There are two main types of expenses in business such as operating and nonoperating expenses. Operating expenses are the expenses that relate to the main activities of the company. They are the expenses that are incurred from the normal day-to-day running of the company’s business such as the cost of goods sold, direct labor, administrative fees, office supplies and rent. The business transactions that are carried out in a company have a monetary impact on the financial statements of a company. The $1,500 balance in the asset account Prepaid Insurance is the preliminary balance.

  • The easiest way to understand this is to think of the accounting equation and remember what type of account you are dealing with.
  • Whereas, in the accrual accounting method, expenses are recorded only when they are incurred.
  • Accounts payable, notes payable, and accrued expenses are common examples of liability accounts.

Nevertheless, if expenses are cut down too much it could also have a detrimental effect. For instance, paying less on advertising in order to reduce costs can also lower the company’s visibility and ability to reach out to potential customers. On the statement of retained earnings, we reported the ending balance of retained earnings to be $15,190. We need to do the closing entries to make them match and zero out the temporary accounts. Expenses also reduce your credit accounts, which means you are taxed on a lower annual revenue number. So you will generally be taxed on $20,000, not $300,000, and that tax bill will be lower, thanks to those expenses.

Sage Business Cloud Accounting

Fortunately, accounting software requires each journal entry to post an equal dollar amount of debits and credits. If the totals don’t balance, you’ll get an error message alerting you to correct the journal entry. When learning bookkeeping basics, it’s helpful to look through examples of debit and credit accounting for various transactions. In general, debit accounts include assets and cash, while credit accounts include equity, liabilities, and revenue.

The correct amount is the amount that has been paid by the company for insurance coverage that will expire after the balance sheet date. When an account has a balance that is opposite the expected normal balance of that account, the account is said to have an abnormal balance. For example, if an asset account which is expected to have a debit balance, shows a credit balance, then this is considered to be an abnormal balance.

If a company renders a service and gives the customer/client 30 days to pay, the company’s Accounts Receivable and Service Revenues accounts are both affected. For each transaction mentioned, one account will be credited and capex vs revenue expenditure one will be debited for the transaction to be in balance. As seen from the illustrations given, for every transaction, two accounts are at least affected. This is why this accounting system is known as a double-entry system.


In general, supplies are considered a current asset until the point at which they’re used. Supplies can be considered a current asset if their dollar value is significant. If the cost is significant, small businesses can record the amount of unused supplies on their balance sheet in the asset account under Supplies. The business would then record the supplies used during the accounting period on the income statement as Supplies Expense. This helps to keep the balance sheet supplies account from being overstated and the business’s knowledge about its current assets accurate.

Because cash was paid out, the asset account Cash will be credited and another account will have to be debited. Since the rent paid will be used up in the current month of May, it is considered to be an expense. This means that the expense accounts only exist for a set period of time- a month, quarter, or year, and then new accounts are created for each new period. When a company spends funds (a debit), the expense account increases and the expense account decreases when funds are credited from another account into the expense account.

For example, when paying rent for your firm’s office each month, you would enter a credit in your liability account. The double-entry system provides a more comprehensive understanding of your business transactions. In daily business operations, it’s essential to know whether an account should be debited or credited. The easiest way to understand this is to think of the accounting equation and remember what type of account you are dealing with.

If a transaction were not in balance, it would be difficult to create financial statements. It can be helpful to look through examples when you’re trying to understand how a credit entry and a debit entry works when you’re adding them to a general ledger. A general ledger tracks changes to liability accounts, assets, revenue accounts, equity, and expenses (supplies expense, interest expense, rent expense, etc). On the other hand, credits decrease asset and expense accounts while increasing liability, revenue, and equity accounts.

Adjusting Entry for Supplies Expense FAQs

When you pay the interest in December, you would debit the interest payable account and credit the cash account. The Supplies on Hand asset account is classified within current assets, since supplies are expected to be consumed within one year. It is important to understand that this accounting process is only applicable to bulk supply purchases. This means that if you buy and use a supply such as a printer ink immediately, the generally accepted accounting principle of materiality considers the purchase insignificant. This principle, therefore, allows you to record the purchase of this office supply as an expense immediately. However, even though the accounting system is referred to as double-entry, a transaction may involve more than two accounts.

The cost of supplies is initially recorded as an asset by debiting the office or store supplies account and crediting the cash account. Then, at the end of the accounting period, the cost of supplies used during the accounting period becomes an expense and an adjusting entry is made to record the expense. If this adjusting entry is not done, the income statement will show higher income and the balance sheet will show supplies that do not exist. In conclusion, the cost of supplies should be recorded as an asset initially as a debit to the supplies account and a credit to the cash or accounts payable account. Then, as the cost of supplies used during the accounting period becomes an expense, an adjusting entry should be made at the end of the accounting period to record the expense.

Debit vs. credit accounting: The ultimate guide

She writes about business and personal credit, financial strategies, loans, and credit cards. It provides information about your cash payments and cash receipts, as well as the net change of cash after all financing and operating activities during a set period. Business credit cards can help you when your business needs access to cash right away. If you’re unsure when to debit and when to credit an account, check out our t-chart below. Manufacturing supplies are items used in the manufacturing facilities, but are not a direct material for the products manufactured. These will include a wide variety of items from cleaning supplies to machine lubricants.

The correct balance should be the cumulative amount of depreciation from the time that the equipment was acquired through the date of the balance sheet. A review indicates that as of December 31 the accumulated amount of depreciation should be $9,000. Therefore the account Accumulated Depreciation – Equipment will need to have an ending balance of $9,000. The income statement account that is pertinent to this adjusting entry and which will be debited for $1,500 is Depreciation Expense – Equipment. In short, balance sheet and income statement accounts are a mix of debits and credits.

If the cash is decreasing, then we need to record it on the credit side of the cash account. At the end of each month, a business can take a physical inventory of its supplies to update the account balance. The adjusting entry will be the difference between the beginning balance in the supplies account and the actual supplies remaining. The expense account has a natural debit balance and as earlier said, when expenses go up, they are recorded with debit and when they go down, they reduce with a credit. Here are some examples illustrating how an expense is entered as a debit and not a credit.

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