Q&A: What Is Accrued Revenue?

Accrued revenue is revenue that has been earned by providing a good or service, but for which no cash has been received. Accrued revenues are recorded as receivables on the balance sheet to reflect the amount of money that customers owe the business for the goods or services they purchased.

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When does accrued revenue occur?

When accrued revenue is accounted for, a number of common situations occur, including:

What is accrued service revenue?

A company’s accrued service revenue is its income from providing services that the customer does not immediately pay for. This frequently occurs when a business has long-term clients and receives segmented payments rather than a single large payment.

Accrued revenue reflects two important accounting principles:

Example: A hotel hires a linen company. Despite the fact that they conduct business more than once per week, the hotel only pays them every three months. Even while waiting for payment, the linen company records this income each month. Since they receive revenue with every delivery rather than just every three months, the revenue recognition principle is applicable. The matching principle is relevant because the linen provider must spend money on labor and supplies each week to collect, transport, wash, and return the linens.

Where does accrued revenue go on a balance sheet?

As long as the client or interest pays within a year, businesses typically classify all types of accrued revenues under current assets. They frequently account for any unrecorded income or expenses during the accounting period by recording accrued revenue as an adjusting journal entry. Because it represents a portion of the company’s present value, accrued revenue is a current asset.

How do you record adjustments for accrued revenue?

When accounting for accrued revenue, you enter the money your company has made and then make adjustments as you get the money you’re due. To track accrued revenue on your company’s income statements and balance sheets, follow these steps:

1. Record payment owed

Find the amount on your income statement once you receive the payment. Apply this sum as a debit to the accounts receivable section of your balance sheets.

2. Adjust for received payment

Make an adjusting journal entry for the amount collected when your client pays all or part of the amount they owe. Since you have the money, debit it from the balance sheet’s cash account. Then, credit the relevant accrued revenue or accounts receivable account so that you know how much the customer owes.

What are some examples of accrued revenue?

Here are three instances of various types of accrued revenue and typical scenarios in which they might occur:

1. Contracts

Accounts receivable is where businesses keep their accrued revenue while waiting for payment for services.

For illustration, a restaurant collaborates with numerous suppliers of fish, vegetables, and dry goods. The restaurant receives deliveries and orders on a weekly basis, but only pays its suppliers every other month. Each vendor has accrued service revenues owed by the restaurant.

2. Long-term projects

Businesses try to follow the matching principle when working on long-term projects and evaluate the costs they have incurred at each stage of the project. They book accrued revenues to match the costs.

An apartment complex is being built by a construction company for $5 million; it could take two years to complete and cost $2 million in resources. Due to ongoing work, the client hasn’t paid in full after a year, but the construction company has already spent $1 million. Since this represents half of the project’s overall cost, they can put aside $2, which represents half of their eventual earnings. 5 million in accrued revenue.

3. Milestones completed

When a project involves deliverables or quantities of production, using milestones for accounting accrued revenue makes sense.

Example: A sports team contracts with a clothing business to design a jersey and produce 10,000 jerseys in six months. The team promises to pay $10,000 for a workable design and $50,000 when the project is finished for the jerseys. Depending on how many they produce, the clothing company can account for accrued revenue in the time when the team approves the design and then a portion of the $50,000 each month.


How do you record accrued service revenue?

When accrued revenue is first recorded, the associated accrued revenue account on the company’s balance sheet is debited by the same amount, possibly in the form of accounts receivable. The amount of accrued revenue is then recognized as revenue on the income statement.

What is an example of an accrued revenue?

Earnings from providing a good or service for which the provider has not yet received payment are referred to as accrued revenue. As a result, accrued revenue is noted as money the customer owes for the business transaction. For instance, a SaaS company might sign up a client who requires a service for the upcoming six months.

What does accrued service mean?

Accrued revenue is shown on a company’s financial statements as earned revenue on the income statement and as an adjusting journal entry under current assets on the balance sheet. The payment is recorded as an adjusting entry to the asset account for accrued revenue at the time it is made.

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