Unearned Revenue Definition, Accounting Treatment, Example

is unearned revenue a current liability

Note that this does not include the interest portion of the payments. On the balance sheet, the current portion of the noncurrent liability is separated from the remaining noncurrent liability. No journal entry is required for this distinction, but some companies choose to show the transfer from a noncurrent liability to a current liability.

  • You also need to enter a credit of $4800 to the deferred revenue account.
  • Later, you will make the necessary adjusting journal entries once you recognize part of or the entire prepaid revenue amount.
  • The good news is that for a loan such as our car loan or even a home loan, the loan is typically what is called fully amortizing.
  • A second possibility is that Sierra will return part of the purchase before the ten-day discount window has expired.
  • A/P is a form of credit that suppliers offer to their customers by allowing them to pay for a product or service after it has been received.

Per FASB 6, current obligations that an enterprise intends and is able to refinance with long term debt have different reporting requirements. GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments. The $3,500 is recognized in Interest Payable (a credit) and Interest Expense (a debit).


Noncurrent liabilities represent a long-term liability like loans, rent, or other lease obligations that last longer than a year. Unearned revenue indicates the intention to perform work for the advance payment within a closer time frame, typically within the next several months or less. As the unearned revenue account is debited and the cash account is credited, the amounts change classification on the balance sheet. Where once the $5,000 was a liability, it is now a cash asset on the income statement. Businesses record deferred and recognized revenue because the principles of revenue recognition require them to do it.

is unearned revenue a current liability

Sales Tax Payable increases (credit) for the 6% tax rate ($18,000 × 6%). Sales increases (credit) for the original amount of the sale, not including sales tax. If Sierra’s customer pays on credit, Accounts Receivable would increase (debit) for $19,080 rather than Cash. A note payable is a debt to a lender with specific repayment terms, which can include principal and interest. A note payable has written contractual terms that make it available to sell to another party. The principal on a note refers to the initial borrowed amount, not including interest.

Assets vs Liability: Why Is Unearned Revenue A Liability?

Demand promissory notes are notes that do not carry a specific maturity date, but are due on demand by the lender. Usually the lender will only give the borrower a few days notice before the payment is due. For loans between individuals, writing and signing a promissory note are often instrumental for tax and record keeping purposes. Accounts payable is money owed by a business to its suppliers and creditors and typically shown on its balance sheet as a current liability.

is unearned revenue a current liability

The per share dividend amount is multiplied by the number of shares outstanding and this result is debited to retained earnings and credited to dividends payable. Calculating the up-front, ongoing, and potentially variable transaction costs of refinancing is an important part of the decision on whether or not to refinance. https://www.vizaca.com/bookkeeping-for-startups-financial-planning-to-push-your-business/ Most fixed-term loans are subject to closing fees and points and have penalty clauses that are triggered by an early repayment of the loan, in part or in full. Revenue recognition is one reason why the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

Capitalization of Retained Earnings to Paid-Up Capital

For example, say you collect a $5,000 deposit from a customer in December and recognize the full payment as revenue. Unearned revenue is mainly used in accrual accounting, which recognizes revenue as soon as its earned. For the company, a dividend payment is not an expense, but the division of after tax profits among shareholders. On the dividend declaration date, a company’s board of directors announces its intention to pay a dividend to shareholders on record as of a certain date (date of record).

Where is unearned revenue on balance sheet?

Unearned revenue is listed under “current liabilities.” It is part of the total current liabilities as well as total liabilities. On a balance sheet, assets must always equal equity plus liabilities.

This changes if advance payments are made for services or goods due to be provided 12 months or more after the payment date. In such cases, the unearned revenue will appear as a long-term liability on the balance sheet. If a publishing company accepts $1,200 for a one-year subscription, the amount is recorded as an increase in cash and an increase in unearned revenue.

Cromwell holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting, as well as a Juris Doctor. So recording customer deposits as revenue would lead to inaccurate financial statements that don’t comply with GAAP. Advisory services provided by Carbon Collective Investment LLC (“Carbon Collective”), an SEC-registered investment adviser. Unearned revenue presents itself to a small business as an opportunity to boost the amount of working capital for rounding up its portfolios. Through this, small businesses can cover their day-to-day operations without going for a loan. Sales Tax Payable and Cash decrease for the payment amount of $1,080.

Once the product is delivered, the $100 would be recognized as revenue and the unearned revenue would be reduced by $100. According to the accounting reporting principles, unearned revenue must be recorded as a liability. If the value was entered as an asset rather than a liability, the business’s profit would be overstated for that accounting period. According to the accounting equation, assets should equal the sum of equity plus liabilities.

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By recording in this way, adherence to the GAAP principle of periodicity is maintained, a requirement for public companies according to the SEC. In your company’s balance sheet, prepayments are recorded as a liability. The sales and use tax is a tax paid to a governing body by a seller for the sales of certain goods and services. The payment of the tax by the seller occurs periodically and varies depending on the jurisdiction. Usually laws allow (or require) the seller to collect funds for the tax from the consumer at the point of purchase.

As soon as the company provides all, or a portion, of the product or service, the value is then recognized as earned revenue. As the company is delivering the services or the product over time gradually, then the prepaid amount is being earned by the company, and it is recognized as revenue on the company’s income statement. Assuming that XYZ Limited, a publishing company, accepts $24,000 for a six-month subscription, an accountant records the amount as an increase in cash and an increase in unearned revenue. In each case, the figure appears in the balance sheet accounts meaning income statements are not affected immediately. So if the publications are to be delivered monthly, every time each monthly portion is delivered, the current liability (unearned revenue) is reduced by $4,000 ($24,000 divided by six months). When a customer pays for products or services in advance of their receipt, this payment is recorded by a business as unearned revenue.

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