Contra Account

what is a contra account examples

A contra liability is a general ledger account with a debit balance that reduces the normal credit balance of a standard liability account to present the net value on a balance sheet. Examples of contra liabilities are Discounts on Bonds and Notes Payable and Short-Term Portion of Long-Term Debt. The three common contra revenue accounts are sales allowance, sales return and sales discount accounts. A sales allowance account is used to record all the reductions that a company allows to its customers to buy defective or damaged goods. Sometimes a shareholder’s equity account may show negative balance.

  • Contra revenue is a general ledger account with a debit balance that reduces the normal credit balance of a standard revenue account to present the net value of sales generated by a business on its income statement.
  • Contra accounts are used to help a company report the original amount of a transaction as well as reductions that may have happened.
  • The allowance for doubtful accounts is a contra asset because it reduces the value of the accounts receivable account on the general ledger.
  • Add contra account to one of your lists below, or create a new one.
  • The contra equity account treasury stock is reported right on the balance sheet.
  • Contra account is important as it not only allows a company to report the original amount of a transaction but also report any reductions that may have happened so that the net amount will also be reported.
  • When a contra asset account is first recorded in a journal entry, the offset is to an expense.

Key examples of contra asset accounts include allowance for doubtful accounts and accumulated depreciation. Allowance for doubtful accounts reduce accounts receivable, while accumulated deprecation is used to reduce the value of a fixed asset. Examples of contra equity accounts include treasury stock accounts and drawing accounts. Treasury stock shows the amount spent by a business for repurchasing a company’s shares from investors.


The difference between an asset’s balance and the contra account asset balance is the book value. A liability that is recorded as a debit balance is used to decrease the balance of a liability. A contra equity account what is a contra account examples reduces the total number of outstanding shares listed on a company’s balance sheet. When a company buys back its own shares from the open market, it records the transaction by debiting the treasury stock account.

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We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in oureditorial policy. Discount allowed and received accounts for Sales or Purchases respectively. Contra Accountmeans an Account due from an account debtor to which the Borrower owes money. Stay updated on the latest products and services anytime, anywhere. Sales Discounts – Amount of discount given to customers who are usually able to pay earlier than the due date of an invoice.

Contra Equity Account

These contras reduce the equity account and carry a debit balance. Contra equity reduces the total number of outstanding shares on the balance sheet. The key example of a contra equity account is Treasury stock, which represents the amount paid to buyback stock. Accountants use contra accounts rather than reduce the value of the original account directly to keep financial accounting records clean. If a contra account is not used, it can be difficult to determine historical costs, which can make tax preparation more difficult and time-consuming. The difference between a normal account and a contra account is that, if there is a debit balance in the normal account, you will have the opposite balance in the contra account.

It clearly shows how the balances are offset and helps in establishing the matching principle. Contra accounts help the user of the financial statement to get clear information, which helps in making the statement more understandable. Revenue AccountRevenue accounts are those that report the business’s income and thus have credit balances. Revenue from sales, revenue from rental income, revenue from interest income, are it’s common examples. Accumulated DepreciationThe accumulated depreciation of an asset is the amount of cumulative depreciation charged on the asset from its purchase date until the reporting date. It is a contra-account, the difference between the asset’s purchase price and its carrying value on the balance sheet.

The Contra Asset Account

For her businesses, Nora is responsible for finances, marketing, operations, and fundraising. Along with The Balance, her writing has appeared in Thrillist, Insidehook and Vinepair. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool’s premium services. Free Cash Flow The money left over after a company supports operations can be a snapshot of its financial health. Notes PayableNotes Payable is a promissory note that records the borrower’s written promise to the lender for paying up a certain amount, with interest, by a specified date. BondsBonds refer to the debt instruments issued by governments or corporations to acquire investors’ funds for a certain period.

  • Balance sheet, users of financial statements can learn more about the assets of a company.
  • For example, a company has provided services to its customer for $10,000 with a sales discount of 2%.
  • As the name suggests Contra account is any account which is opposite in nature with respect to a certain account i.e. its balance is opposite to the balance of an account against which contra account is maintained.
  • The fixed asset account contains the original acquisition cost of a number of fixed assets, while the contra account contains the sum total of all the depreciation expense that has been charged against those assets over time.