Is sales discount an expense?

by | November 7,2022

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This line item is presented as a subtraction from the gross sales line item, and is intended to reduce sales by the amount of product returns from customers and sales allowances granted. It is followed in the income statement by a net sales line item, which is a calculation that adds together the gross sales line item and the negative amount in the sales returns and allowances line item. Hence, reporting a sales discount not as an expense but as a contra-revenue account allows the company to see the original amount of sales as well as the items that reduced the sales to the net sales amount.

The natural balance in these accounts is a debit, which is the reverse of the natural credit balance in the gross sales account. To illustrate the contra revenue account Sales Returns and Allowances, let’s assume that Company K sells $100,000 of merchandise on credit. It will debit Accounts Receivable for $100,000 and credit to Sales for $100,000. If a customer returns $500 of this merchandise, Company K will debit Sales Returns and Allowances for $500 and will credit Accounts Receivable for $500. Company K’s income statement will report the gross Sales of $100,000 minus the sales returns and allowances of $500 and the resulting net sales of $99,500. If a customer takes advantage of these terms and pays less than the full amount of an invoice, the seller records the discount as a debit to the sales discounts account and a credit to the accounts receivable account.

As you can see in this entry, $750 is the sales discount or cash discount which is recorded as expenses and the company received cash only $24,250. ABC Ltd sold merchandise to Company RST for a total sales price of $100,000. Say, Company RST is given 30 days to pay the amount and will be granted a 5% discount if it pays within 10 days.

Hence, its debit balance will be one of the deductions from sales (gross sales) in order to report the amount of net sales. This means that the revenue that the business earned is reduced by a certain percentage. The disadvantage of this is to the seller as the seller bears the brunt of lower revenue due to sales discounts. Hence, offering a sales discount is like an extra cost for the seller which may seem like an expense that the seller expends.

Effects of Sales Discounts on Businesses

To illustrate a sales discount let’s assume that a manufacturer sells $900 of products and its credit terms are 1/10, n/30. This means that the buyer can satisfy the $900 obligation if it pays $891 ($900 minus $9 of sales discount) within 10 days. Thus, companies should ascertain whether or not offering sales discounts will truly benefit them in the long run. Sales Discounts are a useful tool for companies to encourage customers to settle their credit purchases now rather than later.

  • An example of a sales discount is for the buyer to take a 1% discount in exchange for paying within 10 days of the invoice date, rather than the normal 30 days (also noted on an invoice as “1% 10/ Net 30” terms).
  • On the income statement, contra-revenue accounts are reported separately from the gross sales revenue to show the discounts, allowances, and returns that reduced the original total value of the sale to the net amount.
  • In other words, contra sales revenue is the difference between gross revenue and net revenue.

Revenue is reported on the credit side while expenses are recorded on the debit side of the profit and loss report in order to measure a business’s profit and losses. While a credit entry of the full invoice amount of $100 would be made to the accounts receivable account in order to remove the invoice amount from the accounts receivable. This means that the sales discount that was issued during the accounting period cost the business $500. However, in accounting a sales discount is not treated as an expense account but as a contra-revenue account. Hence, we will discuss sales discount, expense, and why sales discount is not an expense. Sales discounts (if offered by sellers) reduce the amounts owed to the sellers of products, when the buyers pay within the stated discount periods.

What is the account classification of sales discounts?

Sales discount is reported on the income statement to offset a company’s gross sales, which in turn results in a smaller net sales figure. As a contra revenue account, a sales discount has a debit balance that reduces gross sales revenue which has a credit balance on an income statement. Contra revenue accounts are expected to have a debit balance that is contrary to the normal credit balance of revenue. Hence, sales discounts as well as sales returns and allowances offset sales revenue in order to report the net sales that are generated by a business for an accounting period. Therefore, their debit balance will be the deductions from sales (gross sales) which reports the net sales. That is, a sales discount as a contra-revenue account takes into account the value of price reductions that are granted to buyers or customers in order to incentivize early payments.

Sales discount refers to reduction in the amount due as a result of early payment, hence pertaining to cash discounts. In other words, the amount recorded as sales is always at net of any trade discount. 5 financial forecasting models and examples of use cases As seen in the income statement report above, the sales discount as a contra revenue account appears as a $1,500 reduction from the gross revenue of $30,000 that Jenny’s organics recorded.

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He has worked as an accountant and consultant for more than 25 years and has built financial models for all types of industries. He has been the CFO or controller of both small and medium sized companies and has run small businesses of his own. He has been a manager and an auditor with Deloitte, a big 4 accountancy firm, and holds a degree from Loughborough University. The discount is applicable only if the customer making the payment and the payments are within the term and condition which is within the 10 days. It is offered to the purchaser if they are able to pay off their credit purchases in a given period. Sales Discount refers to the reduction in the amount due from a customer as a result of early payment.

An example of a sales discount is for the buyer to take a 1% discount in exchange for paying within 10 days of the invoice date, rather than the normal 30 days (also noted on an invoice as “1% 10/ Net 30” terms). Another common sales discount is “2% 10/Net 30” terms, which allows a 2% discount for paying within 10 days of the invoice date, or paying in 30 days. The best practice to record a sales entry is debiting the accounts receivable with full invoice and credit the revenue account with the same amount.

In these examples, we will see how sales discount as a contra revenue account is recorded as a debit which is contrary to the natural credit balance of revenue. As seen in the income statement above, sales discount comes under Gross sales which is in the revenue section, and not in the expenses section. It is usually advisable to use a sales account and a contra-sales account when recording sales.

Sales Invoice Posted

When a business sells goods on credit to a customer the terms will stipulate the date on which the amount outstanding is to be paid. In addition the terms will often allow a sales discount to be taken if the invoice is settled at an earlier date. Thus, the net effect of the allowance technique is to recognize the estimated amount of the discount at once and park that amount in an allowance account on the balance sheet. Then, when the customer actually takes the discount, you charge it against the allowance, thereby avoiding any further impact on the income statement in the later reporting period.

Accounting for a Sales Discount

Most businesses do not offer early payment discounts, so there is no need to create an allowance for sales discounts. A company may choose to simply present its net sales in its income statement, rather than breaking out the gross sales and sales discounts separately. This is most common when the sales discount amount is so small that separate presentation does not yield any material additional information for readers. The amount of sales discount is deducted from the gross sales to calculate the company’s net sales and recorded in a separate sales discount account. Let’s say Company ABC offered the customer a sales discount term of ‘2/10 net 30’.

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As you can see, full amounts of cash are received and the full amount of account receivables are discharged from the company account. It is also not shown in the face of financial statements as well as in the noted to sales or revenue of financial reports. Chartered accountant Michael Brown is the founder and CEO of Double Entry Bookkeeping.

They are the expenses account which is reported in the income statement for the period that the allowance or discount occurs. A Cash or Sales discount is the reduction in the price of a product or service offered to a customer by the seller to pay the due amount within a specified time period. Sales discounts are otherwise called cash discounts or early payment discounts.

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Francesco Perticarari

Francesco Perticarari

Francesco is a computer sicentist and tech startup investor, who built Silicon Roundabout into the largest Tech meetup community in Europe, with the mission of developing tech entrepreneurship and innovation through business connections, specialist recruitment, and venture capital support. Prior to Silicon Roundabout, Francesco worked as a C++ software engineer, web developer, and founded the boutique property investment company AGAPE Properties: 1st UK property manager to accept crypto as a payment. Linked In

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