How to Record Purchase Returns and Allowances? Explanation and Journal Entries

Typically, every SME uses a periodic inventory system to record purchase returns. When purchase returns increase in volume, companies can rely on this inventory system to view the number and value of the returned products. Sometimes goods purchased by a business are unfit for use and may need to be returned to the respective supplier(s). This may happen due to several different reasons, in business terminology, this action is termed purchase returns or return outwards. Journal entry for purchase returns or returns outwards is explained further in this article.

  • He has been the CFO or controller of both small and medium sized companies and has run small businesses of his own.
  • But it is not necessary to record purchase returns on an income statement if the return is a deduction for another expense.
  • In the above example, 250 is posted to the ledger account of supplier ABC, 350 to supplier EFG, and 200 to supplier XYZ.

This journal records every return transaction of merchandise purchased from each supplier. With sales return, the seller’s debt to the supplier will decrease. The account payable position is in the debit column in the financial journal, while the sales return account is in the credit column. To reduce the costs of processing a purchase return, you should process fewer purchase orders. Multiple people may place different purchase orders for similar items at different frequencies, which can quickly add up. If possible, consolidate your purchase orders or make monthly purchases to save money.

Return a purchase made using Apple Pay Later

Depending on a transaction’s terms and conditions, goods purchased both in cash and credit may be returned. Purchases returns, or returns outwards, are a normal part of business. Goods may be returned to supplier if they carry defects or if they are not according to the specifications of the buyer. The goods’ purchaser will issue a note for debit to the seller to notify them to return the goods they received. Purchase Returns Account is a contra-expense account; therefore, it can never have a debit balance.

  • Companies report these accounts as a reduction in the purchases to figure to reach net purchases.
  • This form is usually used to report purchases made by businesses.
  • When posting to the accounts payable ledger, a reference to the relevant page of the purchases returns day book would be included.
  • To maximize benefits, SMEs must consider investing in a software solution that ensures automation of purchase returns management to prevent human errors.

The purchase account will offset the balances in this account, and it will then be eliminated when the company closes the accounts at the close of the period. This book is called a purchase return journal, and when any sold item is returned, an entry is made in this journal, which is called a purchase return journal entry. Retailers use purchase return to determine how much money they need to refund to customers and how much money they need to credit back to their inventory. A company, ABC Co., made total purchases of $500,000 during the last accounting period.


When a customer buys something for you, you (should) record the transaction in your books by making a sales journal entry. So, when a customer returns something to you, you need to reverse these accounts through debits and credits. But if you don’t know how to account for a return with a purchase returns and allowances journal entry, your books will be inaccurate. However, the purchase returns account will get replaced with the allowance account. The purchase returns and allowances accounts exist due to the accruals concept in accounting. When companies incur an expense, this concept requires them to record it.

Recording a purchase return

Bike LTD later returns the bike to BMX LTD due to a serious defect in the design of the bike. Bike LTD purchases a mountain bike from BMX LTD for $100 on credit. Its similar to Sales Return where the Stock is sent from Customer and we receive, in Purchase Return, we Customer, send the material back to vendor. Overall, ABC Co. presented its net purchases in its financial statements as follows. Established by the Wilkinson family in 1930, Wilko sells homewares and garden furniture at discounted prices. Debits and credits are equal and opposite, so when you increase an account using a debit, you must decrease another with a credit.

The largest reductions were in sales and marketing and administrative costs. By providing your information, you agree to our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy. We use vendors that may also process your information to help provide our services.

Double Entry Bookkeeping

When companies purchase goods from suppliers, they may also offer a purchase returns policy. Usually, companies get raw materials or finished goods from external sources. Usually, the purchase process begins with a company identifying the need to buy raw materials or finished goods. For example, an apparel company can buy cloth material on credit and pay in installments. In another instance, the same customer may return the item by debiting it from the accounts payable. Let’s understand more about purchase returns, the process to record them and their advantages for your overall business and accounting purposes.

Purchases Returns Day Book Used to Update the Accounts Payable Ledger

It will also be recorded in the same accounts as the original purchase. But if this is not possible, you may want to consider a different method. A better solution may be to process all your return transactions at once. Purchase return is a process in which a company returns a product to the supplier from whom it was originally purchased. The purpose of purchase return is to allow the company to receive a refund for the product and to avoid having to keep the product in its inventory.

Let’s assume you purchased goods worth ₹1,50,000 on the 1st of September, paid cash and returned them on the thirteenth. To record the purchase and return of goods, you need to record these two transactions. The purchase return is negative because the original purchase was made in cash. On the other hand, it was also a probable expense that was likely to be incurred due to paying back for the goods and services the company had purchased. Hence, the overall value of the goods that are recorded is essentially deducted from the purchases that have been made.

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