Types of Liability Accounts List of Examples Explanations Definition

Current liabilities are usually considered short-term (expected to be concluded in 12 months or less) and non-current liabilities are long-term (12 months or greater). Some common examples of liability bookkeeping synonyms, bookkeeping antonyms accounts include accounts payable, accrued expenses, short-term debt, and dividends payable. They include anything the company still owes, whether it be to employees, customers, or investors.

Enter your credit card knowing your information in transit from our website to Intuit is protected. Common office supplies, such as paper, computers, and printers, can also be in this category, although they may not be included if they get used up over time. Go a level deeper with us and investigate the potential impacts of climate change on investments like your retirement account.

  • It shows investors and analysts whether a company has enough current assets on its balance sheet to satisfy or pay off its current debt and other payables.
  • She’s passionate about helping people make sense of complicated tax and accounting topics.
  • Because employees typically receive their payment within the month in which they worked, these payroll expenses would be considered current liabilities.
  • A contingent liability is a potential liability that will only be confirmed as a liability when an uncertain event has been resolved at some point in the future.
  • A constructive obligation is an obligation that is implied by a set of circumstances in a particular situation, as opposed to a contractually based obligation.

Sometimes, companies use an account called other current liabilities as a catch-all line item on their balance sheets to include all other liabilities due within a year that are not classified elsewhere. When you’re setting up your chart of accounts, choosing the right account type is crucial because your business’s accounting is built around account types. The account type determines which financial report QuickBooks adds each account’s data to. These include accounts payable and receivable, asset accounts, liability accounts, equity accounts, and credit card and bank accounts.

Guidelines for Calculating Monthly Lease Interest for Nonmonthly Lease Payments

A contingent liability is a potential liability that will only be confirmed as a liability when an uncertain event has been resolved at some point in the future. Only record a contingent liability if it is probable that the liability will occur, and if you can reasonably estimate its amount. If a contingent liability is not considered sufficiently probable to be recorded in the accounting records, it may still be described in the notes accompanying an organization’s financial statements. Some items can be classified in both categories, such as a loan that’s to be paid back over 2 years. The money owed for the first year is listed under current liabilities, and the rest of the balance owing becomes a long-term liability. Different types of liabilities are listed under each category, in order from shortest to longest term.

  • A liability can be considered a source of funds, since an amount owed to a third party is essentially borrowed cash that can then be used to support the asset base of a business.
  • Equity is commonly known as shareholder’s equity or owner’s equity.
  • Find out how to use account types and detail types in your chart of accounts.
  • Different types of liabilities are listed under each category, in order from shortest to longest term.
  • Liabilities are amounts owed by a corporation or a person to creditors for past transactions.
  • The outstanding money that the restaurant owes to its wine supplier is considered a liability.

Unlike account types, detail types don’t impact the actual accounting portion of your books. Detail types are there to help you choose the right account type, especially if you’re new to accounting. If you’re not familiar with accounting practices, looking at the different detail types can help you understand what types of transactions are tracked by each account type. Each detail type includes a description of how you would use that account in the field below it (or you might see an info button with the description). For example, a company might have 60-day terms for money owed to their supplier, which results in requiring their customers to pay within a 30-day term.

What Is a Liability?

When cash is deposited in a bank, the bank is said to « debit » its cash account, on the asset side, and « credit » its deposits account, on the liabilities side. In this case, the bank is debiting an asset and crediting a liability, which means that both increase. A contingent liability is an obligation that might have to be paid in the future, but there are still unresolved matters that make it only a possibility and not a certainty.

Lawsuits and the threat of lawsuits are the most common contingent liabilities, but unused gift cards, product warranties, and recalls also fit into this category. AP typically carries the largest balances, as they encompass the day-to-day operations. AP can include services, raw materials, office supplies, or any other categories of products and services where no promissory note is issued. Since most companies do not pay for goods and services as they are acquired, AP is equivalent to a stack of bills waiting to be paid. As a practical example of understanding a firm’s liabilities, let’s look at a historical example using AT&T’s (T) 2020 balance sheet. The current/short-term liabilities are separated from long-term/non-current liabilities on the balance sheet.

Let’s say your lease has a payment frequency of quarterly,
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than quarterly.

Example of Liabilities

If the asset, such as intellectual property or equipment used in production, can’t be converted into cash within that specific year or time period, then it is considered a noncurrent asset. Find out how to use account types and detail types in your chart of accounts. A debit either increases an asset or decreases a liability; a credit either decreases an asset or increases a liability. According to the principle of double-entry, every financial transaction corresponds to both a debit and a credit. Liabilities are debts and obligations of the business they represent as creditor’s claim on business assets. Liabilities can help companies organize successful business operations and accelerate value creation.


In short, there is a diversity of treatment for the debit side of liability accounting. For instance, a company may take out debt (a liability) in order to expand and grow its business. For example, if a company has had more expenses than revenues for the past three years, it may signal weak financial stability because it has been losing money for those years.

Non-current liabilities are due in more than one year and most often include debt repayments and deferred payments. Assets are also categorized according to the time period during which the business expects to turn them into cash. Current assets are those that will be cashed in within the current fiscal period, which is usually one year. Noncurrent assets are long-term assets that can’t be liquidated within the current fiscal period. Although the current and quick ratios show how well a company converts its current assets to pay current liabilities, it’s critical to compare the ratios to companies within the same industry. A number higher than one is ideal for both the current and quick ratios, since it demonstrates that there are more current assets to pay current short-term debts.

Where Are Liabilities on a Balance Sheet?

The liabilities definition in financial accounting is a business’s financial responsibilities. A common liability for small businesses is accounts payable, or money owed to suppliers. Liabilities are a company’s financial obligations, like the money a business owes its suppliers, wages payable and loans owing, which can be found on a business’s balance sheet.

When a payment of $1 million is made, the company’s accountant makes a $1 million debit entry to the other current liabilities account and a $1 million credit to the cash account. One—the liabilities—are listed on a company’s balance sheet, and the other is listed on the company’s income statement. Expenses are the costs of a company’s operation, while liabilities are the obligations and debts a company owes. Expenses can be paid immediately with cash, or the payment could be delayed which would create a liability. In general, a liability is an obligation between one party and another not yet completed or paid for.

Long-term liabilities, also known as non-current liabilities, are financial obligations that will be paid back over more than a year, such as mortgages and business loans. Like businesses, an individual’s or household’s net worth is taken by balancing assets against liabilities. For most households, liabilities will include taxes due, bills that must be paid, rent or mortgage payments, loan interest and principal due, and so on. If you are pre-paid for performing work or a service, the work owed may also be construed as a liability. Companies will segregate their liabilities by their time horizon for when they are due. Current liabilities are due within a year and are often paid for using current assets.

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