contra asset account

As mentioned, a company will usually have debit balances in its asset accounts. However, the details for contra accounts usually exist on the notes to the financial statements. However, these can cause a reduction in other balances on the statement.

  • The natural balance of a contra asset account, in this case, is exactly the opposite of the balance of the related account.
  • Accumulated amortization is an account similar to accumulated depreciation.
  • Excess, stored inventory will near the end of its lifespan at some point and, in turn, result in expired or unsellable goods.
  • The second entry will be accumulated depreciation, which will be in credit.

The net of the asset and its related contra asset account is referred to as the asset’s book value or carrying value. In accounting lingo, a dual entry account system includes the concept of a contra entry. It’s an entry that’s the offset or reverse of an entry that’s on the other side of the account. An entry will be recorded on the credit side if and when a debit entry is recorded in an account and vice-versa. This will repeat until the machinery has been totally depreciated, sold, or retired. Learn why contra accounts, when utilized correctly along with a paired account, are a crucial component of accurate accounting and financial review.

Definition of Contra Account

Our experts love this top pick, which features a 0% intro APR for 15 months, an insane cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee. This allows the financial analyst to evaluate the company inventory’s current market value. Businesses can also write off many expenses like these from the financial records even if the inventory has been phased out completely. Contra accounts provide more detail to accounting figures and improve transparency in financial reporting.

The net amount – i.e. the difference between the account balance post-adjustment of the contra account balance – represents the book value shown on the balance sheet. By keeping the original dollar amount intact in the original account and reducing the figure in a separate account, the financial information is more transparent for financial reporting purposes. For example, if a piece of heavy machinery is purchased for $10,000, that $10,000 figure is maintained on the general ledger even as the asset’s depreciation is recorded separately. 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.

Contra equity

A contra account is a negative account that is netted from the balance of another account on the balance sheet. Key examples of Nonprofit Accounting: A Guide to Basics and Best Practicess include allowance for doubtful accounts and accumulated depreciation. Accumulated depreciation reflects the reduction in value of a fixed asset. Obsolete inventory or obsolete inventory reserves is another popular type of contra asset accounts. This type of accounts involves the products or goods of a company that is now unusable or obsolete.

Contra asset accounts are reported with the related account on the same financial statement. Those who are struggling with recording contra accounts may benefit from utilizing some of the best accounting software currently available. When accounting for assets, the difference between the asset’s account balance and the contra account balance is referred to as the book value. There are two major methods of determining what should be booked into a contra account.

Why are contra asset accounts important for business?

The bond is listed on the balance sheet at the full amount of $1,000, but the cash received is just $950, so a contra liability for the discount is listed to make the entry balance. In either case, using these accounts can help you better manage depreciation expense, keep your accounts receivable balance accurate, and properly dispose of and account for obsolete inventory. You may not need to use contra asset accounts right now, but as your business grows, using contra asset accounts will likely become a necessity. The natural balance of a contra asset account, in this case, is exactly the opposite of the balance of the related account. Far less common is the obsolete inventory reserve, which reduces the overall inventory value on the balance sheet.

Thus, netting off both will result in the final amount for the account. A contra account is a general ledger account with a balance that is opposite of the normal balance for that account classification. The use of a contra account allows a company to report the original amount and also report a reduction so that the net amount will also be reported. The net amount is often referred to as the carrying amount or perhaps the net realizable amount.