Prepaid Expenses, Accrued Income and Income Received in Advance

Expenses that are to be charged in the future or simply the future expenses that are paid in advance are known as prepaid expenses. In this, the benefit of the expenses being paid in advance is recognized. They are initially treated like assets their value is expensed over time onto the income statement.

Now, what is accrued income and income received in advance? Accrued Income is the income which is earned but not yet received. ‘Income received in advance’, as the name suggests, are the earned revenue which is to be earned in the future in an accounting period but is already received in the current accounting period.


Accrued Income

Accrued Income is the income that has been earned but not yet received. Accrued Income is to be recognized in the accounting period in which it arises but not in the subsequent period when it is received. For the journal entry, the income is to be credited to record the accrued income and a related receivable is to be debited to balance the transaction. The accounting entry will be as follows:

Debit

Income receivable (recorded in the balance sheet)

Credit

Income (recorded in the income statement)


Accrued Income is an accounting concept which is a situation where a profit took place but not yet received in the hands of the receiver. This event is recorded as receivable on the books. The concept of accrued income is used under the accrual basis of accounting. Here, the income can be earned even when the cash has yet not been received.


Prepaid Expense

A company prepaying for an expense is to be recorded as a prepaid asset on the balance sheet and is termed as ‘prepaid expense’. The entry is being simultaneously added with another entry (the payment account) that reduces the cash balance of a business unit. Prepaid expense, being an ‘expense’ is still recorded in the asset side of the balance sheet as this is an advanced payment for the goods and services to be received in the future. 

According to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), expenses should be recorded in the same accounting period as the benefit generated from the related asset. Example: a company uses leased machinery for twelve months, the company benefits from it over a full-time period. Recording an advanced payment made for the lease as an expense in the first month would not adequately match expenses with revenues generated from its use. Therefore, it should be recorded as a prepaid expense and allocated out to expense over the full twelve months. Are prepaid expenses debit or credit? Prepaid expenses represent prepayment of an expense and hence it is debited and the cash account is credited. This records the prepayment as an asset on the company’s balance sheet, such as prepaid insurance and debits an expense account on the income statement, such as insurance expense.


Financial Statement

Firstly, to record prepaid expenses, the current asset is reduced and the amount of reduction is reported as an expense on the statement. These are the costs that have been paid but are not yet expired and hence as the amount expires, the current asset is reduced and this is recorded as an expense in the income statement (a type of financial statement).

Next comes the accrued income. In the financial statement, the right to receive such income is displayed in the balance sheet (another type of financial statement) in the current asset section. This will be termed as accrued receivables or accrued income. The accountant debits an asset account for accrued revenue which is reversed when the exact amount of revenue is actually collected crediting accrued revenue. In the income statement, accrued income is recognized as revenue. Another associated accrued revenue account on the company’s balance sheet is debited by the same amount, usually under accounts receivable.

Revenue received in advance or Income received in advance is received before providing any benefits. This unearned income is shown on the liability side of the balance sheet. 


Profit and Loss Statement

When a company prepays for an expense, it is recognized as a prepaid asset on the balance sheet and it reduces the company’s cash (or payment account) by the same amount. The prepaid expense is deducted from the particular expense while preparing a profit and loss statement.

In case of accrued income, it is to be added with the related income in the profit and loss account and a new account of the accrued income will be shown on the asset side of the balance sheet. 

The unearned income which is received before the benefits being provided is to be shown on the liability side of the balance sheet. While preparing the trading account, we need to deduct the amount of income received in advance from that particular income.


Outstanding Expense

Outstanding expense is the exact opposite to prepaid expenses, outstanding expense means an expense which is due i.e not yet paid. A company or a business unit takes the benefit but the related payment is not paid so far and this event leads to the occurrence of an outstanding expense to incur. The expense is due. Examples of such an event of expense outstanding are as follows

  1. Rent past due but not yet received

  2. Bills passed due but not yet received 

  3. Subscriptions passed due but not yet received 

Outstanding expenses are to be recorded in the balance sheet on the liability side. This accounting takes place under the accrual basis of accounting. For example, wages earned by the employees are not recorded in the accounting records. This is to be entered through an accrual adjusting entry – debit wages expense, credit wages payable or credit accrued wages payable. 


Journal Entry for Outstanding Expense

Expense A/C 

Debit

Debit the increase in expense

To Outstanding Expense A/C

Credit

Credit the increase in liability


Outstanding expenses are recorded in the books of finance at the end of an accounting period to show the true numbers of a business.

The subject matter discussed on prepaid expenses, accrued income and income received in advance is one of the core studies for accounts. A good grasp on the matter is beneficial as the expenses and the incomes together form a business transaction and a financial event to take place accordingly.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Difference Between Prepaid Expense and an Outstanding Expense? 

Prepaid expenses are the expenses that we paid already and still not received the benefit while outstanding expense is the receiving of the benefit already yet not paid for the received benefit. Prepaid expenses are recorded on the asset side of the balance sheet and the outstanding expenses are recorded on the liability side of the balance sheet. For a clear view, we will tabulate the difference


Prepaid Expenses

Outstanding Expenses

Prepaid expenses are paid in advance in the current year but the expenses belong to the next year

Outstanding expenses occur in the current year but are paid in the next year

Prepaid expenses are shown on the asset side of the balance sheet 

Outstanding expenses are shown on the liability side of the balance sheet.

Prepaid expenses are deducted from the particular expense in the current year

Outstanding expenses are added to the particular expenses in the current year.

2. What are the Advances on a Balance Sheet? Is Income Received in Advance Also Recorded in the Balance Sheet?

Advance payments are recorded as assets on a company’s balance sheet. As these are expensed, they are recorded on the income statement for the period incurred. Yes, income received in advance is recorded in the balance sheet. It is recorded on the liability side of the balance sheet.

3. Is Outstanding Expense a Personal Account?

The outstanding expense is a personal account and is treated as a liability for the business. It is shown on the liability side of the balance sheet. Outstanding expenses are recorded in the books of finance at the end of an accounting period to show the accurate and true figures of the business.

4. How to Calculate Accrued Income?

Accrued Income is that income which is earned but not yet received. This must be recorded in the accounting period in which it is earned. Therefore accrued income is to be recognized in the accounting period in which it arises and not in the later period in which it is received.