Adjusting Entries

To do this, companies can streamline their general ledger and remove any unnecessary processes or accounts. Check out this article “Encourage General Ledger Efficiency” from the Journal of Accountancy that discusses some strategies to improve general ledger efficiency. This is a systematic way to prepare and post adjusting journal entries that accountants have been using for about 500 years. Salaries Expense increases (debit) and Salaries Payable increases (credit) for $12,500 ($2,500 per employee × five employees). The following are the updated ledger balances after posting the adjusting entry.

  • All revenue received or all expenses paid in advance cannot be reported on the income statement of the current accounting period.
  • The adjusting entry will debit interest expense and credit interest payable for the amount of interest from December 1 to December 31.
  • Accrued revenues are revenues earned in a period but have yet to be recorded, and no money has been collected.
  • Following is a summary showing the T-accounts for Printing Plus including adjusting entries.

It looks like you just follow the rules and all of the numbers come out 100 percent correct on all financial statements. Some companies engage in something called earnings management, where they follow the rules of accounting mostly but they stretch the truth a little to make it look like they are more profitable. Some companies do this by recording revenue before they should. Others leave assets on the books instead of expensing them when they should to decrease total expenses and increase profit. The purpose of adjusting entries is to assign appropriate portion of revenue and expenses to the appropriate accounting period. By making adjusting entries, a portion of revenue is assigned to the accounting period in which it is earned and a portion of expenses is assigned to the accounting period in which it is incurred.

How to Record Adjusting  Entries

This means the asset will lose $500 in value each year ($2,000/four years). In the first year, the company would record the following adjusting entry to show depreciation of the equipment. Depreciation may also require an adjustment at the end of the period.

To clear this liability, the company must perform the service. Assume that as of January 31 some of the printing services have been provided. Since a portion of the service was provided, a change to unearned revenue should occur. The company needs to correct this balance in the Unearned Revenue account. Cash basis accounting records revenue when cash is received from customers.

This will be discussed later when we prepare adjusting journal entries. Once all adjusting journal entries have been posted to T-accounts, we can check to make sure the accounting equation remains balanced. Following is a summary showing the T-accounts for Printing Plus including adjusting entries. The primary distinction between cash and accrual accounting is in the timing of when expenses and revenues are recognized. With cash accounting, this occurs only when money is received for goods or services.

Types of Adjusting Entries

For example, going back to the example above, say your customer called after getting the bill and asked for a 5% discount. If you granted the discount, you could post an adjusting journal entry to reduce accounts receivable and revenue by $250 (5% of $5,000). Unearned revenues are also recorded because these consist of income received from customers, but no goods or services have been provided to them. In this sense, the company owes the customers a good or service and must record the liability in the current period until the goods or services are provided. Note that a common characteristic of every adjusting entry will involve at least one income statement account and at least one balance sheet account. Thus, every adjusting entry affects at least one income statement account and one balance sheet account.

To deal with the mismatches between cash and transactions, deferred or accrued accounts are created to record the cash payments or actual transactions. At the end of an accounting period during which an asset is depreciated, the total accumulated depreciation amount changes on your balance sheet. And each time you pay depreciation, it shows up as an expense on your income statement.


We will not get to the adjusting entries and have cash paid or received which has not already been recorded. If accountants find themselves in a situation where the cash account must be adjusted, the necessary adjustment to cash will be a correcting entry and not an adjusting entry. Prepaid expenses or unearned revenues – Prepaid expenses are goods or services that have been paid for by a company but have not been consumed yet. This means the company pays for the insurance but doesn’t actually get the full benefit of the insurance contract until the end of the six-month period.

Recall the transactions for Printing Plus discussed in Analyzing and Recording Transactions. We can break down steps five and six of the accounting cycle into a bit more detail. You rent a new space for your tote manufacturing business, and decide to pre-pay a year’s worth of rent in December.

Accrued revenues

Another difference was interest earned from his bank account. In this article, we shall first discuss the purpose of adjusting entries and then explain the method of their preparation with the help of some examples. If making adjusting entries bookkeeping for inventory transactions is beginning to sound intimidating, don’t worry—there are only five types of adjusting entries, and the differences between them are clear cut. Here are descriptions of each type, plus example scenarios and how to make the entries.

Remember, the matching principle indicates that expenses have to be matched with revenues as long as it is reasonable to do so. To follow this principle, adjusting journal entries are made at the end of an accounting period or any time financial statements are prepared so that we have matching revenues and expenses. Some cash expenditures are made to obtain benefits for more than one accounting period.

If you don’t have a bookkeeper yet, check out Bench—we’ll pair you with a dedicated bookkeeping team, and give you access to simple software to track your finances. Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. He is the sole author of all the materials on Completing the challenge below proves you are a human and gives you temporary access.

What are Adjusting Journal Entries (AJE)?

This is posted to the Salaries Payable T-account on the credit side (right side). In the journal entry, Supplies Expense has a debit of $100. This is posted to the Supplies Expense T-account on the debit side (left side).

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