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Accrued Liability

Accrued Liability

What Is Accrued Liability?

The term "accrued liability" alludes to a expense incurred yet not yet paid for by a business. These are costs for goods and services previously delivered to a company for which it must pay from now on. A company can accrue liabilities for quite a few obligations and are recorded on the company's balance sheet. They are normally listed on the balance sheet as current liabilities and are adjusted toward the finish of an accounting period.

Figuring out Accrued Liability

An accrued liability is a financial obligation that a company causes during a given accounting period. Albeit the goods and services may as of now be delivered, the company has not yet paid for them in that period. They are additionally not recorded in the company's general ledger. Albeit the cash flow presently can't seem to happen, the company must in any case pay for the benefit received.

Accrued liabilities, which are likewise called accrued expenses, possibly exist while utilizing an accrual method of accounting. The concept of an accrued liability connects with timing and the matching principle. Under accrual accounting, all expenses are to be recorded in financial statements in the period in which they are incurred, which might vary from the period wherein they are paid.

The expenses are recorded in similar period when related revenues are reported to give financial statement users with accurate data in regards to the costs required to produce revenue.

The cash basis or cash method is an alternative method for recording expenses. However, it doesn't accrue liabilities. Accrued liabilities are placed into the financial records during one period and are normally turned around in the next when paid. This considers the genuine expense to be recorded at the accurate dollar amount when payment is made in full.

Accrued liabilities possibly exist while utilizing an accrual method of accounting.

Types of Accrued Liabilities

There are two types of accrued liabilities that companies must account for, including standard and recurring. We've listed probably the main insights regarding each below.

Routine Accrued Liabilities

This sort of accrued liability is likewise alluded to as a recurring liability. In that capacity, these expenses normally happen as part of a company's everyday operations. For example, accrued interest payable to a creditor for a financial obligation, like a loan, is viewed as an everyday practice or recurring liability. The company might be charged interest yet won't pay for it until the next accounting period.

Non-Routine Accrued Liabilities

Non-routine accrued liabilities are expenses that don't happen consistently. Therefore they're likewise called rare accrued liabilities. They aren't part of a company's normal operating activities. A non-routine liability may, thusly, be a startling expense that a company might be billed for yet will not need to pay until the next accounting period.

Journal Entry for an Accrued Liability

Accounting for an accrued liability requires a journal entry. A accountant as a rule denotes a debit and a credit to their expense accounts and accrued liability accounts separately.

This is then turned around when the next accounting period starts and the payment is made. The accounting department debits the accrued liability account and credits the expense account, which inverts out the original transaction.

When Do Accrued Liabilities Occur?

Accrued liabilities emerge for a number of reasons or when occasions happen during the normal course of business. For example:

  • A company that purchases goods or services on a deferred payment plan accrues liabilities in light of the fact that the obligation to pay later on exists.
  • Employees might perform work for which they haven't received wages.
  • Interest on loans might be accrued assuming interest fees were incurred since the previous loan payment.
  • Taxes owed to governments might be accrued on the grounds that they are not due until the next tax reporting period.

Toward the finish of a calendar year, employee salaries and benefits must be recorded in the appropriate year, paying little mind to when the pay period closures and when paychecks are distributed. For instance, a fourteen day pay period might reach out from December 25 to January 7.

In spite of the fact that they aren't distributed until January, there is as yet one full seven day stretch of expenses for December. The salaries, benefits, and taxes incurred from Dec. 25 to Dec. 31 are considered accrued liabilities. These expenses are debited to mirror an increase in the expenses. In the mean time, different liabilities will be credited to report the increase in obligations toward the year's end.

Payroll taxes, including Social Security, Medicare, and federal unemployment taxes are liabilities that can be accrued periodically in anticipation of payment before the taxes are due.

Accrued Liability versus Accounts Payable (AP)

Accrued liabilities and accounts payable (AP) are the two types of liabilities that companies need to pay. In any case, there is a difference between the two. Accrued liabilities are for expenses that poor person yet been billed, either in light of the fact that they are a customary expense that doesn't need a bill (i.e., payroll) or on the grounds that the company hasn't yet received a bill from the vendor (i.e., a utility bill).

All things considered, accounts payable (or payables) are generally short-term obligations and must be paid inside a certain amount of time. Creditors send solicitations or bills, which are reported by the accepting company's AP department. The department then, at that point, issues the payment for the total amount by the due date. Paying off these expenses during the predetermined time assists companies with staying away from default.

Instances of Accrued Liability

As verified above, companies can accrue liabilities for the overwhelming majority various reasons. Accordingly, there are a wide range of sorts of expenses that fall under this category. Coming up next are probably the most common models:

  • Wage expenses: This is for work previously performed by employees. The work is paid for in the next accounting period. This is common with managers who pay their employees bi-weekly, in light of the fact that a pay period might stretch out into the accompanying accounting month or year.
  • Goods and services: Some companies place orders and receive goods and services from their providers without paying for them right away. As an accrued expense, the getting company pays for these goods and services sometime in the not too distant future.
  • Interest: A company might have an outstanding loan for which the interest isn't yet due. The lender might require this expense.


  • Accounting for accrued liabilities requires a debit to an expense account and a credit to the accrued liability account, which is then switched upon payment with a credit to the cash or expense account and a debit to the accrued liability account.
  • An accrued liability happens when a business has incurred an expense yet has not yet paid it out.
  • Instances of accrued liabilities can incorporate payroll and payroll taxes.
  • Accrued liabilities emerge due to occasions that happen during the normal course of business.
  • These liabilities or expenses possibly exist while utilizing an accrual method of accounting.