How to Account for Prepaid Expenses: 7 Steps with Pictures


You don’t want to miss getting the space and hence pay the rent amount for a month or quarter in advance. The following prepaid expense entry example outlines the most common prepaid expense. It is impossible to provide a complete set of examples that address every variation in every situation since there are thousands of such expenses. Typically, Prepaid Expenses which will expire within one year from the balance sheet date are listed in the current assets section of the Balance Sheet.

Is prepaid rent an accrued expense?

Ques: Do you accrue prepaid expenses? Ans: No, you cannot accrue prepaid expenses as you have not utilized any services/products in exchange for money.

The spreadsheet would continue through December, displaying the amount that will need to be expensed each month. This can be helpful for creating your monthly adjusting entries. Capitalization is an accounting method in which a cost is included in the value of an asset and expensed over the useful life of that asset. Company A signs a one-year lease on a warehouse for $10,000 a month. The landlord requires that Company A pays the annual amount ($120,000) upfront at the beginning of the year. LegalZoom provides access to independent attorneys and self-service tools.

What are examples of prepaid expenses?

Additional expenses that a company might prepay for include interest and taxes. Interest paid in advance may arise as a company makes a payment ahead of the due date. Meanwhile, some companies pay taxes before they are due, such as an estimated tax payment based on what might come due in the future. Other less common prepaid expenses might include equipment rental or utilities.

What is a prepaid rent expense?

Prepaid rent—a lease payment made for a future period—is another common example of a prepaid expense. An organization makes a cash payment to the leasing company, but the rent expense has not yet been incurred, so the company must record the prepaid rent.

Prepaid expenses are any money your company spends before it actually gets the goods or services you’re paying for. Prepaid revenue – also called unearned revenue and unearned income – is the reverse; it’s money someone pays your company in advance of you doing the work. When you make out the company financial statements, you have to put prepaid expenses and revenues in their own accounting categories. Therefore, when recording prepaid rent, it is very important to not forget to shift the prepaid rent into an expense account in the exact month that the rent is consumed. If not, the financial statements would under-report the expense and over-report the asset.

How to calculate straight-line rent expense?

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  • Prepaid ExpensePrepaid expenses refer to advance payments made by a firm whose benefits are acquired in the future.
  • To do this, debit your Expense account and credit your Prepaid Expense account.
  • In short, store a prepaid rent payment on the balance sheet as an asset until the month when the company is actually using the facility to which the rent relates, and then charge it to expense.
  • You shift $2,400 out of Cash on the balance sheet and report $2,400 as a Prepaid Expense instead.
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Create a prepaid expenses journal entry in your books at the time of purchase, before using the good or service. Prepaid revenue might feel like an asset, but to accountants, it’s a liability. Say you’re shipping $10,000 worth of computer equipment to a new customer overseas and you want the money in advance. Once you receive it, this creates a debt – you owe the customer $10,000 worth of tech – so you have a liability.

Why Prepaid Expenses Aren’t Initially on the Income Statement

For example, if you How To Calculate Prepaid Rent Expenses your insurance for the upcoming year, you would first pay the expense, making sure to record it properly. Similar to fixed rents, the minimum rent is also included in the straight-line rent calculation for operating leases under ASC 840 and the calculation of the lease liability under ASC 842. When the actual rent amount is paid, any variance from the minimum threshold used in the initial valuation is recorded directly to rent or lease expense. An allowance for doubtful accounts is a contra-asset account that reduces the total receivables reported to reflect only the amounts expected to be paid.


At the end of each accounting period, the portion of the prepaid asset that has been used should be expensed to the income statement. In the example above, assume that the company releases financial statements quarterly.On March 31, the end of the first quarter, a fourth of the prepaid insurance needs to be expensed. To record the journal entry, debit Insurance Expense for $3,000 and credit Prepaid Insurance for $3,000. Prepaid expenses are amounts paid in advance by a business in exchange for goods or services to be delivered in the future. They usually relate to the purchase of something that provides value to the business over the course of multiple accounting periods.

Does the Prepaid Rent account flow into the income statement, statement of owner’s equity, or balance sheet? The accounting equation is used in double entry accounting to balance all transactions. Double entry accounting means that total debits will equal total credits. This is verified at the end of the month through the preparation of a trial balance. After her payment is recorded, Jill will then need to record the legal expense each month until the retainer is used and the Prepaid Legal Fees account has a $0 balance. The first step in recording a prepaid expense is the actual purchase of the expense.

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