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Record the Entry to Close Revenue Accounts

The process of recording the entry to close revenue accounts refers to the systematic procedure followed in accounting to finalize the revenue recognition and transfer its balance to the appropriate equity or retained earnings account. This step is crucial in the financial reporting cycle, marking the completion of the accounting period and ensuring accurate financial statements.


When an accounting period comes to an end, it is essential to close revenue accounts to properly account for the revenues earned during that period. The closure ensures that financial statements accurately represent the company’s financial performance and comply with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

Revenue accounts, such as sales revenue, service revenue, or interest income, capture the inflow of economic benefits resulting from business activities. These accounts are typically opened at the beginning of an accounting period, and transactions related to revenue are recorded as the period progresses. However, to avoid commingling balances from multiple accounting periods, these accounts must be closed out.

The closing process involves transferring the balance of the revenue accounts to an account called Income Summary or directly to the retained earnings account. The Income Summary account is a temporary account used only during the closing cycle, serving as a bridge between the revenue accounts and the equity section of the balance sheet.

To close revenue accounts, the following steps are followed:

  1. Identify revenue accounts: Review the Chart of Accounts to identify the revenue accounts that have been active during the accounting period.
  2. Record revenue account balances: Determine the balances of the revenue accounts by referring to the general ledger. Summarize the individual balances to arrive at the total revenue earned.
  3. Debit revenue accounts: Debit each revenue account with its respective balance. This action reduces the balance of the revenue accounts to zero.
  4. Credit Income Summary account: Credit the Income Summary account with the total revenue earned. This step transfers the balance of the revenue accounts to the Income Summary.
  5. Verify equality: Ensure that the total debits equal total credits after recording the entries.
  6. Close Income Summary account: Once the revenue balances have been transferred, the Income Summary account must be closed. Transfer the balance of the Income Summary account to the retained earnings account.
  7. Update retained earnings: Debit or credit the retained earnings account accordingly to reflect the net income or loss generated during the accounting period.

Closing revenue accounts serves two important purposes. Firstly, it enables the generation of accurate financial statements that provide reliable information about the company’s financial performance. Secondly, it resets the revenue accounts to zero, preparing them for the upcoming accounting period and maintaining proper accounting records.

In conclusion, the process to record the entry to close revenue accounts is a vital step in the financial reporting cycle. It allows for the accurate representation of a company’s revenue performance and ensures compliance with accounting standards. By following a systematic procedure to close revenue accounts, businesses can maintain reliable financial records and present transparent financial statements to stakeholders.