Liability Account Example, Types, Advantages, Disadvantages

Liability Accounts Examples

Then, because it’s a loan which you must repay, you would record the loan as a credit to increase the balance of the liabilities account. Each instalment of loan repayment debits the liabilities account to show the liability on the loan decreasing. Unearned Revenue – Unearned revenue is slightly different from other liabilities because it doesn’t involve direct borrowing. Unearned revenue arises when a company sells goods or services to a customer who pays the company but doesn’t receive the goods or services.

A good accountant or bookkeeper will work with you to ensure your financial records are accurate. A liability is something that is borrowed from, owed to, or obligated to someone else. It can be real (e.g. a bill that needs to be paid) or potential (e.g. a possible lawsuit).


Business loans or mortgages for buying business real estate are also liabilities. All businesses have liabilities, except those that operate solely with cash. To operate on a cash-only basis, you’d need to both pay with and accept cash—either physical cash or through your business checking account.

The process involves several steps to ensure the integrity of financial information. The current liability deferred revenues reports the amount of money a company received from a customer for future services or future shipments of goods. Until the company delivers the services or goods, the company has an obligation to deliver them or to refund the customer’s money. When they are delivered, the company will reduce this liability and increase its revenues. Recording a liability requires a debit to an asset or expense account (depending on the nature of the transaction), and a credit to the applicable liability account. When a liability is eventually settled, debit the liability account and credit the cash account from which the payment came.

Current Liability Accounts (due in less than one year):

Companies will segregate their liabilities by their time horizon for when they are due. Current liabilities are due within a year and are often paid for using current assets. Non-current liabilities are due in more than one year and most often include debt repayments and deferred payments. An expense is the cost of operations that a company incurs to generate revenue. Unlike assets and liabilities, expenses are related to revenue, and both are listed on a company’s income statement.

  • If you are ever in business, whether big or small, you will have to deal with current liabilities.
  • The current month’s utility bill is usually due the following month.
  • These obligations are eventually settled through the transfer of cash or other assets to the other party.
  • Unearned Revenue – Unearned revenue is slightly different from other liabilities because it doesn’t involve direct borrowing.
  • Simply put, a business should have enough assets (items of financial value) to pay off its debt.
  • Understanding liability accounts is crucial for anyone involved in finance, accounting, or business management.

The company must recognize a liability because it owes the customer for the goods or services the customer paid for. This means that debit entries are made on the left side of the T-account which decrease the account balance, while credit entries on the right side will increase the account balance. Short-term liabilities, such as trade payable and wages payable, are obligations expected Accounting for Startups: 7 Bookkeeping Tips for Your Startup to be settled within one year or the business’s operating cycle, whichever is longer. In financial accounting, a liability is an obligation arising from past transactions or past events. The settlement of such transactions may result in the transfer or use of assets, provision of services, or benefits in the future. Note that the sales taxes are not part of the company’s sales revenues.

Accounting for Current Liabilities

Learn financial statement modeling, DCF, M&A, LBO, Comps and Excel shortcuts. The ordering system is based on how close the payment date is, so a liability with a near-term maturity date will be listed higher up in the section (and vice versa). The liabilities undertaken by the company should theoretically be offset by the value creation from the utilization of the purchased assets. Unlike the assets section, which consists of items considered cash outflows (“uses”), the liabilities section comprises items considered cash inflows (“sources”). Liabilities are the obligations belonging to a particular company that must be settled over time, because the benefits were transferred and received from third-parties, such as suppliers, vendors, and lenders. For instance, a company may take out debt (a liability) in order to expand and grow its business.

  • However, it should disclose this item in a footnote on the financial statements.
  • The debt is unsecured and is typically used to finance short-term or current liabilities such as accounts payables or to buy inventory.
  • If you receive an invoice from a supplier, it’s recorded as an entry in accounts payable.
  • Liabilities represent the claims of creditors against a company’s assets and can be found on the company’s balance sheet.
  • As businesses navigate complex financial landscapes, understanding, recording, and analyzing liability accounts remains pivotal in maintaining a sound financial foundation and securing long-term success.

At the same time, the cash account would be debited with the $100,000 of cash from the loan. By carefully calculating liabilities, businesses gain a comprehensive understanding of their financial obligations and can make informed decisions regarding finance operations. Liabilities represent the claims of creditors against a company’s assets and can be found on the Accounting Advice for Startups company’s balance sheet. If a business wishes to purchase computer equipment worth £300, the purchase can be made in many possible ways. If liability is used, the £300 can be paid off using assets or by new liability like a bank loan. Recording liability accounts accurately in an accounting system is essential to maintain clear and transparent financial records.

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