define the income summary account.

We need to complete entries to update the balance in Retained Earnings so it reflects the balance on the Statement of Retained Earnings. We know the change in the balance includes net income and dividends. Therefore, we need to transfer the balances in revenue, expenses and dividends (the temporary accounts) into Retained Earnings to update the balance. If the income summary has a credit balance, it indicates that the company has made profit.

  • Once the net profit or loss is ascertained and transferred’ to the retained earnings, the income summary account being a temporary account cease to exist having served its purpose.
  • After these two entries, the revenue and expense accounts have zero balances.
  • The Printing Plus adjusted trial balance for January 31, 2019, is presented in Figure 5.4.
  • The income summary, on the other hand, is a temporary account that compiles revenues and expenses.
  • These are all expenses incurred for earning the average operating revenue linked to the primary activity of the business.
  • The most common non-operating expenses are debt interest charges, inventory write-offs, and lawsuit settlements.
  • This way, you can see how much profit or loss your business generates during a reporting period.
  • The above example is the simplest form of income statement that any standard business can generate.
  • An income statement is not a balance sheet or a cash flow statement.

The Retained Earnings account balance is currently a credit of $4,665. Let’s explore each entry in more detail using Printing Plus’s information from Analyzing and Recording Transactions and The Adjustment Process as our example. The Printing Plus adjusted trial balance for January 31, 2019, is presented in Figure 5.4.

Example of an Income Summary Account

This is the first step to take in using the income summary account. The income summary account is an intermediary between revenues and expenses, and the Retained Earnings account. It stores all of the closing information for revenues and expenses, resulting in a “summary” of income or loss for the period. The balance in the Income Summary account equals the net income or loss for the period.

Income summary is prepared by transferring the credit balances of revenue accounts and closing them by debiting the revenue accounts and crediting the income summary accounts. In the same way, all expense accounts are also transferred by crediting the expense accounts and debiting the income statement accounts. The income summary account is a temporary account used in the closing stage of the accounting cycle to collect the balances of the revenue and expense accounts, which are then closed. The purpose of the income summary account is to facilitate the process of closing temporary accounts and transfer their balances into the retained earnings account. Temporary (nominal) accounts are accounts that are closed at the end of each accounting period, and include income statement, dividends, and income summary accounts.

Profitability Evaluation

The business has been operating for several years but does not have the resources for accounting software. This means you are preparing all steps in the accounting cycle by hand. The following exercise is designed to help students apply their knowledge of closing entries in a real-life business context. Net profit, also called “net sales” or “net earnings,” is the total profit for your business. Often shortened to “COGS,” this is how much it cost to produce all of the goods or services you sold to your customers.

All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. We also have an accompanying spreadsheet which shows you an example of each step. Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. He is the sole author of all the materials on

Closing Entries – A Practical Exercise:

Common size income statements make it easier to compare trends and changes in your business. You don’t need fancy accounting software or an accounting degree to create an income statement. Our expert bookkeepers here at Bench have built an income statement template in Excel that you can use to assess the financial health of your business and turn your financial information into an income statement.

Where is the income summary?

Income summary is not reported on any financial statements because it is only used during the closing process, and at the end of the closing process the account balance is zero. Income summary effectively collects NI for the period and distributes the amount to be retained into retained earnings.

The first one is to close out the revenue account to the income summary account. For example, if a company has $12,000,000 in revenue for the year, it will debit Revenue for $12,000,000, bringing the balance in that account to zero, and credit the Income Summary account for the same amount. Multi-step income statements separate operational revenues and expenses from non-operating ones.

Closing Entries for Dividends Accounts

We added it to Retained Earnings on the Statement of Retained Earnings. To add something to Retained Earnings, which is an equity account with a normal credit balance, we would credit the account. Now that the revenue account is closed, next we close the expense accounts.

At this point in the accounting cycle, all the temporary accounts have been closed and zeroed out to permanent accounts. Therefore, a post-closing trial balance will include a list of all permanent accounts that still have balances. The income summary is an intermediate account to which the balances of the revenue and expenses are transferred at the end of the accounting cycle through the closing entries. This way each temporary account can be reset and start with a zero balance in the next accounting period. Notice that revenues, expenses, dividends, and income summary all have zero balances.