Prepaid Expenses Journal, Asset, Expense, and Examples

Keep in mind that adjusting entries do not record any new business transactions. They just adjust the accounts so that expenses are recognized at the time they incur. In accrual accounting, revenues and the corresponding costs should be reported in the same accounting period according to the matching principle.

The revenue recognition principle also determines that revenues and expenses must be recorded in the period when they are actually incurred. When you initially record a prepaid expense, record it as an asset. Instead, they provide value over time—generally over multiple accounting periods. Because the expense expires as you use it, you can’t expense the entire value of the item immediately.

  • Accrued expenses, such as accrued rent, are the result of receiving a service or goods before payment is made.
  • What is suitable for one type of business may not work for another.
  • An adjusting entry must be made to recognize this loss of value.
  • The advance purchase is recognized as a prepaid asset on the balance sheet.
  • This method sees an expense paid in advance recorded as an asset.
  • Here are the ledgers that relate to the purchase of prepaid rent when the transaction above is posted.

During the month you will use some of this insurance, but you will wait until the end of the month to account for what has expired. Here are the ledgers that relate to the purchase of supplies when the transaction above is posted. GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices.

Which of these is most important for your financial advisor to have?

When managing a business, you have to pay for some assets in advance, such as rent or insurance. In the accounting cycle, these advance payments are recorded as prepaid expenses. Journal entries that recognize expenses related to previously recorded prepaids are called adjusting entries.

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. Here is the Rent Expense ledger where transaction above is posted. 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. Here is the Insurance Expense ledger where transaction above is posted.

Upon signing the one-year lease agreement for the warehouse, the company also purchases insurance for the warehouse. The company pays $24,000 in cash upfront for a 12-month insurance policy for the warehouse. The two most common uses of prepaid expenses are rent and insurance. The “Service Supplies Expense” is an expense account while “Service Supplies” is an asset. After making the entry, the balance of the unused Service Supplies is now at $600 ($1,500 debit and $900 credit). As the asset value starts to decrease, the prepaid expense is removed from the balance sheet and expensed in the income statement.

Ultimately, by the end of the subscription term, both the long-term and short-term portions of the prepaid subscription account balances will be zero. 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.


As a reminder, the main types of accounts are assets, expenses, liabilities, equity, and revenue. The amount of time a prepaid expense is reported as an asset should correspond with how long the payment will provide a benefit to the organization, usually up to 12 months. Prepaid expenses are payments made in advance for goods or services that will be received or used in the future. Notice that the amount for which adjustment is made differs under two methods, but the final amounts are the same, i.e., an insurance expense of $450 and prepaid insurance of $1,350.

Create a free account to unlock this Template

He is the sole author of all the materials on Get up and running with free payroll setup, and enjoy free expert support. Our writing and editorial staff are a team of experts holding advanced financial designations and have written for most major financial media publications. Our work has been directly cited by organizations including Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Investopedia, Forbes, CNBC, and many others.

Accounting Process for Prepaid or Unexpired Expenses

Essentially, in the month that the expense is used, an adjusting entry needs to be made to debit the expense account and credit the prepaid account. Also known as accrued liabilities, accrued expenses are expenses that your business has incurred but hasn’t yet been billed for. Wages paid to your employees at the end of the accounting period is an excellent example of an accrued expense. You’ll need to make an accrued expense adjusting entry to debit the expense account and credit the corresponding payable account. Under the cash basis an organization would immediately record the full amount of the purchase of a good or service to the income statement as soon as the cash is paid.

Adjusting Journal Entries:Prepaid Expenses (Cash Basis to Accrual Method)

Although being a simple concept, it is important for an organization to correctly account for and recognize prepaid expenses on its balance sheet. Prepaid assets typically fall in the current asset bucket and therefore impact key financial ratios. Additionally, an organization reporting under US GAAP must follow the matching principle by recognizing expenses in the period in which they are incurred. This requires proper calculation business advisor job description and amortization of prepaid expenditures such as insurance, software subscriptions, and leases. 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.

In small business, there are a number of purchases you may make that are considered prepaid expenses. As a college student, you have likely been involved in making a prepayment for a service you will receive in the future. If you want to attend school after the semester is over, you have to prepay again for the next semester.

Everything to Run Your Business

Accrued revenues are services performed in one month but billed in another. You’ll need to make an adjusting entry showing the revenue in the month that the service was completed. Note that in this example we established a short-term and long-term prepaid component because the initial payment was for a two-year subscription.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *