Prepaid Expenses: Definition, Accounting, Examples, Journal Entry, as Current Asset

Every business has different types of assets that offer different values. One of the most important types of assets for a business is called Prepaid Expenses. This is one of those expenses that are considered an asset because it provides future economic benefits to the company.

In this article, we will take a closer look at what is a Prepaid Expense, its definition, examples, and how it is recorded in the books of accounts by businesses. So if you are interested in learning more about prepaid expenses, keep on reading!

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What are prepaid expenses

An accounting term is used to describe payments made in advance for goods or services that have not yet been received or provided. In most cases, the payment is for something that will be used up within a year, such as office supplies or insurance.

Prepaid expenses are a type of asset that offers businesses the opportunity to pay for goods or services before they receive them. This allows businesses to take advantage of early payment discounts, which can save the company money in the long run.

Prepaid expenses are considered an asset because they provide future economic benefits to the business. The economic benefits arise from the fact that the prepaid expense will be used up over time, and as it is used up, it will reduce the company’s expenses.

How to account for prepaid expenses on the journal entry

So now that we know what is a prepaid expense, we will take a look at how it is recorded in the books of accounts

Prepaid expenses are typically recorded in the accounting records as an asset. This is because they provide future economic benefits to the business. The amount of the prepaid expense is recorded as a liability on the balance sheet until it is used up.

To illustrate how to record a prepaid expense in the accounting records, let’s assume that a company pays $1,000 in advance for office supplies that will be used over the next year. The company would record the prepaid expense as an asset on the balance sheet by debiting the asset account “Prepaid Expenses” and crediting the cash account for $1,000.

Examples of prepaid expenses

Now that we have a better understanding of what a prepaid expense is and how it is recorded in the books of accounts, let’s take a look at some examples of prepaid expenses.


Rent is an example of a prepaid expense that is often used by businesses. When a business pays rent in advance, the amount is recorded as a prepaid expense on the balance sheet. As the months go by, the prepaid rent expense is slowly used up and is eventually replaced by the actual rent expense.


We have already mentioned insurance as an example of a prepaid expense. Similar to rent, businesses often pay insurance premiums in advance. It goes without saying that businesses must insure many different things depending on the industry they are in. A few examples of common insurances are property insurance, automobile insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and product liability insurance.


Advertising is an important part of any marketing strategy. It is a form of communication that aims to promote or sell a product or service. Prepaid advertising is an advance payment made for advertising services that have not yet been rendered. This type of expense is often paid for in advance so that the advertiser can secure ad space or time slots on television, radio, or social media.

Office utilities

Office utilities are another type of prepaid expense. Services like electricity, water, and internet are typically paid for in advance. The company pays for the service, and the service is used over time. Most utility providers can also offer discounts if they are paid in advance.


So there you have it. This is everything you need to know about prepaid expenses. We have talked about what is a prepaid expense, how it is recorded in the books of accounts, and we have also looked at some examples of prepaid expenses. We hope that this article has helped clear up any confusion you may have had about this topic. Thanks for reading.

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