Credit Note

What is a Credit Note?

Credit Note is a commercial instrument which is issued by the seller of goods and services to the purchaser if goods and services are returned back to him by the purchaser informing that the account of the purchaser is credited in the books of accounts of the seller.

When the purchaser sends the debit note, the seller approves of it and then sends back a credit note stating that in the books of the seller, the purchaser would be credited. Even if it is issued just to respond to the purchaser’s debit note, it isn’t a good thing to happen to a seller; because this note is an indication that the amount of sales would be reduced.

But why the seller issues this even if he knows that it will reduce the number of sales?

Also, have a look at Credit Note vs Debit NoteCredit Note Vs Debit NoteBoth the debit notes and the credit notes are issued in the situation involving the return or cancellation of goods and services by one party to another, where debit note is issued by the buyer of goods and services if it is returned back to the vendor whereas the credit note is issued by the seller of goods and services if it is returned back to him by the more.

Why is Credit Note Issued?

A business can’t exist in a vacuum. A business needs to thrive, and without the reputation and the goodwillThe Reputation And The GoodwillIn accounting, goodwill is an intangible asset that is generated when one company purchases another company for a price that is greater than the sum of the company's net identifiable assets at the time of acquisition. It is determined by subtracting the fair value of the company's net identifiable assets from the total purchase more, it will not be able to perpetuate for very long.

Issuing this note is a gesture of goodwill, which is shown by the seller to the purchaser by offering a credit memoCredit MemoA credit memorandum, also known as a credit memo, is a document issued by a seller to a buyer that serves as the source document for the sales journal and informs the buyer that the seller will credit the amount owed to the more stating that the number of goods that are defective or erroneous will be taken back. For the returned amount, the purchaser can avail something from the seller.

This gesture makes the relationship between the buyer and the seller rock-solid, and as a result, both of these companies will thrive.

Accounting for Credit Note

Like debit notes, when it is issued, one journal entry is passed.

Let’s say that MNC Company has bought goods worth of $40,000 from S&S Traders. And MNC Company finds out that 2% of the total goods purchased are defective. MNC Company would issue a debit note stating the same. What would be the journal entry in S&S Trader’s books of accounts?

To S&S Traders, $40,000 worth of goods were sold. And now it was reversed. So the journal entry would be –

Sales A/C …….Dr            800    –

To MNC Company A/C      –      800

Again one can argue that the “sales” wouldn’t be debited, but to create the effect in the ledger, we will debit the “sales” account.

Here’s the full version of the journal entries before and after the issuance of this note –

MNC Company A/C………Dr      40,000     –

To Sales A/C                                     –         40,000

Sales A/C………..Dr          800      –

To MNC Company A/C        –      800

Sales Return A/C………Dr    800    –

To Sales A/C                            –      800


Credit Note

You are free to use this image on your website, templates etc, Please provide us with an attribution linkHow to Provide Attribution?Article Link to be Hyperlinked
For eg:
Source: Credit Note (

There are a few important features we need to know. Here are they –

  • It is issued by the seller: the buyer issues the debit note, the seller responds by issuing this note which states that the seller would credit the buyer’s account so that the buyer needs to pay less or can avail of other goods for the same amount paid.
  • It isn’t a good sign for a seller: It isn’t a good sign for the seller because by issuing a credit note, the seller has to reduce the amount from the sales they have charged from the buyer.
  • Red ink is used: Since the amount is reduced from the sales, it is perceived as a negative amount. That’s why red ink is used.
  • It can be issued by the buyer as well: In one condition, the buyer issues a credit note for the seller. When the seller undercharges the buyer, the buyer issues the credit note for the seller.
  • Sales return book is changed: As it is issued, in certain cases, sales return book is changed if the amount of sales is reduced because of defective goods.

Credit Note Video

Recommended Articles

This article has been a guide to Credit Note and its meaning. Here we also discuss the accounting of credit notes, why they are issued, and its characteristics. You can also learn about basic accounting from these articles below –

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *