Oli Paterson

Basic Financial Accounting for Small Business: Part 4 – Advanced Adjusting Entries and Year-End Procedures

Welcome back to our financial accounting series for small businesses! Following our previous discussions on recording transactions and balancing the books, this post will delve into the more advanced topics of adjusting entries and year-end procedures.

Delving into Adjusting Entries The Necessity of Adjusting Entries in Accurate Financial Reporting

Adjusting entries are a cornerstone of accrual accounting. They ensure that revenues and expenses are recognized in the period they occur, rather than when cash is exchanged. This adherence to the matching principle is what makes financial statements truly reflective of a business’s financial status. Without these adjustments, financial reports could be misleading, showing revenues too high or expenses too low, or vice versa.

Types and Examples of Adjusting Entries

There are several types of adjusting entries, each serving a specific purpose:

  • Accrued Revenues: For income earned but not yet received. For example, if you provided services in December but won’t receive payment until January, an adjusting entry records this revenue in December.
  • Accrued Expenses: For expenses incurred but not yet paid. Suppose you used utilities in December but the bill isn’t due until January. An adjusting entry ensures these expenses reflect in your December accounts.
  • Deferred Revenues: For cash received in advance for services or goods to be provided in the future. If you received a deposit for a job to be done in the next period, it’s recorded as a liability until the service is performed.
  • Deferred Expenses: For payments made in advance for future expenses, like prepaid rent or insurance. These are initially recorded as assets and then expensed over time.

The Precision of Adjusting Entries

These entries are not mere formalities; they require a keen understanding of each transaction and its appropriate recognition in the accounting period. They demand precision and an analytical approach to ensure that every revenue and expense is accounted for in the right period.

Year-End Procedures: Closing the Financial Year with Accuracy Preparing for Year-End: A Critical Review

The year-end close is more than a procedural task; it’s a comprehensive review ensuring that all financial activities throughout the year are accurately recorded and reflected. This process involves examining every transaction, ensuring that all entries are posted to the correct accounts, and confirming that all necessary adjusting entries have been made.

Closing Temporary Accounts

Year-end procedures include closing temporary accounts like revenues, expenses, and dividends to a permanent equity account. This process resets the balances of these temporary accounts to zero for the next accounting period.

Creating Financial Statements The Adjusted Trial Balance

After making all necessary adjusting entries, you’ll prepare an adjusted trial balance. This is the first step in the process of creating financial statements.

Income Statement and Balance Sheet

From the adjusted trial balance, you’ll be able to prepare the income statement and balance sheet. These documents provide a comprehensive overview of your business’s financial performance and position at year-end.


Mastering adjusting entries and year-end procedures is crucial for accurate financial reporting. These practices ensure that your financial statements provide a true and fair view of your business’s financial health, setting the stage for informed decision-making and strategic planning.

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