Purchase Discount in Accounting

They simply debit cash and credit accounts receivable for the full amount. Revenues are what businesses earn through selling their products to their customers while expenses are what businesses spend in the course of running their operations. For most businesses, the sales revenue that comes from their main operation is the main source of their revenues. Net sales revenue is equal to gross sales revenue minus sales discounts, returns and allowances. Purchase discount is an offer from the supplier to the purchaser, to reduce the payment amount if the payment is made within a certain period of time.

And if the payments are not made in time, an anti-revenue account name purchase discounts lost is debited to record the loss. Next, let’s assume that the corporation focuses on the bad debts expense. As a result, its November income statement will be matching $2,400 of bad debts expense with the credit sales of $800,000. If the balance in Accounts Receivable is $800,000 as of November 30, the corporation will report Accounts Receivable (net) of $797,600.

Net sales is what remains after all returns, allowances and sales discounts have been subtracted from gross sales. When you create an allowance for doubtful accounts, you must record the amount on your business balance sheet. The balance sheet is a financial statement that looks at your company’s assets, liabilities, and equity.

Purchase Returns and Allowances Defined

The allowance for doubtful accounts reduces the gross balance of accounts receivable down to an estimated recoverable balance in accordance with the conservatism principle. Purchases will normally have a debit balance since it represents additions to the inventory, an asset. The contra account purchases returns and allowances will have a credit balance to offset it. Bill uses the purchases returns and allowances account because he likes to keep tabs on the amount as a percentage of purchases. He also needs to debit accounts payable to reduce the amount owed the supplier by the amount that was returned.

What are sales allowances?

A purchase allowance is a reduction in the buyer’s cost of merchandise that it had purchased. The purchase allowance is granted by the supplier because of a problem such as shipping the wrong items, the incorrect quantity, flaws in the goods, etc.

what is a purchase allowance

The mechanics of the allowance method are that the initial entry is a debit to bad debt expense and a credit to the allowance for doubtful accounts (which increases the reserve). The allowance is a contra account, which means that it is paired with and offsets the accounts receivable account.

If you your company uses the accrual accounting method, gross sales include all your cash and credit sales. An income statement is a financial statement that reveals how much income your business is making and where it is going. The net sales figure on an income statement shows how much revenue remains from gross sales when sales discounts, returns and allowances are subtracted. Revenue accounts carry a natural credit balance; purchase discounts has a debit balance as a contra account. On the income statement, purchase discounts goes just below the sales revenue account.

For example, if a business sold 200 units of its product at $800 each, that business has made $160,000. Notice bad debt expense does not change when the accounts receivable has been written off. The loss on the uncollectible receivable had already been anticipated when establishing the allowance.

A contra revenue account that reports 1) merchandise returned by a customer, and 2) the allowances granted to a customer because the seller shipped improper or defective merchandise. This of course will reduce the seller’s accounts receivable and is subtracted from sales (along with sales discounts) to arrive at net sales. If the business pays the supplier within the 10 days and takes the purchases discount of 30, then the business will only pay cash of 1,470 and accounts for the difference with the following purchases discounts journal entry. Gross sales revenue is the revenue earned through selling products intended for sale before relevant deductions such as sales discounts, returns and allowances (price deductions) occurred. Gross sales revenue is calculated as being equal to the number of products sold multiplied by the price at which they are sold.

purchase allowance definition

This allows more consumers to purchase goods using the seller as a short-term financing option. An allowance is a contra- account with a balance opposite to the account it is linked to and is reported as a deduction to that account. The allowance is established and replenished through a provision, an estimated expense. Two typical examples of an allowance are the allowance for doubtful accounts and the allowance for returns and discounts.

If it estimates that $10,000 of merchandise will be returned, then its net revenue will be $90,000 ($100,000-$10,000). The company must publish its financial information at the end of the month or quarterly–far sooner than ninety days. The company will estimate its sales returns and then establish an allowance for returns. This is just one of several common allowance accounts used in accounting.

  • With the cash accounting method, gross sales are only the sales which you have received payment.
  • Gross sales is the total unadjusted income your business earned during a set time period.

For example, a purchaser brought a $100 item, with a purchase discount term 3/10, net 30. If he pays half the amount In accounting, gross method and net method are used to record transactions of this kind. Under the gross method, the total cost of purchases are credited to accounts payable first, and discounts realized later if the payments were made in time.

Gross sales is the total unadjusted income your business earned during a set time period. This figure includes all cash, credit card, debit card and trade credit sales before deducting sales discounts and the amounts for merchandise discounts and allowances. With the cash accounting method, gross sales are only the sales which you have received payment.

Purchase Allowance Example

A purchase discount is a small percentage discount a company offers to a buyer to induce early payment of goods sold on account. Accountants must make specific journal entries to record purchase discounts. When a buyer pays the bill within the discount period, accountants debit cash and credit accounts receivable. Another part of the entry debits purchase discounts and credits accounts receivable for the discount taken by the buyer. If the buyer does not take the discount, then accountants do not make the second entry.

Under the allowance method, a company records an adjusting entry at the end of each accounting period for the amount of the losses it anticipates as the result of extending credit to its customers. The entry will involve the operating expense account Bad Debts Expense and the contra-asset account Allowance for Doubtful Accounts. Later, when a specific account receivable is actually written off as uncollectible, the company debits Allowance for Doubtful Accounts and credits Accounts Receivable. Net sales is equal to gross sales minus sales returns, allowances and discounts. Net sales are the sum of a company’s gross sales minus its returns, allowances and discount.

In this case a liability (accounts payable) decreases as the amount owed to the supplier is reduced by the purchases allowance credit note, this reduction is balanced by the increase in owners equity. The credit to the income statement for the purchases allowance increases the net income which increases the retained earnings and therefore the owners equity in the business.


When a specific bad debt is identified, the allowance for doubtful accounts is debited (which reduces the reserve) and the accounts receivable account is credited (which reduces the receivable asset). The purchases discounts normal balance is a credit, a reduction in costs for the business. The discount is recorded in a contra expense account which is offset against the appropriate purchases or expense account in the income statement. Companies make credit sales to increase sales revenue without requiring immediate cash payment.

An allowance is a balance sheet contra-account linked with another account that has an opposite value to that account, and is reported as a subtraction from the linked account’s balance. Returning to our example, let’s suppose our company sells $100,000 in revenue. It does so by creating an allowance that estimates the merchandise returned.

To account for this, accountants have to estimate non-payments with the use of doubtful accounts. Accounts receivable is an asset and has a debit balance, so doubtful accounts have a credit balance. (Remember, allowances are always the opposite of the account they are linked to!) Accounts receivable on the balance sheet is shown net of the allowance for doubtful accounts and is reported as net accounts receivable.

what is a purchase allowance

Another allowance that reduces accounts receivable is the allowance for sales returns and discounts. This account operates in a similar fashion to the allowance for doubtful accounts. The most common example of an allowance in accounting is the allowance for doubtful accounts. If a firm sells a high volume of a product on credit, it is likely that some of its customers will not be able to pay their credit payment.

Accounts receivable is a current asset included on the company’s balance sheet. The first section of an income statement reports a company’s sales revenue, purchase discounts, sales returns and cost of goods sold. This information directly affects a company’s gross and operating profit.

Author: Anfisa Dmitrieva

Anfisa is a talented entrepreneur and business trainer in financial analytics and currency trading. In this blog she talks about accounting services, payroll calculation, investment consulting, tax training and much more.

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