Closing Entry

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Closing Entry'

A journal entry made at the end of the accounting period. The closing entry is used to transfer data in the temporary accounts to the permanent balance sheet or income statement accounts. The purpose of the closing entry is to bring the temporary journal account balances to zero for the next accounting period, which aids in keeping the accounts reconciled.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Closing Entry'

As with all other journal entries, the closing entries are posted in the general ledger. After all closing entries have been finished, only the permanent balance sheet and income statement accounts will have balances that are not zeroed. For example, revenue, dividend, or expense accounts are temporary accounts that need to be zeroed off and the balance transfered to permanent accounts.

The sequence of the closing process and the associated closing entries is:

1. Close revenue accounts to income summary, by debiting revenue and crediting income summary.
2. Close expense accounts to income summary, by debiting income summary and crediting expense.
3. Close income summary to retained earnings, by debiting income summary and crediting retained earnings.
4. Close dividends to retained earnings, by debiting retained earnings and crediting dividends.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Contra Account

    An account found in an account ledger that is used to reduce ...
  2. Adjusting Journal Entry

    An entry in financial reporting that occurs at the end of a reporting ...
  3. Balance Sheet

    A financial statement that summarizes a company's assets, liabilities ...
  4. Credit

    1. A contractual agreement in which a borrower receives something ...
  5. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ...

    The common set of accounting principles, standards and procedures ...
  6. General Ledger

    A company's main accounting records. A general ledger is a complete ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the difference between IAS and GAAP?

    To answer this question, we must first define what IAS and GAAP are, in order to get a better grasp of the function they ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why do accountants use debits and credits instead of simple pluses and minuses? Why ...

    Debits and credits, and the technique of double-entry accounting, are credited (no pun intended) to a Franciscan monk by ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do dividend distributions affect additional paid in capital?

    Whether a dividend distribution has any effect on additional paid-in capital depends solely on what type of dividend is issued: ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Why can additional paid in capital never have a negative balance?

    The additional paid-in capital figure on a company's balance sheet can never be negative because companies do not pay investors ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. When does the fixed charge coverage ratio suggest that a company should stop borrowing ...

    Since the fixed charge coverage ratio indicates the number of times a company is capable of making its fixed charge payments ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How does additional paid in capital affect retained earnings?

    Both additional paid-in capital and retained earnings are entries under the shareholders' equity section of a company's balance ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Accounting Rules Could Roil The Markets

    FAS 142 is an accounting rule that changes the way companies treat goodwill. Be aware of the impact it has on reported earnings to avoid making bad investment decisions.
  2. Personal Finance

    A Look At Accounting Careers

    More than just crunching numbers, this career blends detective work with trouble shooting.
  3. Investing

    Off-Balance-Sheet Entities: An Introduction

    The theory and practice of these entities varies greatly. Investors need to learn what they're getting into.
  4. Professionals

    Financial History: The Evolution Of Accounting

    Follow accounting from its roots in ancient times to the profession we now depend on.
  5. Fundamental Analysis

    Understanding Consolidated Financial Statements

    Consolidated financial statements are the combined financial statements of a parent company and its subsidiaries.
  6. Fundamental Analysis

    Explaining the Common Size Income Statement

    A common size income statement expresses each account as a percentage of net sales.
  7. Professionals

    What Does an Auditor Do?

    An auditor ensures that organizations maintain accurate and honest financial records.
  8. Fundamental Analysis

    Calculating the Net Debt to EBITDA Ratio

    Financial analysts typically use the net debt to EBITDA ratio to determine a company’s ability to pay its debt.
  9. Economics

    How Does an Operating Lease Work?

    Operating lease is a term used mostly in accounting to denote a lease that gives the lessee rights to use and operate an asset without ownership.
  10. Economics

    Understanding Historical Cost

    Historical cost equals the original purchase price of an asset recorded on a company’s balance sheet.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Nuncupative Will

    A verbal will that must have two witnesses and can only deal with the distribution of personal property. A nuncupative will ...
  2. OsMA

    An abbreviation for Oscillator - Moving Average. OsMA is used in technical analysis to represent the variance between an ...
  3. Investopedia

    One of the best-known sources of financial information on the internet. Investopedia is a resource for investors, consumers ...
  4. Unfair Claims Practice

    The improper avoidance of a claim by an insurer or an attempt to reduce the size of the claim. By engaging in unfair claims ...
  5. Killer Bees

    An individual or firm that helps a company fend off a takeover attempt. A killer bee uses defensive strategies to keep an ...
  6. Sin Tax

    A state-sponsored tax that is added to products or services that are seen as vices, such as alcohol, tobacco and gambling. ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!