Bad Debt Provision

Bad debt provision is reserve made to show the estimated percentage of the total bad and doubtful debts that needed to be written off in the next year and it is simply a loss because it is charged to profit & loss account of the company in the name of provision.

Provision for Bad Debts Meaning

Provision for bad debts is the estimated percentage of total doubtful debt that needs to be written off during the next year.  It is nothing but a loss to the company which needs to be charged to the profit and loss account in the form of provision. It is done on the reason that the amount of loss is impossible to ascertain until it is proved bad.

Please note that Debts can be classified into three categories which are as under:-

  • Bad Debts: It means which are uncollectable or irrecoverable debts.
  • Doubtful debts: It means which will be receivable or cannot be ascertainable at the date of preparing the financial statements, in simple words those debts which are doubtful to realize.
  • Good debts: It means which are not bad, i.e., neither there is the possibility of bad debts nor any doubt about its realization is known as good debts.

Journal Entries in Case of Bad Debt and Provision

In the First Year

  • For Bad debts
provision for bad debt journal entry 1
provision for bad debt journal entry 1-1
  • For provision for bad debts journal entries
provision for bad debt journal entry 1-2

In the Second/Subsequent Year

  • For Bad Debts
provision for bad debt journal entry 1-3
  •  For Provision for Bad Debts Journal entries (If a new provision is more than old)
provision for bad debt journal entry 1-4
provision for bad debt journal entry 1-5

Examples of Provision for Bad (and Doubtful) Debts Journal Entries

Below are the examples of provision for a bad debt journal entry.

Example #1

Bad debts Account

Bad Debt Example 1

Provision for Bad debts Account

Bad Debt Example 1-1

Example #2

M/s X Ltd. has a trade receivableTrade ReceivableTrade receivable is the amount owed to the business or company by its customers. It is also known as account receivables and is represented as current liabilities in balance more of Rs. 10000 from M/s KBC as on 31.12.2018. Recently, a receivable owing to Rs. 1,000 to M/s X Ltd has been wound up. Consequently, M/s X Ltd. does not expect and amount to be recovered from M/s KBC.

Based on past experience, M/s X Ltd. estimates that 3% of its receivable will do the default in making the payments. M/s X should write offWrite OffWrite off is the reduction in the value of the assets that were present in the books of accounts of the company on a particular period of time and are recorded as the accounting expense against the payment not received or the losses on the more Rs. 1,000 from M/s KBC as bad debts. Please provide the journal entries to be made for bad debt. Note that provision for bad debts as on 31.12.2017 is Rs. 100.

The entries shall be made as under:-

Example 2
Example 2-1

(An allowance of Rs. 270 (i.e. (Rs. 10,000 – Rs. 1000) * 3%) should be made. A provision of Rs. 100 has already been created earlier. Therefore, only Rs. 170 shall be charged to the income statementIncome StatementThe income statement is one of the company's financial reports that summarizes all of the company's revenues and expenses over time in order to determine the company's profit or loss and measure its business activity over time based on user more. )

 Example #3

Let’s assume that, in the year 2017, we need to create the provision for bad debts @ 15% of the sundry debtors, i.e., $ 1,00,000 as we are expecting that these debtors will not pay their dues.

So, in the first year, i.e., 2017, we shall pass the following journal entry for provisions of bad debt as under:-

Example 3

At the end of 2018, we reviewed our sundry debtors which were $ 1,10,000 and decided to provide the provision again at 15%. Accordingly, in this year the provision will increase by $ 1,500 [($ 1,10,000 * 15%) – $ 15,000], and it shall be recorded in the books of accounts as under:-

Example 3-1

At the end of 2019, we again reviewed our sundry debtors which were $ 90,000 and decided to provide the provision again at 15%. Accordingly, in this year the provision will decrease by $ 1,500 [($ 90,000 * 15%) – $ 15,000], and it shall record in the books of accounts as under:-

Example 3-2

Based on the above, the following are the effects on the income statement:-

  • At the end of year 1:- Profit shall be lowered by $ 15,000
  • At the end of year 2:- Profit shall be lowered by $ 1,500
  • At the end of year 3:- Profit shall be increased by $ 1,500


Provision for bad debts can have a major impact on the financial statement of the companyFinancial Statement Of The CompanyFinancial statements are written reports prepared by a company's management to present the company's financial affairs over a given period (quarter, six monthly or yearly). These statements, which include the Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Cash Flows, and Shareholders Equity Statement, must be prepared in accordance with prescribed and standardized accounting standards to ensure uniformity in reporting at all more because it directly affects the profit and loss statement of the company, which is always required to give a true and fair view of the financial statements. Therefore, the estimation of the same should be made based on the past performance of the company.

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