Business and Personal Finance: Recording Expense Transactions

Standard Operating Expenses – Recording Expense Transactions

Expense transactions, just like any other, call for journal entries. The timing of your entry depends on which accounting method your company uses. Under the cash method, you record expenses only when you actually pay them. Under the accrual method, you record expenses as they are incurred. For each method, the debit will always be to the particular expense account involved, but the credit account could be either cash or a current liability account (such as utilities payable).

The exceptions are depreciation and amortization, which never involve cash and are always made as adjusting entries. For depreciation expense, the credit account will be accumulated depreciation. For amortization expense, you can credit either accumulated amortization (a contra asset account) or the intangible asset account itself.