How do I set up a contra account or control the natural balance of a GL account in Quickbooks Online?

contra asset account

We are better off subtracting the accumulated depreciation account (the contra account) from PPE cost account (the parent account) to arrive at the net balance of the PPE. Whereas assets normally have positive debit balances, contra assets, though still reported along with other assets, have an opposite type of natural balance. Allowance for doubtful accounts is contra asset accounts that offset the accounts receivable. They are used in case some customers won’t be able to pay the money they owe to the business. As mentioned, contra asset accounts are usually listed below their matching asset accounts, and the net values of those assets are written next to the contra accounts. To oppose the revenue made by a company, contra revenue accounts must have a debit balance.

  • There are several examples of contra accounts, including accumulated depreciation, accumulated depletion, accumulated amortization, allowance for receivables, etc.
  • It is paired with the trade accounts receivable account, and contains a reserve for receivables that are unlikely to be paid by customers.
  • The accumulated depreciation account is perhaps the most common contra asset account used by business owners.
  • Therefore, the net amount of the accounts receivable that is expected to turn to cash is $38,000.

Contra asset accounts provide business owners with the true value of certain asset accounts. For example, let’s say your accounts receivable balance is currently $11,500, but you’re not entirely sure that you’ll be able to collect the entire balance due. As mentioned, companies do not represent these accounts on the balance sheet. However, they will still appear on the notes to the financial statements with necessary disclosures. The accumulated depreciation account plays a vital role in representing the accurate value of an asset in the financial statements.

How do I set up a contra account or control the natural balance of a GL account in Quickbooks Online?

This account is paired with and offsets another asset account, so that a net balance is reported on the balance sheet. Last, for contra revenue Best Practice To Hire or Outsource for Nonprofit Accounting accounts there are sales discounts, sales allowances, or sales returns. Contra revenue reduced gross revenue, resulting in net revenue.

  • A company, ABC Co., purchased a depreciable asset worth $100,000.
  • Balance sheet readers cannot only see the actual cost of the item; they can also see how much of the asset was written off as well as estimate the remaining useful life and value of the asset.
  • Examples of deferred unearned revenue include prepaid subscriptions, rent, insurance or professional service fees.
  • As mentioned, companies do not represent these accounts on the balance sheet.
  • Accumulated depreciation is the total of all depreciation that has been charged to existing fixed assets such as equipment and buildings.

The information provided by my colleague above is to set up an account within QuickBooks Online (QBO). In regards to your concern, the Accumulated Depreciation will not automatically set as a contra account in QBO. We still have to manually set up and track on how much we depreciate a fixed asset into this account. In other words, contra revenue is a deduction from gross revenue, which results in net revenue.

Contra accounts definition

Including contra asset accounts on your balance sheets can be hugely beneficial for your business. Including contra revenue accounts is important in the income statement because it shows the original amount of sales the firm has made, along with any factor that has reduced that amount. Both the asset and the corresponding contra asset accounts must be stated clearly in the balance sheet. Usually, the asset account is listed first, and its contra asset counterpart is listed underneath, with the asset’s net value or book value. Another contra asset account is Allowance for Doubtful Accounts.

contra asset account

The net of the asset and its related is referred to as the asset’s book value or carrying value. Although they all aim at reducing the balance of some type of account, it is useful to have some general foundational knowledge of the different types of accounts. The definition can be expanded to include contra accounts in general. Contra accounts act like regular accounts on the balance sheet but have a unique purpose.

Why are contra asset accounts important for businesses?

The contra asset account Accumulated Depreciation is related to a constructed asset(s), and the contra asset account Accumulated Depletion is related to natural resources. Whenever the balance of a contra asset account increases (credit to the contra asset account), the increased amount is written off as an expense and is reported in the company’s income statement. These contras reduce the equity account and carry a debit balance.

Any company that owns intangible assets such as software, patents, etc., will maintain an accumulated amortization account. Similar to depreciation, this account plays a significant role in representing the book value of a company’s assets. This account serves two purposes — tracking total depreciation expenses while providing you with the accurate book value of the asset being depreciated. These accounts might also appear on the balance sheets of the company. In this way, the historical cost, the amount of write-off, and the book value of an asset can always be seen on the balance sheet. GAAP, the allowance for doubtful accounts represents management’s estimate of the percentage of “uncollectible” accounts receivable (i.e. the credit purchases from customers that are not expected to be paid).

Is a Contra Balance Negative or Positive?

An entry will be recorded on the credit side if and when a debit entry is recorded in an account and vice-versa. For example, an asset was purchased by a company for $100,000 – that is, the historical cost of the asset was $100,000 – and its contra asset counterpart has a balance of $30,000. Therefore, the asset’s net value (or the book value) will be $70,000.

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