reversing entries accounting

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. Rather than deleting an entry, reversing entries allow you to make adjustments while still maintaining the integrity of your financial records. In this step, the adjusting entries that were made at the end of the previous accounting period are simply reversed, hence the term “reversing entries”. First, you record an adjusting entry at the end of the month for wages owed but not yet paid.

reversing entries accounting

When the temp agency’s invoice dated January 6 arrives, the retailer can simply debit the invoice amount to Temp Service Expense and credit Accounts Payable (the normal routine procedure). If the actual invoice is $18,000 the balance in Temp Service Expense will change from a credit balance of $18,000 to a balance of $0. This reversing entry should decrease the prepaid insurance account by $30,000, resulting to a zero balance again, effectively reversing the adjusting entry.

What are reversing entries and why are they used?

It will classify to asset or expense when we receive goods or consume the service. In some situations, we receive the cash deposit from our clients, but not yet provide service or goods to them, therefore this balance must be recorded as unearned revenue (Liability). It will be classified to revenue when the service is complete or the goods are delivered. As you can see from the T-Accounts above, 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. And there you have the four types of adjusting entries that can be reversed.

The reversing entry removes the liability established on December 31 and also puts a credit balance in the Repairs Expense account on January 2. When the vendor’s invoice is processed in January, it can be debited to Repairs Expenses (as would normally happen). If the vendor’s invoice is $6,000 the balance in the account Repairs Expenses will show a $0 balance after the invoice is entered. These categories are also referred to as accrual-type adjusting entries or simply accruals.

Why adjusting entries are needed

Making the reversing entry at the beginning of the period just allows the accountant to forget about the adjusting journal entries made in the prior year and go on accounting for the current year like normal. To avoid the need for a compound entry, Mr. Green may choose to reverse the April 30 adjustment for accrued wages when the May accounting period begins. The reversing entry decreases (debits) wages payable for $80 and decreases (credits) wages expense for $80.

At the end of 2022, Service Revenue will again be checked to see if there is any unearned portion and if an adjusting entry is necessary. Although the bill isn’t paid just yet, this is to clearly mark this invoice as a liability before the accounting period ends. Once you do, you’ll be able to see why we make reversing entries for some accruals. However, we could also avoid all this work by simply having payroll post the check as run on the 10th to Wages Payable and the check run on the 25th to Wage Expense. For example, if you posted a purchase order with the wrong quantity of products in one period, you could undo that posting with a reversing entry at the beginning of the next period. On March 31, you recorded a $2,000 revenue journal entry for a client whose work you completed but haven’t yet billed.

Adjusting Entries and Reversing Entries

The purpose of reversing entries is always to simplify the bookkeeping process, for that reason not all adjusting entries should be reversed. For example, it serves no useful purpose to reverse the depreciation adjusting entry from the previous period, only to reinstate it at the end of the current period. If the reversing entry is made, the May 10 payroll payment can be recorded with a simple entry that increases (debits) wages expense for $200 and decreases (credits) cash for $200. Another example of a reversing entry would be if you accrued a $10,000 expense in February, but the supplier does not send the actual invoice until March. You would do a reversing entry at the beginning of the month in anticipation of the invoice, which will result in a debit to accrued expenses payable and a credit to expense. Then, once the actual invoice arrives, you would record the entry and the $10,000 expense credit would balance out to $0.

reversing entries accounting

In this case, the $2,300 in wages that is the beginning balance of Wage Expense are October wages and already include the $1,200 accrual. Accountants must record only $ 1,000 as they already accrue $ 5,000 in the prior year. She is a Business Content writer and Management contributor at, where she contributes a business article weekly. She has over 2 years of experience in writing about accounting, finance, and business. Double Entry Bookkeeping is here to provide you with free online information to help you learn and understand bookkeeping and introductory accounting.

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