Friday, September 5, 2008

#45- Timing of accruing expenses

We got the following query from the reader:

" ...Could you please tell me when the accrued expenses should be accounted for in system (AP)? is it at the beginning of each month? and once accounted should it be reversed immdiately after entering the corresponding expense for the accrual or should it be done in one go at the end of each month"

Before answering the question, we need to find out the nature of accruals, which is:
- to account for service received but billing not received from suppliers
- to account for expenses incurred ( e.g. montly provision for bonus)

Hence, practially, accruing for expenses should be done at the end of each month while doing month end closing. Yes, the amount should be reversed out immediately upon receiving the billing / payout the expenses. To illustrate with the following example:
Company XYZ has received repair & maintenance services from a service provider. The service amount has been agreed at US$500. However, at the end of the month, no billing has been received and the following entry have to be passed:
Dr. Repair Expenses
Cr. Accrued Expenses

Upon receiving the billing from service provider, the following entry should be passed to reverse the accruals:
Dr. Accrued Expenses
Cr. Trade Creditors

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