Prepaid expenses are those that have been paid for in advance but have not yet been used or consumed. Until the benefit of the purchase is realized, it is shown as a current asset on the balance sheet.
Take a look at how this works in everyday life:
You decide to pay $120 up front for a one-year gym subscription. This upfront payment appears as a prepaid asset on your personal balance sheet. You choose to reduce the prepaid asset on your personal balance sheet by $10, or one-twelfth of $120, to cover your monthly gym subscription costs for the following twelve months, or a total of one year. If you have been making these entries every month, your prepaid gym subscription asset on your personal balance sheet will be reduced to zero at the end of the year. The entire $120 will appear on your personal income statement as a gym subscription expense.
Prepaid expenses can provide several benefits:
- Aid in distributing the expense’s cost over the time periods during which the related benefit is obtained. By doing this, a company’s financial statements during the period when the payment is made are spared from an abrupt and serious impact.
- Financial statements more accurately represent the matching of costs to the periods in which they are incurred when prepaid expenses are recorded. This offers a more complete picture of a business’s profitability and long-term financial situation.
The next time you want to defer an expense on ERPNext, simply:
- Enable the deferred expense option on the required item.
- Create an asset ledger under ‘Current Assets’.
- In the purchase invoice, select the item and the ledger. Also, specify the period during which the service will be consumed.
ERPNext will automatically defer the expense of the item over the specified period of time.