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Treatment of Prepaid Expenses in Final Accounts

Prepaid Expenses

At times, during business operations, a payment made for an expense may belong fully or partially to the upcoming accounting period. Such a payment (partly or fully) is treated as a prepaid expense (unexpired expense) for the current period. It is treated as an adjustment in the financial statements and this article will describe the treatment of prepaid expenses in final accounts.

Some common examples of prepaid expenses are prepaid rent, prepaid insurance premium, etc.

Journal Entry for Prepaid Expense

Prepaid Expense A/CDebitDebit the increase in asset
 To Expense A/CCreditCredit the decrease in expense

Payment for “insurance premium” is commonly issued in advance hence it will be used to explain the treatment of prepaid expenses in final accounts (or) financial statements.


Treatment of Prepaid Expenses in Final Accounts

Explanation with Example

Company – Unreal Corporation

Insurance prem. paid on 30th Jun YYYY – 1200 for a year (50% prepaid for next year)

Premium prepaid – 600

Accounting Cycle Ends – 31 Dec YYYY


Journal Entry on 30th June YYYY

Insurance Premium A/C1200
 To Bank A/C1200

(Payment made for insurance premium from the bank)

Adjustment entry

Prepaid Insurance Premium A/C600
 To Insurance Premium A/C600

(Transferring insurance premium prepaid to its respective “Prepaid Insurance A/C”)

Related TopicHow to Post a Journal Entry to a Ledger?

In the above example, both the respective journal entries are posted to the ledger accounts and the balances are transferred and carried forward wherever necessary.

Treatment of Prepaid Expenses in Ledger Accounts

Related Topic – More Accounting Questions Related to Revenue & Income

Treatment of Prepaid Expenses in Final Accounts (or) Financial Statements

1. The prepaid portion of the expense (unexpired) is reduced from the total expense in the profit & loss account.

2. The prepaid expense is shown on the assets side of the balance sheet under the head “Current Assets”.

Treatment of Prepaid Expenses in Final Accounts

APayment of 1200 made for the insurance premium is shown in the P&L A/C
B600 adjusted as “prepaid insurance premium” since it belongs to the following year
CThe prepaid insurance premium is shown as a “Current Asset” on the balance sheet

Related Topic – What is Unexpired Cost?

Additional points related to the treatment of prepaid expenses in final accounts;

1. If the prepaid expense is shown inside the adjusted trial balance it indicates that the related adjustment entry has already been posted i.e. In this case, prepaid expenses are shown only on the balance sheet.

2. In the next accounting year prepaid expense account is transferred to the expense account i.e. at the beginning of the next period, a reversal entry is passed.

Insurance Premium A/C600
 To Prepaid Insurance Premium A/C600

>Read Journal Entry for Outstanding Expenses

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