For example, when depreciating an asset, the accumulated depreciation account is used to reduce the book value of the asset while also keeping track of the total amount of depreciation that has been posted to date. Contra accounts are used to help a company report the original amount of a transaction as well as reductions that may have happened. They serve an invaluable function in financial reporting that enhances transparency in accounting books.
Wanting to spruce up its aging inventory, Show-Fleur purchased new, climate controlled-seats for its fleet, delivering increased comfort for passengers and a cleaner, more modern look for vehicle interiors. The initial cost of this upgrade was $8 thousand per limo or $600,000 in total. A business called Show-Fleur offers private driving tours of local botanical gardens — all from the comfort of high-end limousines. For its day-to-day operations, the business maintains a fleet of 75 identical 2016 Ford Explorer limousines, each initially retailing at $150 thousand.
In case the contra asset account is not listed in the balance sheet, it must be listed in the footnotes of the financial statement for the users to be informed. An example of a contra asset account is “Accumulated Depreciation.” It is used to record the cumulative amount of depreciation expense charged against a depreciable asset over its useful life. As an asset account, the “Accumulated Depreciation” account has a credit balance, while the related asset account (e.g., “Equipment” or “Buildings”) has a debit balance. Revenue is an income statement account, but it flows through to the equity section of retained earnings as well.
Contra revenue accounts typically offset revenue accounts in a firm’s income statement. Contra equity accounts are accounts in the equity section of the balance sheet that reduce the amount of equity a company holds. Therefore, contra equity accounts have a debit balance to offset their corresponding equity balances.
- So rather than adjusting your Inventory account, you would update its contra account — Obsolete Inventory.
- In other words, accumulated depreciation will be $10,000 each year until the car depreciates to $0 twenty years later.
- With the appropriate level of automation integration in your chosen tool, you can pull the relevant values into these individual accounts directly from invoices, credit agreements, and other documentation.
- Accumulated depreciation decreases the value of an asset, bringing it more in line with its market value.
Examples of contra accounts include allowance for doubtful accounts, reserve for obsolete inventory, and accrued liabilities. Each of these accounts helps to offset another account on the balance sheet. For instance, the allowance for doubtful accounts reduces the net amount of accounts receivable, while the reserve for obsolete inventory does the same for inventory.
Contra account examples
Contra liabilities are common in companies that sell bonds to raise capital. For example, a bond with a principal amount of $1,000 may be sold 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 https://business-accounting.net/ listed to make the entry balance. The Notes Receivable account documents the total value of any promissory notes held by the company. To obtain a cash payout before the note reaches maturity, you can sell these notes to a bank or other financial institution for some price below the note’s face value.
You may not need to use contra asset accounts right now, but as your business grows, using contra asset accounts will likely become a necessity. Writing off your obsolete inventory in this manner allows you to expense the cost of the obsolete inventory while also decreasing your current inventory balance using the contra asset account. Asset accounts always maintain a debit balance, so anytime that you increase the value of an asset, such as when you deposit customer payments or invoice a customer, that asset account is debited or increased. Likewise, when you pay a bill, your cash account is reduced (credited) because you’re lowering the balance. Contra account is important as it not only allows a company to report the original amount of a transaction but also report any reductions that may have happened so that the net amount will also be reported.
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. Another type of contra account is known as “contra revenue,” which is used to adjust gross revenue to calculate net revenue, i.e. the “final” revenue figure listed on the income statement. The allowance for doubtful accounts – often called a “bad debt reserve” – would be considered a contra asset since it causes the accounts receivable (A/R) balance to decline.
What is a Contra Asset Account?
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Contra Revenue Account
While tracking contra asset accounts is cumbersome for bookkeepers and accounting clerks using manual accounting systems, if you’re using accounting software you’ll find that most of the heavy lifting is done for you. If you offer credit terms to your customers, you probably know that not all of them will pay. Creating this contra asset account builds in a safeguard against overstating your accounts receivable balance. Inventory obsolescence is an expense account, while the allowance for obsolete inventory is a contra asset account, which aims to reduce the inventory valuation on your balance sheet. The accumulated depreciation account is perhaps the most common contra asset account used by business owners.
There are many situations where one account is used to offset another account. One common example is accumulated amortisation, which is a contra-asset account. A contra account is used in order to better portray the relationship between certain debits and credits within the overall financial structure of an entity. A contra account can be used to remedy an error, to track depreciation of an asset, or to register payments that are not collectible. The allowance for doubtful accounts is not specifically reported, but the 10(K) 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.
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. Accounts receivable (A/R) has a debit balance, but the allowance for doubtful accounts carries a creditbalance. contra asset accounts A contra account enables a company to report the original amount while also reporting the appropriate downward adjustment. Whether reported as separate lines on the financial report or as a cumulative value, the net amount of the pair of accounts is called the “net book value” of the individual asset.
Other contra account examples can be Allowance for Doubtful Accounts (also contra asset account), Bond discounts, which represent contra liability account, i.e. decrease bond payable account. 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. If a company has a high or fast-growing allowance as a percentage of accounts receivable, keep a close eye on it. The following are examples of commonly-used contra asset accounts you could create to better understand your business financials.
There are four key types of contra accounts—contra asset, contra liability, contra equity, and contra revenue. Contra assets decrease the balance of a fixed or capital asset, carrying a credit balance. Contra asset accounts include allowance for doubtful accounts and accumulated depreciation. Contra asset accounts are recorded with a credit balance that decreases the balance of an asset. A key example of contra liabilities includes discounts on notes or bonds payable. A business might elect to separately state contra asset accounts on its balance sheet, so that the users of its financial statements can obtain additional information about the contents of these accounts.