Why is income received in advance treated as a current liability?

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In simple words, income received in advance is treated as a current liability because the income that has been received by the company before its due date, is not yet earned and the company is obliged to deliver the purchased goods or services in the future.

Assume that you have received an amount from a customer, for the goods or services that you will provide in the future, therefore, in the current financial period it is a liability for your company. It can be referred to as Deferred revenue, Deferred income, or Unearned income.



XYZ Ltd. has received 40,000 from a customer in March for goods that will be delivered in April.

XYZ Ltd. will debit the Cash a/c for 40,000 and credit the Deferred Revenue a/c for 40,000. On the 31st of March, the balance sheet of XYZ Ltd. shall include 40,000 in the cash of their company and record the deferred revenue of 40,000 under current liabilities.

The journal entries to be recorded are as follows:

March Cash a/c  Debit 40,000 Debit the increase in asset
  To Deferred Revenue a/c Credit 40,000 Credit the increase in liability

(being income received in advance)


April Deferred Revenue a/c Debit 40,000 Debit the decrease in liability
   To Sales Revenue a/c Credit 40,000 Credit the increase in revenue

(being  goods sold to the customer)


Placement in the balance sheet

(Extract of the balance sheet)

balance sheet


>Related Long Quiz for Practice Quiz 22 – Current Liabilities

>Related Long Quiz for Practice Quiz 31 – Income received in Advance


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