Closing Revenue, Expense, and Dividend Accounts

Temporary accounts are income statement accounts that are used to track accounting activity during an accounting period. For example, the revenues account records the amount of revenues earned during an accounting period—not during the life of the company. We don’t want the 2015 revenue account to show 2014 revenue numbers. The income summary account is an intermediary between revenues and expenses, and the Retained Earnings account. It stores all of the closing information for revenues and expenses, resulting in a “summary” of income or loss for the period. The balance in the Income Summary account equals the net income or loss for the period.

  • The fourth entry closes the Dividends account to Retained Earnings.
  • Your closing journal entries serve as a way to zero out temporary accounts such as revenue and expenses, ensuring that you begin each new accounting period properly.
  • Ad giants like Google and Meta brought in close to 27% and 21% respectively.
  • Instead, the basic closing step is to access an option in the software to close the reporting period.

And that number is likely to swell next year to about $4.56 billion. Chartered accountant Michael Brown is the founder and CEO of Double Entry Bookkeeping. He has worked as an accountant and consultant for more than 25 years and has built financial models for all types of industries. He has been the CFO or controller of both small and medium sized companies and has run small businesses of his own. He has been a manager and an auditor with Deloitte, a big 4 accountancy firm, and holds a degree from Loughborough University. The “not allowed” part is true when the bank has filed a Suspicious Activity Report.

Closing Entry Shortcuts and Software Handling

The income summary is a temporary account used to make closing entries. If your business is a corporation, you will not have a drawing account, but if you paid stockholders, you will have a dividends account. If you paid dividends for the month, you will need to close that account as well. For sole proprietorships and partnerships, you’ll close your drawing account to your capital account, because you will need to reduce your capital account by the draws taken for the month.

  • In this case, since it’s an opening trial balance, we’re just getting started with the accounting cycle (Step 1).
  • Ditto when they inform people that their accounts will be closing.
  • However, some corporations use a temporary clearing account for dividends declared (let’s use “Dividends”).
  • Now, it’s time to close the income summary to the retained earnings (since we’re dealing with a company, not a small business or sole proprietorship).
  • For example, $100 in revenue this year does not count as $100 of revenue for next year, even if the company retained the funds for use in the next 12 months.

Closing all temporary accounts to the income summary account leaves an audit trail for accountants to follow. The total of the income summary account after the all temporary accounts have been close should be equal to the net income for the period. Temporary accounts can either be closed directly to the retained earnings account or to an intermediate account called the income summary account.


The Income Summary account has a credit balance of $10,240 (the revenue sum). Understanding the accounting cycle and preparing trial balances is a practice valued internationally. The Philippines Center for Entrepreneurship and the government of the Philippines hold regular seminars going over this cycle with small business owners. They are also transparent with their internal trial balances in several key government offices.

The credit to income summary should equal the total revenue from the income statement. You begin the closing process by transferring revenue and expense account balances to the income summary account, a temporary account used specifically to transfer revenue and expense account balances. Closing entries are journal entries you make at the end of an accounting cycle that movie temporary account balances to permanent entries on your company’s balance sheet.

Step 2: Closing the expense accounts

This means that the current balance of these accounts is zero, because they were closed on December 31, 2018, to complete the annual accounting period. Temporary account balances can either be shifted directly to the retained earnings account or to an intermediate account known as the income summary account beforehand. Permanent accounts, on the other hand, track activities that extend beyond the current accounting period. They are housed on the balance sheet, a section of the financial statements that gives investors an indication of a company’s value, including its assets and liabilities. Temporary accounts are used to record accounting activity during a specific period.

Close all expense and loss accounts

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Practice Questions: Types of Accounts

The purpose of the income summary is to show the net income (revenue less expenses) of the business in more detail before it becomes part of the retained earnings account balance. Only income statement accounts help us summarize income, so only income statement accounts should go into income summary. The next day, January 1, 2019, you get ready for work, but before you go to the office, you decide to review your financials for 2019. What are your total expenses for rent, electricity, cable and internet, gas, and food for the current year? You have also not incurred any expenses yet for rent, electricity, cable, internet, gas or food.

Now that we know the basics of closing entries, in theory, let’s go over the step-by-step process of the entire closing procedure through a practical business example. Keep in mind, however, that this account is only purposeful for closing the books, and thus, it is not recorded into any accounting reports and has a zero balance at the end of the closing process. After most of the cycle is completed and financial statements are generated, there’s one last step in the process known as closing your books. Below are the T accounts with the journal entries already posted. Staying on top of accounting industry trends is essential to making sure your business’s practices and technologies are ahead of the curve. Keep reading — we showcase 37 crucial accounting stats to make sure you’re in the loop.

Other than the retained earnings account, closing journal entries do not affect permanent accounts. The balance in dividends, revenues and expenses
would all be zero leaving only the permanent accounts for a post
closing trial balance. The trial balance shows the ending balances
of all asset, liability and equity accounts remaining. The main
change from an adjusted trial balance is revenues, expenses, and
dividends are all zero and their balances have been rolled into
retained earnings. We do not need to show accounts with zero
balances on the trial balances. After the closing entries have been made, the temporary account balances will be reflected in the Retained Earnings (a capital account).

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