Set up a Sales Discount Account in QuickBooks Desktop Online

“Sales Discount” is a contra-revenue account; presented as a deduction from “Sales” in the income statement to come up with the “Net Sales”. The computation can also be presented in the notes to financial statements. A Cash or Sales discount is the reduction in the price of a product or service offered to a customer by the seller to pay the due amount within a specified time period. This is mainly an incentive to the purchasing party to settle the bill earlier than the prescribed date.

  • When a company’s invoices are settled early, it helps reduces the amount of time that the business is extending credit.
  • These discounts can be offered to retail customers or corporate clients as well.
  • The store sold 10 pieces of each item at a 10% discount during the month.

As seen in the financial report above, the sales discount as a contra revenue account appears as a $9 reduction from the gross revenue of $900 that the manufacturer reported, which results in net revenue of $891. As seen in the financial statement above, the sales discount as a contra revenue account appears as a $4,500 reduction from the gross revenue of $90,000 that Company XYZ reported, which results in net revenue of $84,500. Most companies do not allow for cash discounts while some companies allow in order to encourage early settlement. However, the sales discount is considered minimal; therefore, we often recorded at the time of payment if the customer makes payment within the discount period. The sales discount account will reduce cash by the discount percentage on all invoices. When customers avail of the discount, the accounts receivable get credited to reflect the change fully on the balance sheet.

Step 1: Activate the Discount Setting

Let’s discuss the step by the step accounting treatment of sales discount. Trade discount refers to the reduction in the price of a commodity or service sold to wholesalers at the time of bulk purchases. However, the company could benefit by paying less to its suppliers for the same products or services that it purchases.

A sales discount takes place when a seller offers a reduction in the sales price to a customer as an incentive to pay an invoice within a certain time. When a sales discount is offered to few customers, or if few customers take the discount, then the amount of the discount actually taken is likely to be immaterial. In this case, the seller can simply record the sales discounts as they occur, with a credit to the accounts receivable account for the amount of the discount taken and a debit to the sales discount account.

Accounting Entries for Sales Discounts – Scenario 1

Your customer will only see it if you add the discount to the field. With the new version of estimates and invoices, you can turn the discount setting on or off directly on your estimate or invoice. But, if you want to add a discount to a sales receipt, the process is a little different. Sinra Apparels can apply the same method across multiple products and multiple discounts. The net Revenue balance on an income statement is calculated as gross Revenue minus all contra-revenue items like Sales Returns, Allowances and Discounts. The opposite of the revenue contra accounts Sales Discounts, Returns and Allowances are expense contra accounts Purchase Discounts, Returns and Allowances.

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Once you have turned on the discount setting, you will witness the discount field right underneath the subtotal on invoices, quotes, or sales receipts. When such a setting is turned on, the optional discount field shows in the subtotal of your given sales forms, however, your customer will only be able to check it if a discount is added to the field. In case you have never used a discount item, here are the steps to create a discount item and then add the discount item to your invoice. With this setting on, the optional discount field displays in the subtotal of your sales forms.

Balance Sheet

As you can see, full amounts of cash are received and the full amount of account receivables are discharged from the company account. With every day that the payment is not received, the
seller or receivable has an opportunity cost– in terms of the financial return
he could have otherwise generated. Chartered accountant Michael Brown is the founder and CEO of Double Entry Bookkeeping. He has worked as an accountant and consultant for more than 25 years and has built financial models for all types of industries.

Thus, the net effect of the transaction is to reduce the amount of gross sales. A sales discount is recorded in a separate account from sales revenue in accounting records and is reported on the income statement. There are two main types of discounts in accounting that might occur in businesses such as trade discounts and sales discounts.


This term given means that the customer can satisfy the $900 obligation if he pays $891 ($900 – $9 of sales discount) within 10 days. The other alternative is for the customer to pay the full $900 within 30 days. The seller grants some amount as a discount to the debtor for the realization of the outstanding sales within the term period of sales. We hope that this article was enlightening for you to answer your queries concerning setting up a sales discount account in QuickBooks. Still, you may get stuck anywhere or get confused in some of the processes.

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