What is an Accrued Expense?
An accrued expense is an expense recorded on the books as an approximate digit that is unpaid, and the actual value is known when it incurs later. It requires more journal entries and offers a clear picture of the firm’s financial condition and the other cash balance accountings. They are the opposite of prepaid expenses and also require intensive labor to track and keep note of the events and transactions for every period. An accrued expense represents the obligation of a company to make a cash payment in the future. It is only an estimate and is likely to differ from the invoice when the original charge arrives later.
Types Of Accrued Expenses
There are various kinds of accrued expenses in a business, and it gets accumulated with time without a slight sign if it untracked properly. They are:
- Unpaid vacation pays
- Unreimbursed employee travel expenses
- Used utilities that are unbilled
Different Forms Of Accrued Expenses
There are various forms of accrued expenses in any organization to understand better, and some of them are:
- Interest payments on loans
- Warranties on services and products that are received
- Calculated tax payments
- Employee wages
- The bonus pays for work extracted
- Commissions for employees
- Utilities installed
- Rent for the office space
Understand Accrued Expense Better
Accrued expenses are also known as spontaneous liabilities and are short-term noted on the ledger or a company’s balance sheet. The proper values of an accrued expense are dependent on the accountant or the accounting system. They are unpaid that an organization is aware of but cannot do so immediately as it is unbilled. These outstanding make the management always seek better knowledge of its total liabilities and where they stand. It allows the firm to make decisions better and plan its future spending accordingly. To understand accrued expense better, it is essential to know how it is different from accounts payable. Accounts payable are the debts that receive invoices but payments not made. Though both are under the current liability column of a balance sheet, every time an invoice appears for an accrued expense, it moves to the account payable column.
How To Record Accrued Expenses?
Recording accrued expenses are done for each category differently in organizations and reverse as a default procedure towards the following month.
- When supplies enter without any invoice, debit the supplies expense, and credit the accrued cost.
- Debit the wages expense and credit the accrued expense for hours worked by an employee.
- During incurrence of benefit liability without any invoice from the supplier, debit the employee benefits expense and credit the accrued expense.
An accrued expense requires patience and intense labor as the journal entry is the base for costs accumulated that incur without any expenditure documentation. It becomes difficult without a journal entry as the expense will appear in the financial and bank reconciliation statements and lead to inaccuracy of accounting and revenue calculations. Hence proper accounting software or skilled accountants are essential. The journal entry is always reversed automatically with the help of developments in the accounting software. The software makes it possible with an offsetting entry feature at the beginning of the month.