When a company makes a revenue to a client it normally does so on the knowledge that if the product is found to it is in defective it will certainly undertake to repair or change the product totally free of charge, this is known as providing a product warranty.

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If the product does need to be repaired or changed then the service will incur warranty costs in doing so. The potential for warranty prices to be incurred at part future date gives rise to a arbitrarily liability for the business.

To be recorded in the accounting records and also included in the jae won statements of the business, a arbitrarily liability need to be both probable and also subject to reasonable estimation.

In the instance of vouch costs, there is small doubt that some commodities will be defective and result in a warranty claim and also therefore the contingent legal responsibility is probable, and also the an initial condition is satisfied, the following condition, that the organization must have the ability to estimate the degree of the potential liability is questioned below.

Warranty prices Estimation

For most businesses the estimate of warranty cost involves the following steps:

Find the number of products offered in one accounting period e.g. 200,000 unitsUse historic or sector data to establish the portion of products which are likely to be subject to a vouch claim. E.g. 2%Use historic or market data to calculation the average price of a repair or replacement product (warranty cost) e.g. 2.00

Based top top this information an estimate of the most likely warranty expenses for the accounting period can it is in calculated making use of the complying with formula:

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Based on the instance values above the approximated warranty expenses for year 1 space calculated together follows:

Warranty costs = Units marketed x % topic to a claim x average expense per claimWarranty prices = 200,000 x 2% x 2.00 = 8,000Based on historical or market data the business has approximated that the warranty prices for the commodities sold throughout the accounting duration (year 1) are likely to it is in 8,000.

As the price is both probable and also can it is in estimated, the 8,000 arbitrarily liability need to be taped in the financial statements of the business. Come comply v the matching principle, the estimated expenses of repairing and also replacing the commodities under the warranty need to be taped in the same duration as the earnings from those product sales.

It must be detailed this is the approximated warranty prices for products sold throughout this accountancy period, and is not the yes, really warrant expenses incurred.

Accounting for Warranties

The double entry bookkeeping journal required to document the estimated warranty costs for year 1 is together follows:


Estimated warranty expenses journal entryAccountDebitCredit
Warranty expense8,000
Warranty costs liability8,000
Total8,0008,000

The estimated warranty expense is debited together an cost to the earnings statement, and also credited to the warranty expenses liability account (sometimes referred to as a vouch reserve) come reflect the contingent liability the company has for products sold in year 1.

Actual guarantee Costs

During the following accounting duration (year 2) warranty insurance claims will be made for products already sold by the business and also actual expenses will be occurs in repairing and replacing the defective products.

Suppose for example, the service incurred actual expenses of 6,570 throughout the accounting duration relating to assets sold in year 1, as these costs have already been estimated and permitted for as soon as the product to be sold, the cost for the duration can it is in debited come the warrant expenses liability account in the balance sheet and not to the earnings statement.

Assuming for simplicity all prices were paid for in cash, the newspaper to record them is as follows:


Actual warranty costs incurred newspaper entryAccountDebitCredit
Warranty expenses liability6,570
Cash6,570
Total6,5706,570

The balance on the warranty costs liability account is now calculated together 8,000 – 6570 = 1,430. The organization must now check that this is adequate to sheathe the staying potential claims for products sold in year 1. If for every little thing reason (e.g. Increasing claims %, or repair costs) the estimate has readjusted then this should be reflected in the accounting records.

For example, suppose the organization estimates that the remaining claims are most likely to result in a warranty price of 2,500, then the estimate requirements to be increased by 2,500 – 1,430 = 1,070 with the adhering to journal.


Amending the warranty costs estimate newspaper entryAccountDebitCredit
Warranty expense1,070
Warranty costs liability1,070
Total1,0701,070

This process must now continue until the warranties expire and also no more warranty expense needs come be enabled for

Of course each year extr products will be offered and second warranty price contingent liability should be estimated and established for those commodities using the procedure described above.

Warranty prices Liability in the Balance Sheet

The estimate of warranty cost is a contingent liability and is consisted of in the balance sheet as either a current liability is the warranty duration is shorter than 1 year, or under lengthy term liabilities if the warranty claims are supposed to happen in an ext than one year.

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About the Author

Chartered accountant Michael Brown is the founder and also CEO of dual Entry Bookkeeping. He has operated as one accountant and consultant for more than 25 years and has developed financial models because that all varieties of industries. He has been the CFO or controller the both small and tool sized companies and also has run tiny businesses that his own. He has actually been a manager and an auditor through Deloitte, a large 4 audit firm, and also holds a level from Loughborough University.