based on our best estimates of pricing, package details, contract stipulations, and service available at the time of writing. Pricing will vary based on various factors, including, but not limited to, the customer’s location, package chosen, added features and equipment, the purchaser’s credit score, etc. For the most accurate information, please ask your customer service representative. Clarify all fees and contract details before signing a contract or finalizing your purchase. Each individual’s unique needs should be considered when deciding on chosen products.

Contra Asset Account

The Johnson family’s purchase of furniture illustrated the effect on the financial statements for two kinds of contra accounts, revenue, and asset. Contra accounts are also used in other areas of the financial statements, such as an estimate on an uncontrollable percentage of credit sales in which the amounts listed must be estimable and probable.

For example, the depreciation value will be listed underneath the value of a vehicle, or the allowance of bad debts will be attached to the accounts receivable. Another example could be when a product is bought and is returned at face value because of a defect. The contra return on sales account will be debited while the normal cash account will be credited. All accounts also can be debited or credited depending on what transaction has taken place.

She most recently worked at Duke University and is the owner of Peggy James, CPA, PLLC, serving small businesses, nonprofits, solopreneurs, freelancers, and individuals. Mostly assets are classified based on 3 broad categories, namely – …

What Other Types of Contra Accounts Are Recorded on the Balance Sheet?

It is shown as a part of the owner’s equity in the liability side of the company’s balance sheet. This is done either to increase the value of the existing shares or to prevent various shareholders from controlling the company. For the purpose of financial statement reporting, the amount on a contra account is subtracted from its parentaccount gross balance to present the net balance. The amount is reported on the balance sheet in the asset section immediately below accounts receivable. The net of these two figures is typically reported on a third line. The totals show the net effect on the accounting equation and the double-entry principle, where the transactions are balanced.

contra expense account

Typically, it’s listed directly below the account with which it’s paired, though some financial statements may merge the accounts to show a single net amount. This use of the terms can be counter-intuitive to people unfamiliar with bookkeeping concepts, who may always think of a credit as an increase and a debit as a decrease. This is because most people typically only see their personal bank accounts and billing statements (e.g., from a utility). A depositor’s bank account is actually a Liability to the bank, because the bank legally owes the money to the depositor. Thus, when the customer makes a deposit, the bank credits the account (increases the bank’s liability). At the same time, the bank adds the money to its own cash holdings account. Since this account is an Asset, the increase is a debit.

What Is a Contra Account & Why Is It Important?

View the examples of contra revenue and asset accounts. Allowance for doubtful accounts is a contra asset account used to create an allowance for customers that are not expected to pay the money owed for purchased goods or services.

The main purpose is to show the true revenue because without this allowance, a company’s balance sheet or income sheet may be inaccurate. Contra asset account examples include any transaction made on a contra account to balance out the debit account. Contra asset examples can be accumulated depreciation, discounts on notes receivable, trade accounts receivable, and obsolete inventory reserves. Balance sheet, users of financial statements can learn more about the assets of a company.

  • When a corporation buys back its shares that have been previously issued, it is recorded as a Treasury Stock.
  • Paid for by the customer and recorded in one period but not fully earned until a later period D.
  • Sales on account are often risky for businesses because customers are unsecured creditors.
  • If you’re valuing a low-growth company based on its equipment assets, you want to use the net value to be conservative.
  • Full BioRobert Kelly is managing director of XTS Energy LLC, and has more than three decades of experience as a business executive.

Sometimes total liabilities are deducted from total assets to equal stockholders’ equity. DrCrEquipment500ABC Computers 500The journal entry “ABC Computers” is indented to indicate that this is the credit transaction. It is accepted accounting practice to indent credit transactions recorded within a journal. The Profit and Loss Statement is an expansion of the Retained Earnings Account.

This method uses the initial purchase value and subtracts the accumulated depreciation value for the time period to result in the total value of the equipment after its use. After a bank reconciliation statement is completed, a firm may have to make an entry in its accounting records for A. The term single-step income statement is sometimes used to describe a classified income statement. If a business is to earn a net income, the gross profit on sales must be greater than operating expenses.

Expense Contra Account

Digging deeper, the contra doesn’t have to just appear on a general ledger, though you will frequently see it there. It’s often included on various financial statements like a balance sheet or income statement where the account it’s balancing appears.

The process of using debits and credits creates a ledger format that resembles the letter “T”. The term “T-account” is accounting jargon for a “ledger account” and is often used when discussing bookkeeping. The reason that a ledger account is often referred to as a T-account is due to the way the account is physically drawn on paper (representing a “T”).


An example of a contra account is Accumulated Depreciation which is a contra asset account. When the normal balance of an asset is a debit, a contra account’s normal balance would be a credit, and when a liability’s normal balance is a credit, the contra account is a debit. Consider what would happen if you have sales on credit that you reasonably expect will not be paid. In the example of Homes Inc. the percentage of customers defaulting on the account, and the amount defaulted, is estimable and probable. Past experience with uncollected bad debt has been, on average, 10% of credit sales. The sale to the Johnson family will create a bad debt expense estimate of 10% of the amount receivable. So do we debit or do we credit an entry to the contra account?

The balance on the contra entry bank account should now be zero.If both the sales invoice and vendor bill were for the same amount, no further action is necessary. Liability accounts record debts or future obligations a business or entity owes to others. When one institution borrows from another for a period of time, the ledger of the borrowing institution categorises the argument under liability accounts.

contra expense account

A debit to one account can be balanced by more than one credit to other accounts, and vice versa. For all transactions, the total debits must be equal to the total credits and therefore balance.

DepreciationDepreciation is a systematic allocation method used to account for the costs of any physical or tangible asset throughout its useful life. Its value indicates how much of an asset’s worth has been utilized. Depreciation enables companies to generate revenue from their assets while only charging a fraction of the cost of the asset in use each year.

The allowance for doubtful accounts appears on the balance sheet and reduces the amount of receivables. Balance Sheet AccountsA balance sheet is one of the financial statements of a company that presents the shareholders’ equity, liabilities, and assets of the company at a specific point in time. It is based on the accounting equation that states that the sum of the total liabilities and the owner’s capital equals the total assets of the company. 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. These are used if, for example, companies are selling discount bonds.

Beginner’s Guide to Financial Statements When researching companies, the financial statement is a great place to start. Contra accounts are confusing at first, but, with a little study, understanding them becomes second nature. Let’s go over how they work and what the main types are, and then finish with an example. Sales Returns – Amount that is reduced from the gross revenue for goods that have been previously sold but returned to the seller. Treasury Stock AccountTreasury Stock is a stock repurchased by the issuance Company from its current shareholders that remains non-retired.

These are both asset accounts and do not increase or decrease a company’s balance sheet. Recall that prepaid expenses are considered an asset because they provide future economic benefits to the company.

The allowance, sometimes called a bad debt reserve, represents management’s estimate of the amount of accounts receivable that will not be paid by customers. Current assets include cash, cash equivalents, accounts receivable, stock inventory, marketable securities, pre-paid liabilities, and other liquid assets. Current assets are important to businesses because they can be used to fund day-to-day business operations and to pay for the ongoing operating expenses. A is a general ledger expense account that is expected to have a credit balance instead of the usual debit balance. In other words, the account’s credit balance is contrary to the usual debit balance for an expense account.

Contra accounts explained

This type of asset account is referred to as “contra” because normal asset accounts might include a debit, or positive, balance, and contra asset accounts can include a credit, or negative, balance. Because of the oppositional nature of these asset accounts, the contra account contra expense account acts as a ‘contrary’ element to the debit balances of regular asset accounts. Furthermore, a contra asset account may also be regarded as a negative asset account because equalizing an asset account and contra asset account results in the asset’s net, or total, balance.

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