Prepayments, concepts and accounting

The expenses are recognized in the balance sheet of the renter, the cash transfers are also recognized as payments after a month in the books of the landlord. The prepayments side would increase our current assets by the$1,000. The insurance expense would decrease by the $1,000, and henceincrease our overall profits.

  • A prepayment is not dissimilar to a deposit but generally falls under a more set time period for fulfilment of the goods or services purchased.
  • Sometimes, even leases that are more than a year can also be classified as a current asset.
  • ABC Inc. paid $24,000 in advance for the marketing and advertising service offered throughout the year.

This accounting treatment is to ensure that we present our financial assets and liabilities correctly in our financial statements. If we have only made the payment and have not received the service, then this payment is an advance and should be classified as a current asset in our balance sheet. However, if we have received requested goods and services, then those payments are expenses (or sometimes assets) and therefore, should be correctly classified. For example, a company can list $6,000 as a current asset under the prepaid rent account on its balance sheet if it rents office space for $1,000 a month and prepays six months’ rent. In the corporate environment, expenses are the most common prepayments. These expenditures are paid in full in one accounting period for goods or services that will be consumed in a future period.


The money you receive must be shown as a liability because those funds are due back to the customer if services are not provided. There are some exceptions where deposits are non-refundable, but those are still posted as liabilities until the service is provided or the customer loses their deposit. Sometimes, even leases that are more than a year can also be classified as a current asset. This would depend upon whether the company can liquidate the lease within a year or not.

For example, payment for an expense is registered in the period in which the payment occurs, no matter when the service or goods are actually received. Prepayments are amounts paid for by a business in advance of the goods or services being received later on. As the seller would have received payments, the prepaid would be credited, whereas the cash account would be debited, with the amount equal to the purchase amount.

  • A consumer might run up a monthly credit card bill with a settlement date of 30 days after the end of the month.
  • An invoice is then sent for payment, meaning the payment occurs after the order is completed to ensure the goods are sent or are as expected.
  • As noted above, prepaid expenses are payments made for goods and services that a company intends to pay for in advance but will incur sometime in the future.
  • An individual does not pay for health insurance after he/ she is sick or for life insurance after he/ she is dead.
  • Deposits are money kept with suppliers’ accounts which are usually returned at the end of the contract period or after a fixed period.
  • The company pays $24,000 in cash upfront for a 12-month insurance policy for the warehouse.

It is essential to differentiate prepayments from securities and deposits. Securities are payments made as a guarantee or collateral; it is a safety for the other party ensuring compliance with the contractual obligations. Deposits are money kept with suppliers’ accounts which are usually returned at the end of the contract period or after a fixed period. We do not amortize securities and deposits, as we do with the prepayments. Medical insurance for the employees and their dependents are usually paid for one year in advance (or at the beginning of the insurance period). Therefore, at the beginning of the insurance period, the insurance premium paid should be recorded as a prepaid expense and then it should be amortized subsequently at the end of each month as an expense.

When you make a prepayment, it’s treated as an asset on your balance sheet until the goods or services you’ve bought are received in full. Prepaid income reduces income on the Income statement and hencereduces overall profits too. It also creates a current liability on ourStatement of financial position. Accrued income creates an additional current asset on our Statementof financial position.

Prepayments Double Entry

Many corporations pay tax beforehand to reduce their tax bills. When tax bills are paid before the due date, the corporations receive tax rebates from the Government. The payment would not be recorded as an expense until the next month. When the bank pays out the home loan, it’s banking on a certain return threshold, which it calculates based on the size of the mortgage, the interest rate, and the duration of the loan.


We’ll help you harness techniques like straight through processing (STP) to automate error-strewn manual prepayment processing – and enjoy faster, more seamless payments. And, through automated payment reconciliation, take the dread and drudgery out of one of accountancy’s most tiresome tasks. A business rents out a property at an income of $4,000 per month. Show the ledger accounts required to record the above transactions. John Simnel’s business has an accounting year end of 31December 20X1. He rents factory space at a rental cost of $5,000 perquarter, payable in arrears.

Cash accounting

Then, when the expense is incurred, the prepaid expense account is reduced by the amount of the expense, and the expense is recognized on the company’s income statement in the period when it was incurred. Prepayments and prepaid expenses are different from one another. For example, if you have a debt obligation, such as a loan, and you owe $1,000 next month but decide to pay that amount this month, that is a prepayment. A prepaid expense on the other hand is any good or service that you’ve paid for but have not used yet. For example, assume ABC Company purchases insurance for the upcoming 12-month period. ABC Company will initially book the full $120,000 as a debit to prepaid insurance, an asset on the balance sheet, and a credit to cash.

Journal entries that recognize expenses related to previously recorded prepaid expenses are called adjusting entries. They do not record new business transactions but simply adjust previously recorded transactions. Adjusting entries for prepaid expenses is necessary to ensure that expenses are recognized in the period in which they are incurred. According to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), expenses should be recorded in the same accounting period as the benefit generated from the related asset.

Such prepaid insurance amount will be classified on the asset side of the balance sheet and charge to the profit and loss account as an expense upon completion of the insured period. Once realized, the expense is recorded on the income statement. Current assets are assets that a company plans to use or sell within a year; they are short-term assets. Most often, this is where the prepaid expense line item is recorded. If any prepaid expense will not be used within a year, then it must be recorded as a long-term asset. Recording an advanced payment made for the lease as an expense in the first month would not adequately match expenses with revenues generated from its use.

A prepaid expense is an expense that has been paid for in advance but not yet incurred. In business, a prepaid expense is recorded as an asset on the balance sheet that results from a business making advance payments for goods or services to be received in the future. The unearned revenue account in this journal entry is a liability item on the balance sheet, in which its normal balance is on the credit side. Likewise, this journal entry is made in order to recognize the liability that exists at the time that we receive the prepayment from the customer. We can make the journal entry for prepayment received by debiting the amount received into the cash account and crediting the same amount into the unearned revenue account.

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