Home Bookkeeping Accounting for Sales Discount: Overview, Example, & Journal Entries

Accounting for Sales Discount: Overview, Example, & Journal Entries

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If the customer pays within 10 days then a 2.5% sales discount amounting to 50 can be deducted from the sales invoice, and the customer will pay only 1,950 to settle the account. The sales discount is based on the sales price of the goods and is sometimes referred to as a cash discount on sales, settlement discount, or discount allowed. These customers are often one-time buyers and do not contribute to your business’s growth. Net revenue is the money you earn from sales after subtracting your direct expenses. Direct expenses include deductions (e.g., discounts, returns, and allowances) and cost of goods sold. HubSpot’s Sales Hub offers tiered pricing to suit a variety of needs from small business up to the enterprise level.

  • Let’s also assume that a sales invoice is for $1,000 and the buyer has been authorized to return $100 of goods.
  • Gross sales are not typically listed on an income statement or often listed as total revenue.
  • Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years.
  • The gross sales amount is typically much higher, as it does not include returns, allowances, or discounts.
  • However, the buyer may deduct $9 (1% of $900) if the buyer pays the seller $891 within 10 days of the invoice date.
  • Subtract the amount of the sales discount from the full invoice amount to determine the amount of cash you receive when the customer pays the invoice.

It’s the only way the company can truly analyze how much money it’s making on the sale of its products and how accurately it’s pricing the products to sell in the marketplace. The cumulative sales discount amounts on all types of discounts will then be reflected on the income statement for the accounting period. Another common sales discount is “2% 10/Net 30” terms, which allows a 2% discount for paying within 10 days of the invoice date, or paying in 30 days. It effectively costs the business 46.72% to offer sales discounts to the customer. Due to its high cost, it can be seen that sales discounts should be offered sparingly.

The sales discount account represents the deduction from gross sales. The discount amount is accounted for as revenue in the income statement. Account for sales discounts in income statement helps you determine the amount of money you need to earn to meet your financial obligations. Sales Discounts is a contra revenue account that records the value of price reductions granted to buyers in order to incentivize early payments.


These accounts normally have credit balances that are increased with a credit entry. In the sales revenue section of an income statement, the sales returns and allowances account is subtracted from sales because these accounts have the opposite effect on net income. Therefore, sales returns and allowances is considered a contra‐revenue account, which business forecasting normally has a debit balance. The term ‘sales discount’ is a catch-all term for any reduction in price a seller offers for its product or service. That said, the term takes on specific meanings in certain contexts. For instance, in accounting, the term generally refers to a price reduction a business offers in exchange for a buyer’s early payment.

As basketball season approaches, you need space for basketball equipment. The previous sports season left you with unsold football equipment. Discounts may help you sell the old inventory (football equipment) faster.

To account for sales discounts in the income statement, you must create two journal entries. The first journal entry records the total amount of the sale; the second journals show cash paid to the supplier and sales discounted. The amount of cash in the accounts receivables and sales discounts account is equal to the difference between the two. The account for sales discount will be lower than the cash received from the customer. Moreover, the amount of cash paid to the supplier will be lower than the sales discount amount. The income statement shows the total sales, including allowances and sales discounts, and subtracts sales discounts.

  • This figure includes all cash, credit card, debit card and trade credit sales before deducting sales discounts and the amounts for merchandise discounts and allowances.
  • A sales discount (also known as a cash discount) is one you offer to a customer as an incentive to pay an invoice within a certain time, according to the University of Minnesota.
  • Unless you can demonstrate the value of your product or service, you’ll have a hard time attracting new customers.
  • The more traffic your business has, the more likely it is to make 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. Hence, the general ledger account Sales Discounts is a contra revenue account. Except for trade discounts — which are not recorded in the financial statements, these discounts appear as a credit on the income statement in the Profit and Loss Account. Basically, the cash discount received journal entry is a credit entry because it represents a reduction in expenses. The exceptions to this rule are the accounts Sales Returns, Sales Allowances, and Sales Discounts—these accounts have debit balances because they are reductions to sales.

So while there isn’t a surefire percentage discount that will generate the most sales across all business sectors, messaging makes all the difference. Using The Rule of 100, listing the percentage discount in sales messaging instead of the dollar amount would compel more people to buy. While both options would cost $30, consumers will focus on the larger number, making 25% seem like a better deal. These are sales given to customers buying multiples of the same item, like a two for the price of one sale, or buy one, get one (BOGO) free promotions. These are a great way to offload a surplus of a particular item or promote a new one. Offering your most loyal customers a discount is a great way to show your appreciation for their business.

How to Account for Sales Discounts

In this example, debit cash by $99 and debit sales discounts by $1. A cash, or sales, discount is one you offer to a customer as an incentive to pay an invoice within a certain time. You must record cash discounts in a separate account in your records and report the amount on your income statement.

It can quickly drive short-term sales.

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. Net sales reflect all reductions in the price paid by customers, discounts on goods, and any refunds paid out to customers after the time of sale.

Financial Reports: How to Read the Income Statement for Sales Adjustments

In financial ratios that use income statement sales values, “sales” refers to net sales, not gross sales. Sales are the unique transactions that occur in professional selling or during marketing initiatives. This is because the initial accounting journal entry at the time of sale was a debit to Accounts Receivable asset account and credit to a Sales Revenue account. Credit the accounts receivable account in the same journal entry by the full invoice amount. The income statement will reflect the cumulative sales discount amount through a new line item after gross sales.

The discount is recorded in a contra revenue account which is offset against the revenue account in the income statement. Most companies do not allow for cash discounts while some companies allow in order to encourage early settlement. However, the sales discount is considered minimal; therefore, we often recorded at the time of payment if the customer makes payment within the discount period. Some companies created an allowance account to record the sales discount when the potential cash discount would happen in the next accounting period. In this case, the discount should be estimated and allowance on sales discounts should be provided for at the year-end. Debit the cash account in a new journal entry in your records by the amount of cash you received from your customer.

Offering a discount can lead your customers to expect those lower prices, going forward. Consumers get used to price reductions quickly and will be put off at the prospect of paying $50 for a product or service they already got for $40. When your prices go back to normal, many customers won’t stick around to pay them and others might hold out until you offer a similar discount again. Internally, managers see the details of these adjustments in the sales area of the income statement so that they can track trends for discounts, returns, and allowances. Tracking such trends is an important aspect of the managerial process.

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