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Closing Entry Definition, Explanation, and Examples

Closing Entries

Accountants perform this task to readjust the temporary account balance back to zero so the company is ready to record transactions in the next accounting period. Depending on the size of a company, closing the books can occur yearly, monthly, quarterly or every six months. A closing entry on a balance Closing Entries sheet is a journal record an accountant makes at the end of an accounting period when moving balances from a temporary account to a permanent account. This process merges accounts and helps businesses find their retained earnings or the amount owed for a duration after paying dividends and expenses.

Closing Entries

To determine what need to be made, an accountant needs to run a trial balance and from it obtain the information necessary to prepare the closing entries. The income summary account is a special account created to facilitate the closing process and to leave an audit trail.

closing entries definition

To get a zero balance in a revenue account, the entry will show a debit to revenues and a credit to Income Summary. Printing Plus has $140 of interest revenue and $10,100 of service revenue, each with a credit balance on the adjusted trial balance.

Closing Entries

The first one is to close out the revenue account to the income summary account. Having a zero balance in these accounts is important so a company can compare performance across periods, particularly with income. It also helps the company keep thorough records of account balances affecting retained earnings. Revenue, expense, and dividend accounts affect retained earnings and are closed so they can accumulate new balances in the next period, which is an application of the time period assumption.

What are examples of closing entries?

Close the owner’s drawing account to the owner’s capital account. In corporations, this entry closes any dividend accounts to the retained earnings account. For purposes of illustration, closing entries for the Greener Landscape Group follow. A closing entry is a journal entry that is made at the end of an accounting period to transfer balances from a temporary account to a permanent account. Closing journal entries are made at the end of an accounting period to prepare the accounting records for the next period. They zero-out the balances of temporary accounts during the current period to come up with fresh slates for the transactions in the next period. Each business expense account is closed at the end of the accounting year.

What are year end closing entries?

The closing entry/entries is one that consists of clearing off all income and expense accounts, this is commonly known as your Profit and Loss account which holds your current years trading activity. At the end of each trading year the balance on these accounts are transferred out to the balance sheet.

Revenue accounts, which typically have a credit balance, are debited by the balance amount and then a credit is made to the income summary account, which increases it by as much. The remaining balance in Retained Earnings is $4,565 the following Figure 5.6.

Closing Entry Examples

ParticularsDebitCreditDec31Service Revenue9,850.00Income Summary9,850.00In the given data, there is only 1 income account, i.e. To close that, we debit Service Revenue for the full amount and credit Income Summary for the same. A specific example of this is dividends which is the final closing entry that will reduce retained earnings by any amount paid to investors. A company’s income statement is one of the three main financial statements and provides analysts a picture of its performance over the course of a fiscal year. Temporary accounts, also known as nominal accounts, are accounts that businesses use to accumulate transactions during one accounting period.

  • These permanent accounts show a company’s long-standing financials.
  • Closing entries are manual journal entries at the end of an accounting cycle to close out all the temporary accounts and shift their balances to permanent accounts.
  • Transfer the balances of various expense accounts to income summary account.
  • Pricing will vary based on various factors, including, but not limited to, the customer’s location, package chosen, added features and equipment, the purchaser’s credit score, etc.
  • She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and business administration and a Master of Arts in Adult Education.
  • If your business is a corporation, you will not have a drawing account, but if you paid stockholders, you will have a dividends account.

The completion of these steps finalizes the process of making closing entries. Printing Plus has a $4,665 credit balance in its Income Summary account before closing, so it will debit Income Summary and credit Retained Earnings. So that, for example, revenues and expenses for ABC Ltd. for the accounting year 2018 should be isolated and not be mixed with revenues and expenses of the year 2019. Expense AccountExpense accounting is the accounting of business costs incurred to generate revenue. Accounting is done against the vouchers created at the time the expenses are incurred. Close the Income Summary account by transferring its balance into the Owner equity account. Close the various Expense accounts by transferring its balances in to the Income Summary account.

Closing Entries – A Practical Exercise:

Examples are cash, accounts receivable, loans payable, and owner’s equity. At the end of every period, temporary accounts must be set to a zero balance, and in order to do this, their balances will be deposited into the income summary account. Closing entries transfer the balances from the temporary accounts to a permanent or real account at the end of the accounting year. What is the current book value of your electronics, car, and furniture? Are the value of your assets and liabilities now zero because of the start of a new year? Your car, electronics, and furniture did not suddenly lose all their value, and unfortunately, you still have outstanding debt. Therefore, these accounts still have a balance in the new year, because they are not closed, and the balances are carried forward from December 31 to January 1 to start the new annual accounting period.

Closing an account to retained earnings is a faster process than closing to income summaries because it skips the closing temporary accounts step. This can be a beneficial process for companies that are established and have high earnings. However, as you distribute more dividends, your company retains less. If the income summary account has a credit balance after completing the entries, or the credit entry amounts exceeded the debits, the company has a net income. If the debit balance exceeds the credits the company has a net loss. Now, the income summary must be closed to the retained earnings account.

How to Prepare Your Closing Entries

Closing entries are completed at the end of each accounting period after your adjusted trial balance has been run. One of the most important steps in the accounting cycle is creating and posting your closing entries. In addition, if the accounting system uses subledgers, it must close out each subledger for the month prior to closing the general ledger for the entire company. If the subsidiaries also use their own subledgers, then their subledgers must be closed out before the results of the subsidiaries can be transferred to the books of the parent company.

Closing Entries

This is contrary to what is normally done, as Bob has made a net loss for the period. Therefore, this entry will ensure that the balance has been transferred on the balance sheet. As mentioned earlier, this is just an intermediate account that is used to zero out all the other revenues and expenses accounts into one place. The balances of the income summary account will eventually also be transferred to the retained earnings account on the balance sheet. Understanding closing entries is important because it helps accountants evaluate a company’s financial performance for the fiscal year.

Close all dividend or withdrawal accounts

After all closing entries are made, postthe entry totals to the general ledger. Footthe general ledger accounts to arrive at the beginning amounts for the new accounting period. Income Statement accounts are called nominal or temporary accounts because income statement accounts are closed at the end of a reporting period to bring the balances to zero. Note that the income summary account is not absolutely necessary – the revenue and expense accounts could be closed directly to retained earnings. The income summary account offers the benefit of indicating the net balance between revenue and expenses (i.e. net income) during the closing process. This will be performed through crediting the expense accounts, debiting the income summary, and in turn, closing the income summary account and crediting the permanent retained earnings account.

Daniel is an expert in corporate finance and equity investing as well as podcast and video production.


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