Sales Discount: Accounting, Journal Entry, Example, Debit or Credit

A sales discount may be offered when the seller is short of cash, or if it wants to reduce the recorded amount of its receivables outstanding for other reasons. Sales discounts do not reduce any assets or liabilities, only revenue which reduces net income. The sales discounts account is classified as a contra revenue account. However, these cash reductions offered to customers have an effect on a company’s financial statements so they must be recorded as a reduction in revenue under the line item called accounts receivable. A sales discount also known as a cash discount or early payment discount is the reduction that a seller gives to a customer on the invoiced price of goods or services in order to incentivize early payment. That is, the seller gives the customer an opportunity to pay a lesser amount for the goods or services that are purchased when the customer pays within the stated discount periods.

  • However, they also set an expiry time for it, which is before the credit term expires.
  • Expenses, on the other hand, also have a natural debit balance; as explained before this is not in any way the reason for sales discount being recorded as a debit.
  • However, the accounting for sales discount applies when customers avail the reduction in the owed amount.
  • Sales or Cash Discounts are properly recorded and shown in the financial statements.
  • It is a reduction of gross sales which correspondingly causes a decrease in the net sales figure.

Hence, if not met, the customer makes the full-price payment within 30 days after the invoice date. A company offers its business customer sales discounts of 1/10, net 30. For the recent year, the company had gross sales of $510,000 and had sales discounts of $4,000 and sales returns and allowance of $5,000. A sales discount is a reduction taken by a customer from the invoiced price of goods or services, in exchange for early payment to the seller. The seller usually states the standard terms under which a sales discount may be taken in the header bar of its invoices. A sales discount is a reduction in the price of a product or service that is offered by the seller, in exchange for early payment by the buyer.

In this case, the seller can simply record the sales discounts as they occur, with a credit to the accounts receivable account for the amount of the discount taken and a debit to the sales discount account. The sales discount account is a contra revenue account, which means that it reduces total revenues. This is more informative for the reader of the financial statements rather than when only the company’s net balance is reported on the income statement. With the use of a contra-revenue account, the reader of the income statement will be able to differentiate between the original amount of sales revenue generated, the sales reduction, and the resulting net amount.

Add a discount to an invoice or sales receipt in QuickBooks Online

This strategy is crucial in allowing customers to purchase more products or services. However, companies may face an issue when collecting the owed amount. Usually, companies seek to receive these amounts as soon as possible.

All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. A manufacturer sells $1000 worth nine steps in the accounting cycle of products to its customer with credit terms of 1/10, n/30. For sales receipts, you’ll need to make sure the discount setting is turned on globally.

  • It is followed in the income statement by a net sales line item, which is a calculation that adds together the gross sales line item and the negative amount in the sales returns and allowances line item.
  • However, some companies also offer credit terms, allowing customers to pay later.
  • The sales discounts account is classified as a contra revenue account.
  • Thus, the net effect of the allowance technique is to recognize the estimated amount of the discount at once and park that amount in an allowance account on the balance sheet.

When a company offers sales discounts, it is essentially offering the customer a cash incentive to pay for their purchase earlier than when the account would normally be due. However, a company may decide to just simply record its net sales in its income statement, rather than reporting the sales discount and gross sales separately. This is normally common when the amount of sales discount is so small that a separate line item presentation does not yield any material additional information for the reader of the financial statement. These debit entries would increase the cash and sales discount accounts. While a credit entry of the full invoice amount of $100 would be made to the accounts receivable account in order to remove the invoice amount from the accounts receivable.


Sales discount is reported on the income statement to offset a company’s gross sales, which in turn results in a smaller net sales figure. As a contra revenue account, a sales discount has a debit balance that reduces gross sales revenue which has a credit balance on an income statement. Contra revenue accounts are expected to have a debit balance that is contrary to the normal credit balance of revenue. Hence, sales discounts as well as sales returns and allowances offset sales revenue in order to report the net sales that are generated by a business for an accounting period. Therefore, their debit balance will be the deductions from sales (gross sales) which reports the net sales. When the seller allows a discount, this is recorded as a reduction of revenues, and is typically a debit to a contra revenue account.

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There are two different options for adding a discount to your sales forms. You can add a discount to the subtotal of your invoice as a percentage or a flat amount. Or, you can add a discount to your invoice as a line item where you can include a description about what the discount is for. Let’s look at types of selling expenses using the fictional business, Bella’s Ballet Supply. A discount received is the reverse situation, where the buyer of goods or services is granted a discount by the seller.

Types of Selling Expenses

If the customer chooses not to take the discount, the outstanding balance is due within thirty days. An abbreviation that sometimes appears in the credit terms section of an invoice is EOM, which stands for end of month. The terms n/15 EOM indicate that the outstanding balance is due fifteen days after the end of the month in which the invoice is dated. Most businesses do not offer early payment discounts, so there is no need to create an allowance for sales discounts. A company may choose to simply present its net sales in its income statement, rather than breaking out the gross sales and sales discounts separately.

Sales Discount refers to the reduction in the amount due from a customer as a result of early payment. A financial professional will offer guidance based on the information provided and offer a no-obligation call to better understand your situation. The articles and research support materials available on this site are educational and are not intended to be investment or tax advice.

The above are the entries and the calculation of the sales discount. QuickBooks automatically creates a Discounts given account in your chart of accounts to track the discounts you give. How you set up and apply discounts will vary depending on which experience of estimates and invoices you have.

Hence, a sales discount is a contra-revenue account and not an expense. Sales discounts will entice customers to pay ahead of time their credit purchases which in turn will improve the collection of a company’s accounts receivable. Sales discounts will allow companies to receive more money earlier at the expense of revenue which will be recognized in the future as time goes on. Hence, reporting a sales discount not as an expense but as a contra-revenue account allows the company to see the original amount of sales as well as the items that reduced the sales to the net sales amount.

A contra revenue account that reports the discounts allowed by the seller if the customer pays the amount owed within a specified time period. For example, terms of “1/10, n/30″ indicates that the buyer can deduct 1% of the amount owed if the customer pays the amount owed within 10 days. As a contra revenue account, sales discount will have a debit balance and is subtracted from sales (along with sales returns and allowances) to arrive at net sales. Sales discounts are also known as cash discounts or early payment discounts. Sales discounts (along with sales returns and allowances) are deducted from gross sales to arrive at the company’s net sales.

However, as customers take advantage of the sales discount, the overall revenue figures for the business tend to reduce. This sacrifice is, nonetheless, done by businesses in order to encourage early payments and reduce bad debt. In addition, early payments support the liquidity position of the company and reduce the company’s outstanding accounts receivable.

Hence, a company’s net profit is the total revenue generated minus its expenses. That is, in order to calculate the profitability of a business, expenses are deducted from revenue. Revenue is reported on the credit side while expenses are recorded on the debit side of the profit and loss report in order to measure a business’s profit and losses. However, the company also offers a sales discount of 10% if the customer pays within the next ten days. The customer avails of the sale discount and reimburses Red Co. within eight days. Therefore, the company will record the sales discount with the following journal entries.

The seller usually states the standard condition (terms of sales discount) at which the discount may be taken by the customer in the header bar of the invoices issued. In addition to those, companies also provide other packages or incentives. These incentives come through the provision of credit terms and incentives. On top of these, companies also offer discounts that promote more sales. Usually, companies provide two forms of discounts, namely sales and trade discounts.

The examples just noted for a discount allowed also apply to a discount received. As you can see, full amounts of cash are received and the full amount of account receivables are discharged from the company account. The discount is applicable only if the customer making the payment and the payments are within the term and condition which is within the 10 days. It is offered to the purchaser if they are able to pay off their credit purchases in a given period. With this setting on, the optional discount field displays in the subtotal of your sales forms. Your customer will only see it if you add the discount to the field.