Contra Asset


Contra Asset Account Examples

Contra accounts are usually linked to specific accounts on thebalance sheetand are reported as subtractions from these accounts. In other words, contra accounts are used to reduce normal accounts on the balance sheet. With increasing globalization and companies operating in many countries, the books of accounts must be compatible with a global platform. They are also the result of globally accepted accounting principles for accurate reporting of financial numbers. As we have seen in the above discussion, how reporting contra assets account helps in a better understanding of financial statements of any organization. So, an organization looking for a robust accounting process must move to this type of reporting for better understanding. To complete the transaction, there is also an expense account involved.

For you to show the deprecation in thebalance sheet, you need a contra account which will hold the accumulated value of depreciation and latter, offset with machinery account. Here ‘Accumulated Depreciation’ is a contra account and following are the journal bookkeeping entries to be recorded in the books of accounts for first year to account depreciation. The adjustment to long-term debt, on the other hand, is a contra liability account to mortgage payable that reduces the mortgage payable for long-term debt only.

1 – You can have a contra asset account, contra liability account or a contra equity account. Contra accounts are important because they let a company to track the matching principle by recording an expense initially in the contra asset account. However, it will be meaningless to show the property plant and equipment cost account and the related accumulated depreciation account separately on the balance sheet. We need to show the net book value of the property plant and equipment which equals the cost of PPE offset by related accumulated depreciation which is a contra account. A contra asset account is paired with an asset and reduces its value. If your factory equipment represents a $1.7 million asset but it’s depreciated by $700,000, you’d record the depreciation in a contra asset account. Comparing the two gives you the book value of $1 million on the equipment.

Therefore, the depreciation of the equipment increases by approximately $50,000 for each year of use. This method uses the initial purchase value and subtracts the accumulated depreciation value for the time period to result in the total value of the equipment after its use.

Similarly, for the remaining 9 years, the depreciation is accounted in contra account and in the 10th year, the net value of machinery will be ‘0’ since it is completely written off. The following will be the journal entry to be recorded in the books of accounts to write-off the asset.


The percentage of sales method assumes that the company cannot collect payment for a fixed percentage of goods or services that it has sold. Accountants use contra accounts rather than reduce the value of the original account directly to keep financial accounting records clean.

Contra Asset Account Examples

If we record depreciation related adjustments in the cost accounts we will lose key information about the original cost of the assets and accumulated depreciation. To avoid this loss of important data, we record actual cost and depreciation in separate ledger accounts. Contra accounts allow us to report the true value of a organization’s assets. The balance of the contra account will equalizer its parent account while still stabilizing the value of the transactions identified in the relating account. Standard accounting practice is to draw on your past business statistics. If you know that on average, 2% of your accounts receivable go unpaid, that makes a good figure to use for your contra account. This avoids the unpleasant shock you might get if you underestimate potential losses.

If a contra account is not used, it can be difficult to determine historical costs, which can make tax preparation more difficult and time-consuming. By keeping the original Contra Asset Account Examples dollar amount intact in the original account and reducing the figure in a separate account, the financial information is more transparent for financial reporting purposes.

Other examples of contra accounts deal with variables where the exact value is unknown. Sales discounts often depend on how fast your customers pay their bills. You can estimate based on experience, but you won’t know for sure until they actually pay. They wouldn’t know any of that if you just subtracted depreciation and recorded only the asset’s net value. The contra revenue accounts commonly include sales returns, sales allowance and sale discounts. Such contra account carries a debit balance and reduces the total amount of a company’s revenue. The example for contra liability accounts includes, discount on bonds payable and discount on notes payable which carry normal debit balances.

Contra accounts provide more detail to accounting figures and improve transparency in financial reporting. So, the company’s total value of receivables results in $95,000, and Power Manufacturers may then adjust this calculation in their financial records as they receive more credit sales. $100,000 – $5,000 (the 5% allowance for doubtful accounts) to equal a net receivable amount of $95,000. Power Manufacturers, Inc. purchases new machinery for a total of $300,000.

When Do Prepaid Expenses Show Up On The Income Statement?

This account offsets a company’s real property assets that include machinery, furniture, and buildings, etc. Allowance for doubtful accounts – Allowance for doubtful accounts is the percentage of bad debts that are estimated from the Accounts receivable account. Trade accounts receivable refer to an amount that a company bills to its clients when delivering goods or services. These billings may usually be documented on invoices, which are then summarized in an aging report for all the business’s accounts receivable. There are many situations where one account is used to offset another account.

For one, listing assets and examples of negative assets separately provides more information. Double entry is an accounting term stating that every financial transaction has equal and opposite effects in at least two different accounts. In the aforementioned example, the debit to the contra liability account of $100 lets the company recognize that the bond was sold at a discount. When a listed company buys back its own shares from the open market, it records the transaction by debiting the treasury stock account. A company may take the decision to buy back its shares when management feels the stock is undervalued or because it desires to pay stock dividends to its shareholders. An equity Contra account reduces the total number of outstanding shares listed on a company’s balance sheet.

The amount represents the value of accounts receivable that a company does not expect to receive payment for. Accumulated depreciation is the total amount of depreciation expense allocated to a specific asset since the asset was put into use. It is a contra-asset account – a negative asset account that offsets the balance in the asset account it is normally associated with. By writing off the debt through allowance for doubtful accounts, outstanding accounts receivable will be reduced. When determining how much uncollectible customer debt to write off, an associated account called a contra account is used.

Contra Asset Account Examples

By the end of 2nd-year, the machinery balance will still be $100,000, and accumulated depreciation will show $40,000. The netbook value of the machinery by the end of the first year will be $80,000 ($100,000-$20,000) and $60,000 ($100,000-$40,000) by the end of the second year. This method helps contra asset account a third person in identifying what the book value was at the time of purchase and what is the remaining value of an asset. If we just show $60,000 as an asset in the third year, it will be challenging to understand whether $60,000 is all new purchases or the remaining value of an asset.

Now let’s focus our attention on the two most common contra assets – accumulated depreciation and allowance for doubtful accounts. , users of financial statements can learn more about the assets of a company. Contra asset accounts allow users to see how much of an asset was written off, its remaining useful life, and the value of the asset. The most common type of contra account is the contra-asset account. This type is paired with the asset account, which allows a business to record the original price or value of the asset at time of purchase. The contra asset account then allows recording of the value factoring in depreciation.

Contra Asset Account Definition

The treasury stock account is debited when a company buys back its shares from the open market. These accounts can be listed based on the respective asset, liability, or equity account to reduce their original balance. If Adnan & Co sells Rs.500,000 of merchandise on credit, the accounting entry is a debit toAccounts Receivablefor Rs.500,000 and a credit toSalesfor Rs.500,000. This post will explain what a contra account is and how it works to correctly show the value of a organization’s financial statements. It will also provide examples to show the effect of contra entries.

A current asset is one that has a useful life of one year or less. Non-current assets have a useful life of longer than one year. This means that entries created on the left side of an assetT-accountincrease the asset account balance while journal entries created on the right side decrease the account balance. The difference between an asset’s account balance and the contra account balance is known as the book value. Contra Equity Account – A contra equity account has a debit balance and decreases a standard equity account. Treasure stock is a good example as it carries a debit balance and decreases the overall stockholders’ equity.

Contra assets may be stated in separate line items on the balance sheet. Or, if they contain relatively minor balances, they may be aggregated with their paired accounts and presented as a single line item in the balance sheet. In either case, the net amount of the pair of accounts is referred to as the book value of the asset account in question. The proper size of a contra asset account can be the subject of considerable discussion between a company controller and the company’s auditors. The auditors want to ensure that reserves are adequate, while the controller is more inclined to keep reserves low in order to increase the reported profit level.

How Are Contra Accounts Used And Reported?

A company that holds notes signed by anotherentityhas an asset recorded as a note. Unlike accounts receivable, notes receivable can be long-term assets with a stated interest rate. A contra account is used in a general ledger to reduce the value of a related account when the two are netted together. A contra account’s natural balance is the opposite of the associated account. If a debit is the natural balance recorded in the related account, the contra account records a credit. By the end of the first-year machinery, balance will be $100,000, and accumulated depreciation will show $20,000.

It seems that another example of a contra account would be an expense account associated with a security deposit (eg. rental property). The interest owed on a security deposit would show as a debit in the expense account until the tenant moved and the account settled.

Contra Asset Account Examples

We get the remaining value of assets by deducting the accumulated depreciation balances from the book value of an asset. The accumulated depreciation balance cannot exceed the book value of the asset. Accumulated Depreciation – Depreciation is the reduction in the value of an asset. Accumulated depreciation represents the cumulative amount of depreciation that is incurred by an asset.

What Is Contra Asset Account?

It is a reduction from equity because it represents the amount paid by a corporation to buy Contra Asset Account Examples back its stock. The contra equity account reduces the total number of outstanding shares.

  • The accounts normally have a credit balance and in use are offset against the purchases account which is normally a debit balance.
  • The same is true for other asset accounts like accounts receivable.
  • Purchase returns, allowances and discounts are all examples of contra expense accounts.
  • Accounts receivable is rarely reported on the balance sheet at its net amount.
  • The net balance of the accounts shows the net value of the purchases made by the business for the accounting period.
  • Instead, it is reported at its full amount with an allowance for bad debts listed below it.

The transactions are recognized and recorded in gross revenue and accounts receivable by the billing office, as the amount earned and not yet paid. In accounting, accrued interest refers to the interest that has been incurred on a loan or other financial obligation but has not yet been paid out. Discount on sales account represents the discount amount a company gives to customers as an incentive to purchase its products or services.

Why Are Contra Accounts Important?

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. 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 QuickBooks account can be used to remedy an error, to track depreciation of an asset, or to register payments that are not collectible. As we’ve seen, a contra asset account isn’t a complex addition to your accounting system. Likewise, separating the allowance for bad debt from accounts receivable lets you calculate the profitability of your sales team.