The second entry removes the accrual entry from the ledger. The accrual entry is simply informational; it carries no true value for the firm as it does not reflect any actual expense or activity. The reversing entry, to be entered on April 1, would then be a debit to Accrued expenses for $200 and a credit to Advertising Expenses for the same amount. Until the actual revenue or expense is recorded, the books will not reflect reality. This is acceptable because it happens within a one-month accounting period, and by the end of the month, when the books close, the actual will have been posted and the books will be up to date once more. To account for salaries partially accounted for in the current period and the prior period.

  • Reversing entries, or reversing journal entries, are journal entries made at the beginning of an accounting period to reverse or cancel out adjusting journal entries made at the end of the previous accounting period.
  • A reversing entry is an accounting entry that is made at the beginning of an accounting period to reverse the effects of a previous adjusting entry.
  • Accrue means to make a journal entry with an estimate of the expense amount to reflect the fact that this was an expense during that time period.
  • Business owners use reversing entries to neutralize journal entries prepared in the previous accounting period.
  • Then, when the bill comes in for $9,500, you record a new journal entry for $9,500 in consultant fees and accounts payable.
  • NeatNick’s balance sheet at the end of the month will show that the company owes the employees $2,200, which we will pay on December 10.
  • The reversal entries, although an optional step, marks the end of the accounting cycle.

You may want to use the same date as was used for the original entry or you may prefer to use the current date. Confirm the date of the original entry and consider how the reversal will affect your reports. For example, the original entry may appear on your previous month reports and the reversal may appear on the current month reports. Most transaction entry programs have built-in reversal functions so that all you need to do is click Reverse and choose the entry to reverse.

Examples of Reversing Entries

You recorded it late at night and didn’t immediately tell your spouse because you have a rule about not talking about work past 6 p.m. Having a automatic reversal setup is also advantageous, especially when most businesses still function on accrual accounting methods by reducing the chance of input errors.

  • Reversing entries can make it easier to record future transactions.
  • Say you and your spouse share bookkeeping responsibilities.
  • Making the reversing entry at the beginning of the period just allows the accountant to forget about the adjusting journal entries made in the prior year and go on accounting for the current year like normal.
  • As a result, the account Temp Service Expense will begin January with a zero balance.

For the current period, he would just have to record the expenses and revenue as they come in and not worry about the accrued and prepayments of the last period. Reversing entries is a simple process that can be performed by any employee without much knowledge of accounting. Basically, the account originally debited is now credited and vice versa. There’s no need to research or conduct any calculations — all you need to do is reverse the original entry using the same exact numbers with no changes. You can give a clerk a list of entries to reverse, and it’ll be understood and done easily.

Reversing Entries Definition

An auditor can use a reversing entry to push an expense recorded in the current year to the prior year. After everything is closed and the old year is done, accountants sometimes perform one more step that could be called the beginning of the next accounting cycle as easily as it could be called the end of the old. You want to simplify the monthly closing process at your company. It seems like you are spending far too much time and money on professional fees at month-end. Reversals in accounting may save time, money and aggravation. You should record a reversing entry at the start of May, as you expect to receive the invoice during the month.

If you reverse an entry before the actual bill is input, you get strange results, such as a negative credit balance on an expense account. This problem is temporary and is resolved after the bill is in the program, but it can be disturbing for those not familiar with this process. To allow different accounting personnel to continue making entries as normal rather than having to factor reversing entries in accruals made last month or last year. If there are different people entering expenses, invoices, and accruals, then it is better to reverse all accruals at the beginning of the month automatically. Companies often have an A/P clerk for expenses, an A/R clerk for billing, and an accountant to manage more complex tasks such as accruals, financial statements, and monthly closings.


Frequent errors posted into the general ledger are also a poor reflection. It means a company does not have proper oversight and accountants are not recording information as they should.

  • Each individual’s unique needs should be considered when deciding on chosen products.
  • To allow different accounting personnel to continue making entries as normal rather than having to factor in accruals made last month or last year.
  • Reversing entries are a way of reversing journal entries you made in the previous month.
  • The reversing entries are made in the following month automatically by running the GL Auto Reversal Entries program.
  • At the beginning of each accounting period, some accountants use reversing entries to cancel out the adjusting entries that were made to accrue revenues and expenses at the end of the previous accounting period.

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The reversing entry will consist of debiting accrued expenses payable $500 and crediting supplies expenses for $500. Reversing entries are accounting entries, typically, made at the beginning of a new year to reverse some kind of entry from the immediately preceding period.