Contra Asset Account Examples

The purpose of the control account is to keep the general ledger nice and clean without any details, yet contain the correct balances to be used in the financial statements. Many of the accounts seen in the financial statements, take cash for instance, is shown as the control account in the balance sheet. The credit balance indicates the amount that a company owes to its vendors. Current assets include cash, cash equivalents, accounts receivable, stock inventory, marketable accounting 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. Examples of contra equity accounts include the treasury stock account, the owners’ drawing account, and a dividend account. The payment of cash to existing owners is a distribution which increases the contra equity account dubbed “treasury stock account”.

A contra account is used for account classification and is also reported in a company’s financial statement alongside its corresponding or related account. When reporting a contra account in a company’s financial statement, it is reported immediately below the account it relates to or corresponds. Contra accounts have different names depending on the account they correspond. For instance, a contra account that relates to an accounts receivable is called a contra asset account. In bookkeeping, asset accounts report the value of your company’s cash, equipment, raw materials and other assets. These accounts keep track of factors that reduce the worth of your assets.

Contra Account? Expert Answers

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.

Contra Asset Account Examples

You remember that in order to record transactions we use T account. It is a simple form of an account which is in the form of T letter and left side is debit side and it is called a debit side and right side is called credit side. Standard accounting practice is to draw on your past business statistics. If you know that on average, 2% of your accounts receivable go unpaid, that makes a good figure to use for your contra account. This avoids the unpleasant shock you might get if you underestimate potential losses.

Is Valuation Account An Asset?

So, if the company reported receivables amounting to $100,000, the estimated 5% default rate would reduce the number of accounts receivable by $5,000. Accountants use contra accounts rather than reduce the value of the original account directly to keep financial accounting records clean.

A contra asset account is an account that opposes the balances of other asset accounts. As mentioned, a company will usually have debit balances in its asset accounts. However, a contra asset account usually has a credit or nil balance.

In an accounting system, ledger accounts are designed to contain similar classes of transactions. But for presentation purposes it is sometimes necessary to show net balance of two accounts. For example, there need to be separate accounts to hold the actual cost of property, plant and equipment and related accumulated depreciation. If we record depreciation related adjustments in the cost accounts we will lose key information about the original cost of the assets and accumulated depreciation. To avoid this loss of important data, we record actual cost and depreciation in separate ledger accounts. However, it will be meaningless to show the property plant and equipment cost account and the related accumulated depreciation account separately on the balance sheet.

Contra Asset Account Examples

Accumulated depreciation accounts are asset accounts with a credit balance . It appears on the balance sheet as a reduction from the gross amount of fixed assets reported. Debit depreciation expense for $16,875 and credit accumulated depreciation-equipment for $16,875. Debit accumulated depreciation -equipment for $16,875 and credit depreciation expense for $16,875. Debit depreciation expense for $18,625 and credit accumulated depreciation-equipment for $18,625. Allowance for doubtful accounts is shown as a reduction from the gross accounts receivable. The net amount of accounts receivable is presented in a balance sheet.

What Is Contra Asset Account?

All the accounts that the company has and lists in it’s chart of accounts are created in the general ledger. Learn more about what the general ledger and journals are, chart of accounts, trial balance and numbering accounts in the general ledger. A revenues adjusting entries account with a debit balance instead of the usual credit balance. Even small businesses benefit immensely from contra asset accounts. This type of contra asset accounts is used for recording the depreciation within the timeframe of a fixed asset.

Pacioli devoted one section of his book to documenting and describing the double-entry bookkeeping system in use during the Renaissance by Venetian merchants, traders and bankers. This system is still the fundamental system in use by modern bookkeepers. In accounting, the controlling account is an account in the general ledger for which a corresponding subsidiary ledger has been created. The subsidiary ledger allows for tracking transactions within the controlling account in more detail. Allowance of doubtful accounts helps a company create an allowance for clients that have failed to pay the owed amount for the purchase of goods and products from the company. The allowance for these doubtful accounts can ultimately result in the total number of receivables.

An account’s assigned normal balance is on the side where increases go because the increases in any account are usually greater than the decreases. For both contra asset accounts, the entry is a debit to an expense and the credit is to the contra asset account. There are different types of Contra Accounts and the most common are contra asset, contra liability, contra equity and contra revenue accounts. Revenue is an income statement account, but it flows through to the equity section of retained earnings as well. Any products that are sold at a discount or returns are deducted from gross revenue to produce net revenue as the top line on the income statement. 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 RevenueContra revenue refers to any difference between a company’s gross sales and net sales due to sales returns, allowances or discount.

Accounting Topics

That being said, unearned rent does not remain a liability forever. A contra entry is recorded when the debit and credit affect the same parent account and resulting in a net zero effect to the account.

For example, if a company overdraws its bank account, the Cash account will have a temporary credit balance. Credit a contra-account “Allowance for Bad Debts” on the Balance Sheet. For basic accounting principles and tools example, Sales returns and allowances is a contra-revenue account, in which sales returns and allowances are separately accounted for in order to have a separate data for such items.

  • A contra account balances the numbers from two or more accounts that are compared on the balance sheet.
  • Where a liability’s normal balance is a credit, a liability contra account is debited in order to reduce the amount of the liability.
  • Debits and credits are traditionally distinguished by writing the transfer amounts in separate columns of an account book.
  • Therefore, sales returns and allowances is considered a contra-revenue account, which normally has a debit balance.
  • This account offsets the balance in the respective asset account that they pair with on the balance sheet.
  • Dividends Declared has a debit balance and is a contra account to Retained Earnings.

The account is normally a credit balance and in use is offset against the accounts receivable account which is normally a debit. Contra asset accounts are hugely beneficial for nearly all types of companies. A contra asset account example is an accumulated depreciation account that will help the company track and offset fixed assets.

What Is The Definition Of Liability?

There can be hidden value in stocks that have a lot of fully depreciated buildings. Companies like to depreciate assets as quickly as possible to get the tax savings, so the balance sheet may not state the true value of fixed assets. Contra accounts are usually linked to specific accounts on thebalance sheetand are reported as subtractions from these accounts. The most prominent of these include allowing companies to present a more accurate picture of their assets. Contra asset accounts help companies to record any reductions to their non-current and current assets.

All “mini-ledgers” in this section show standard increasing attributes for the five elements of accounting. The following information is available from the financial records of X Company. 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.

Is Prepaid Expense A Contra Asset?

In turn, this makes the entire process of the company’s tax preparation tougher and more time-consuming. These are main rules however certain assets on the balance sheet must be recorded and presented at their net value.

Doube-entry accounting ensures that the total amount of debits equals the total amount of credits. Learn the basics of how this accounting system is reflected in journals and ledgers through examples, and understand the concept of normal balances. Another contra asset listed on the balance sheet is accumulated depreciation. This reduces the amount of the carrying value of a company’s fixed asset to account for the wear and tear over the asset’s useful life.

Is Prepaid Rent A Contra Asset?

Financial Statements Of Any OrganizationFinancial statements are written reports prepared by a company’s management to present the company’s financial affairs over a given period . With a real account, when something comes into your business (e.g., an asset), debit the account. To make contra entries there must be both a customer and supplier account for the company and the two accounts must operate in the same currency. The following entry should be done in accordance with your revenue and reporting cycles , but at a minimum, annually. Trade accounts receivable accounts enable a company to manage bills for its clients.