Reversing Entries Example Requirements Explained

entries are optional

First, you record an adjusting entry at the end of the month for wages owed but not yet paid. You record a reversing entry on the first of the new month, clearing the way for the payroll journal entry on payday. Are optional accounting procedures which may sometimes prove useful in simplifying record keeping. A reversing entry is a journal entry to “undo” an adjusting entry. But wait, didn’t we zero out the wages expense account in last year’sclosing entries? This reversing entry actually puts a negative balance in the expense.


Goods received and consumed for which no supplier invoice has been received. Between May 1 when the reversing entry is made and May 10 when the payroll entry is recorded, the company’s total liabilities and total expenses are understated. This temporary inaccuracy in the books is acceptable only because financial statements are not prepared during this period. The next example revisits the same facts using reversing entries.

Editorial Process

Reversing entries are optional but tend to simplify accounting and reduce errors. The use of reversing entries allows standardized journal entries to be passed to the general ledger by other accounting systems without regard to the period end. Any accrued asset or liability is a candidate for a reversing entry. Business owners use reversing entries to neutralize journal entries prepared in the previous accounting period. Reversing entries are used in accrual accounting, where revenue and expenses are recorded when earned and incurred and not only when cash is involved. If Mr. Green does not reverse the adjusting entry, he must remember that part of May’s first payroll payment has already been recorded in the wages payable and wages expense accounts.

Certain programs give accountants timing options regarding entry reversals, which can be very useful. If you reverse an entry before the actual bill is input, you get strange results, such as a negative credit balance on an expense account. This problem is temporary and is resolved after the bill is in the program, but it can be disturbing for those not familiar with this process.

A Small Business Guide to Reversing Entries

This would be used to record a $700 decrease in wages payable and a $700 decrease in wages expense. If you need to correct a previous journal entry, such as if you made a mistake when posting a purchase order, a reversing entry can be used to correct this. Reversing entries are done at the start of a new accounting cycle, whereas adjusting entries are performed at the end of an accounting cycle. You’re not sure of which types of accounting records could suitable for your business or which accountant to hire? No worries, this article will gently accompany you in your knowledge journey. Are you looking for a pro forma income statement template Excel for your business?

accounting period

When you reverse entries, write the reason for the reversal in the description area to help with research and analysis. You want to make sure to identify the reversing accounting entries related to the prior period’s entries and those that you’re using as correcting mechanisms. Journal entries are used to change accounting information in financial systems. Following the double-entry system used in modern accounting, these entries always affect at least two accounts — one account is debited, while another account is credited. A reversing entry is a journal entry that inverts a previously recorded “regular” entry. The use of reversing entries is optional, but it offers certain advantages, making them very popular in the accounting world.

Examples of Accounting Problems With T-Accounts

Reversing entries are journal entries made at the beginning of each accounting period. The sole purpose of a reversing entry is to cancel out a specific adjusting entry made at the end of the prior period, but they are optional and not every company uses them. Most often, the entries reverse accrued revenues or expenses for the previous period. Some examples of reversing entries are salary or wages payable and interest payable. A closing entry marks the end of an accounting period and is used to transfer the balances in the revenue and expense accounts to the retained earnings account.

  • Adjusting entries are made at the end of each accounting cycle, while reversing entries are made at the beginning of the following cycle.
  • Reversing entries negate revenue and expense accruals, making it easy to record transactions without having to look back at what someone else has already recorded.
  • You now create the following reversing entry at the beginning of the February accounting period.
  • NeatNiks’s works with independent contractors instead of employees, but just for this example, let’s pretend that it pays employee wages.
  • You expect the invoice to arrive a few days after you close the month, so you create a reversing entry in early February for $20,000.
  • Financial statements are usually prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles .

As you can see from theT-, both accounting method result in the same balances. The left set of T-Accounts are the accounting entries made with the reversing entry and the right T-Accounts are the entries made without the reversing entry. After the January 1 reversing entry, the account Accrued Expenses Payable will have a zero balance, and the account Temp Service Expense will have an unusual credit balance of $18,000.

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What is a reversing entry?

Reversing entries are journal entries used in the accounting to reverse an entry that was made in the preceding period or clearing out old accruals entry before starting a new one.

They serve as a key tool for monitoring and tracking the company’s performance and ensuring the smooth operation of the firm. Financial Statements Of The CompanyFinancial statements are written reports prepared by a company’s management to present the company’s financial affairs over a given period . Automatic reversing entries are made by accounting software. The $500 supplies expense would be debited, and cash would be credited, thus clearing the accrual entry.



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