Sales Returns and Allowances

Sales Returns and Allowances

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Sales returns and allowances account for one of the most important categories you’ll find on an income statement. They’re integral in tracking the quality of your product, consumers’ satisfaction with your business, and the profitability of your sales efforts. If a customer made a cash purchase, decrease the Cash account with a credit. Sales are recorded in a Sales Revenue (or Sales) account and is the price we charge to the customers. Sales can be cash or have credit terms (on account) using Accounts Receivable since we will receive money from the customer in the future.

  1. They can often be factored into the reporting of top line revenues reported on the income statement.
  2. For companies using accrual accounting, they are booked when a transaction takes place.
  3. The following are some selected transactions performed by Maria Trading Company during the month of January, 2018.
  4. A sales return occurs when a buyer sends a product back to a seller for a partial or full refund.

Since this is the credit sales, the company needs to account for the account receivable by debit in the amount of USD875 and credit to sale account USD500 and USD375 and giving the total of USD875. On 2nd Feb 2020, the firm recorded credit sales of 10 pieces for product Y and 15 pieces for product Z to one of its old customers for $50 and $25 each respectively. Sales returns are an important part of the sales process because it allows a company to continuously provide high-quality goods and services to their customers. The seller usually issues the customer a credit memorandum showing the amount of credit granted and the reason for the return. If a customer originally made their purchase on credit, the sale was part of your accounts receivable, which is money owed to you by customers. The original sales journal entry is the same as the periodic inventory system.

It depends on whether the sale of those goods that were returned were cash sales or credit sales. Overshooting in sales is caused due to overstating of sales returns and allowances. Since the ledger accounts are closed to the General Ledger, this account balance indicates that there are no more invoices in which credits have not been posted. The credit part of this entry involves both a controlling account (accounts receivable) in the general ledger and a customer’s account (Champ’s TV Sales) in the accounts receivable subsidiary ledger.

However, the only difference is the additional entry to reduce the cost of goods sold with the correspondence increase of merchandise inventory under the perpetual inventory system. The original copy of this credit memo is sent to the buyer to intimate him that the return or allowance has been approved and his account has been credited. A duplicate copy of the memo is kept by the seller which acts as a source document for recording journal entry relating to returns and allowances. If Music World returns merchandise worth $100, Music Suppliers, Inc., prepares a credit memorandum to account for the return.

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Companies that allow sales returns must provide a refund to their customer. A sales return is usually accounted for either as an increase to a sales returns and allowances contra-account to sales revenue or as a direct decrease in sales revenue. As such, it debits a sales returns and allowances account (or the sales revenue account directly) and credits an asset account, typically cash or accounts receivable. This transaction carries over to the income statement as a reduction in revenue. In a company’s general ledger, both sales returns and sales allowances are recorded in a single account known as sales returns and allowances account.


WASHINGTON —The Internal Revenue Service today offered a checklist to help taxpayers as they prepare to file their 2023 tax returns during filing season. Sales returns are considered an expense in accounting and are not included in the cost of goods sold. On the credit side, an Accounts Payable account should be recorded along with other applicable accounts, https://business-accounting.net/ such as Cash or Inventory (for physical goods). On 5th Feb 2020, the customer returned 5 pieces of product Y and 6 pieces of product Z to ABC cosmetics. Now we have to deal with inventory/goods that customers just returned. The articles and research support materials available on this site are educational and are not intended to be investment or tax advice.

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As mentioned above, sales return and allowances is a contra account of sales revenue account. To arrive at net sales, we take the gross sales or simply sales revenue minus sales discount as well as sales return and allowances. In a single-step income statement, we do not present the sales return and allowances separately. A seller will debit a sales discounts contra-account to revenue and credit assets. The journal entry then lowers the gross revenue on the income statement by the amount of the discount. ​​​​​​As we can see from the journal entries above, the seller should debit the exact amount of return to the revenue account or the sales return allowance account once the sale is returned.

The direct costs portion of the income statement is where net sales can be found. Purchase returns are items that are returned by the customer after purchasing, while sales returns are items sent from a wholesaler back to their supplier. By understanding these journal entries and sales returns and allowances taking proper steps when issuing refunds/credits, businesses can ensure that their accounting records remain accurate and up-to-date. This entry details how much money has been refunded or credited to customers from purchases and is used to keep track of sales transactions.

Credit memos serve as vouchers for entries in the sales returns and allowances journal. Like debit memos, all credit memos are serially numbered, as shown below. It is deducted from “Sales” (or “Gross Sales”) in the income statement. Sales returns refer to actual returns of goods from customers because defective or wrong products were delivered. Sales allowance arises when the customer agrees to keep the products at a price lower than the original price.

This sales return allowance account is the contra account to the sales revenue account. A contra revenue account that reports 1) merchandise returned by a customer, and 2) the allowances granted to a customer because the seller shipped improper or defective merchandise. This of course will reduce the seller’s accounts receivable and is subtracted from sales (along with sales discounts) to arrive at net sales. Sales returns and allowances is a contra revenue account with a normal debit balance used to record returns from and allowances to customers.

Businesses will record an Accounts Receivable account and a Cost of Goods Sold account (if applicable) on the debit side. Understanding this entry is key for any business owner who wants to track their cash flow accurately. So once this entry is posted, inventory will be increased, and the cost of goods sold will be derecognized. These inventory/goods need to be stored and recorded in the warehouse. Ask a question about your financial situation providing as much detail as possible.

Sales returns and allowances journal is a special journal maintained to record the return of inventory from buyers or any allowance granted to them. The sales allowance account is a contra account, since it offsets gross sales. The result of the pairing of the gross sales and sales allowance accounts is net sales. For the seller, revenue can be revised by debiting the sales return account (A contra account by nature) and crediting cash/accounts receivable with the invoice amount.

Sales returns and allowances journal

Remember, the credit terms (or terms) provides information to the buyer about when the invoice is due and if there is a discount allowed for paying the invoice early. The discount is not recorded until payment is received because the seller does not know if a buyer will take the discount or not. Discounts are recorded in a contra-revenue account called Sales Discounts. Receiving payment will affect the customer side only and not inventory. We will be reducing the amount owed by the customer (accounts receivable) and increasing sales discounts (if any) and cash.

Ayisha Nasneena

Ayisha Nasneena is a Clinical Nutritionist with a strong academic background in Clinical nutrition. She obtained her master's degree from Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre in Clinical Nutrition in Food Science. Ayisha also holds a MOOC certification from the University of Netherlands in Sports, Nutrition, and Exercise. She is dedicated to introducing the benefits of evidence-based nutrition to individuals to enhance their health and well-being through the power of good food.


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