Contra expense definition

These contra revenue accounts tend to have a debit balance and are used to calculate net sales. The most common contra account is the accumulated depreciation account, which offsets the fixed asset account. Taken together, the asset account and contra asset account reveal the net amount of fixed assets still remaining. A contra asset account is not classified as an asset, since it does not represent long-term value, nor is it classified as a liability, since it does not represent a future obligation. Contra revenue is a deduction from the gross revenue reported by a business, which results in net revenue. 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).

  • However, these accounts are still useful when dealing with large quantities of reimbursements, where it is cleaner and less confusing to store the information in a separate account.
  • Offsetting the asset account with its respective contra asset account shows the net balance of that asset.
  • Contra revenue accounts reduce revenue accounts and have a debit balance.
  • The contra asset account Accumulated Depreciation is deducted from the related Capital Assets to present the net balance on the parent account in a company’s balance sheet.

If the company withholds $2,000 from its employees’ wages to pay part of the cost of the insurance, the company will credit its contra expense account 4211 Employee Withholdings for Health Ins. Accumulated Depreciation is a contra asset that pairs with Fixed Assets. Accumulated Depreciation acts as a subaccount for tracking the ongoing depreciation of an asset. A Fixed Asset is a Long-term Asset used by a company to create revenue.

If a company has a high or fast-growing allowance as a percentage of accounts receivable, keep a close eye on it. It could be growing with bad accounts, and cash flow will be affected. In this example, the contra expense account (Purchase Discounts) is used to provide a more accurate and detailed representation of the company’s expenses, allowing for better financial analysis and decision-making. By accounting for discounts and other adjustments, GadgetHub can track its actual expenses more effectively and make more informed decisions about its inventory purchases and supplier relationships. A contra expense is an account in the general ledger that is paired with and offsets a specific expense account. Contra expense accounts have a natural credit balance, as opposed to the natural debit balance of a typical expense account.

On the income statement, the net cost of goods sold will be reported as $98,000 ($100,000 – $2,000), reflecting the impact of the purchase discount. To record a contra entry, you must record a payment against the sales and purchase invoices. However, as no money is being exchanged for the contra entry, these transactions shouldn’t appear on your current account.

Is a Contra Account a Debit or Credit?

The sales allowances account contains either an allowance for reductions in the price of a product that has minor defects, or the actual amount of the allowance attributable to specific sales. When researching companies, the financial statement is a great place to start. Examples of deferred unearned revenue include prepaid subscriptions, rent, insurance or professional service fees. We can see how the $10,000 allowance for doubtful accounts offsets the $100,000 A/R account from our illustrative example above (i.e. the account decreases the carrying value of A/R). When the company pays the cost of having the flyer printed, a journal entry is done.

  • Contra liability accounts are not as popular as contra asset accounts.
  • The main contra equity account is treasury stock, which is the balance of all stock repurchased by the company.
  • For example, if a company just reported equipment at its net amount, users would not be able to observe the purchase price, the amount of depreciation attributed to that equipment, and the remaining useful life.
  • Assume that a company uses a contra expense account to record the amounts that employees paid toward the company’s health insurance costs.
  • Accumulated depreciation is the total of all depreciation that has been charged to existing fixed assets such as equipment and buildings.
  • Examples of revenue contra accounts are Sales Discounts, Returns and Allowances.

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. Allowance for doubtful accounts is netted from the accounts receivable balance. The company predicts which accounts receivable won’t be paid by customers and writes those off. When the account receivable is written off, it is added to bad debt expense on the income statement and placed in the contra account.

Contra Expense vs. Revenue

Just in case you wanted to run a report from your accounts, you can click the drop-down ▼ button on the Action column and then select Run report. Home Depot also devotes footnote 4 to its share repurchase program and reports that the company is authorized by its board to repurchase $20 billion in shares. Contra accounts are confusing at first, but, with a little study, understanding them becomes second nature.

What is a Contra Liability?

Home Depot reports net receivables and net property and equipment, implying that both are reduced by contra assets. We’ll need to dig into the footnotes to find out what the contra accounts are. The contra asset account Accumulated Depreciation is deducted from the related Capital Assets to present the net balance on the parent account in a company’s balance sheet. For example, accumulated depreciation is a contra asset that reduces the value of a company’s fixed assets, resulting in net assets. A contra expense account is a general ledger expense account that will intentionally have a credit balance (instead of the debit balance that is typical for an expense account).

What Are the Different Types of Contra Accounts?

There are three commonly used contra revenue accounts, which are noted below. Accumulated depreciation is a contra asset account used to record the amount of depreciation to date on a fixed asset. Examples of fixed assets include buildings, machinery, office equipment, furniture, vehicles, etc. The accumulated depreciation account appears on the balance sheet and reduces the gross amount of fixed assets.

Expense Contra Account

Contra Liability a/c is not used as frequently as contra asset accounts. It is not classified as a liability since it does not represent a future obligation. Contra accounts exist when the account reported on the balance sheet needs to be reduced by a different account to show its true value.

Let’s go over how they work and what the main types are, and then finish with an example. Founded in 1993, The Motley Fool is a financial services company dedicated to making the world smarter, happier, and richer. The Motley Fool reaches millions of people every month through our premium investing solutions, free guidance and market analysis on, top-rated podcasts, and non-profit The Motley Fool Foundation.

You can’t make a hover car, for example, because the technologies have yet to exist, and if they did and you created one, it would probably be too expensive for most people to purchase. The sales discounts account contains the amount of sales discounts given to customers, which is usually a discount given in exchange for early payments by them. Get instant access to video lessons taught by experienced investment bankers. Learn financial statement modeling, DCF, M&A, LBO, Comps and Excel shortcuts. Contra accounts provide more detail to accounting figures and improve transparency in financial reporting. Chartered accountant Michael Brown is the founder and CEO of Double Entry Bookkeeping.

Check the box I sell this product/service if you need to assign to a Customer Invoice. Now comes the tricky part (at least for me in this particular case). Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool’s premium services. The money left over after a company supports operations can be a snapshot of its financial health. Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years.

What is contra voucher example?

The net balance of the accounts shows the net value of the purchases made by the business for the accounting period. A contra expense account is a type of account in financial accounting that offsets the balance of a corresponding expense account. Contra expense accounts have a credit balance, which is the opposite of the typical debit balance found in expense accounts. The purpose of a contra expense account is to reduce the total expenses shown on the income statement by reflecting specific adjustments, recoveries, or reimbursements related to the expense. By reporting contra asset accounts on the balance sheet, users of financial statements can learn more about the assets of a company.

A contra expense is an account in the general ledger that offsets a specific expense account. It is used when a company initially pays for an expense item and is then reimbursed by a third party. An example of this is when a company pays for medical insurance for its employees and records it as an employee benefits expense. The reimbursements from employees are recorded in a benefits contra expense account, which results in a reduced total benefits expense for the company.

Contra revenue accounts reduce revenue accounts and have a debit balance. Contra equity is a general ledger account with a debit balance that reduces the normal credit balance of a standard financial modeling blog equity account to present the net value of equity in a company’s financial statements. Examples of equity contra accounts are Owner Draws and Repurchased Treasury Stock Shares.

For example cash is moving from cashier to bank , That is cash account to bank account. Suppose when a business require to transfer money from one bank account to another bank account, In such case we use contra voucher. In the same way there may be more than one cash accounts, for example petty cash & main cash.