What is the Amortization of Prepaid Expenses, and How Do You Account For It?

amortization of prepaid expenses

And because amortized expenses are entered month after month, data entry mistakes are more likely. The quick ratio, while also being a liquidity ratio, only factors in an organization’s most liquid assets such as cash and cash equivalents that can be converted the quickest, hence the same. The quick ratio is calculated by dividing cash, or an organization’s most liquid assets such as cash equivalents, marketable securities, and accounts receivable by its current liabilities.

amortization of prepaid expenses

Other less common prepaid expenses might include equipment rental or utilities. Prepaid expenses aren’t included in the income statement per generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). In particular, the GAAP matching principle requires accrual accounting, which stipulates that revenue and expenses must be reported in the same period as incurred no matter when cash or money exchanges hands. Thus, prepaid expenses aren’t recognized on the income statement when paid because they have yet to be incurred.

How are prepaid expenses different from accrued expenses?

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amortization of prepaid expenses

Companies can closely monitor these expenses by identifying discrepancies, potential overpayments, or underutilized resources. These commonly include rent, insurance premiums, subscriptions, and maintenance contracts. By prepaying these expenses, businesses can secure favorable terms, ensure uninterrupted service, and sometimes even receive discounts.

Prepaid Expenses: Definition, Examples & Journal Entry

They do not record new business transactions but simply adjust previously recorded transactions. Adjusting entries for prepaid expenses is necessary to ensure that expenses are recognized in the period in which they are incurred. Due to the nature of certain goods and services, prepaid expenses will always exist.

  • Understanding how prepaid expenses actually work can help you record and calculate them accurately for the balance sheet and income statement.
  • Download our data sheet to learn how you can run your processes up to 100x faster and with 98% fewer errors.
  • In some instances, a prepaid expense is not applied equally because the benefit is not the same for each accounting period.
  • Again, the purpose of these prepaid expenses is so that the company’s financial statements are accurately reflected when the cost of the expense is providing the related benefit (so everything will be balanced).
  • There are other types of prepaid expenses in enterprises, such as prepaid licenses and prepaid advertising.

However, if it is, your company can try to negotiate a discounted rate as it is being paid upfront. Another reason why prepaid expenses may be beneficial is for the opportunity it provides to companies that may have poor credit. As such, vendors or suppliers agree to still do business with them knowing that they are already being paid. Take a moment, again, to consider how automating this process would streamline your accounting team’s time and help to ease the financial close process at the end of each accounting period. Here, we will cover the definition of prepaid expenses, how to properly record them, and how automated financial software can manage the nuances for you.


Prepaid expenses result from one party paying in advance for a service yet to be performed or an asset yet to be delivered. This could lead to inaccurate financial statements and misleading information for investors, creditors, and other stakeholders. California State Tax Guide helps to ensure that a company’s financial statements are accurate and in compliance with accounting principles and standards, such as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Prepaid expense is an accounting line item on a company’s balance sheet that refers to goods and services that have been paid for but not yet incurred.

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