Accounting For Product Warranties


Possible contingent liabilities are as likely to occur as not and remote contingent liabilities are extremely unlikely to occur . In this adjusting entry, the change in the expense is not recorded in the period of the sale. As discussed earlier, no retroactive changes are made in previously reported figures unless fraud occurred or an estimate was held to be so unreasonable that it was not made in good faith.After the warranty period for a product has expired, a business no longer incurs a warranty liability. While recording the event in the financial statements, the company will debit the warranty expense account and credit a liability account when the product is sold to a client. Philips warrants its products for a specific period of time after the date of purchase. Defects due to faulty materials and workmanship will be repaired or replaced at the expense of Philips, as long as a valid proof of purchase is provided within the qualifying period.Caroline Banton has 6+ years of experience as a freelance writer of business and finance articles. She also writes biographies for Story Terrace.If the car’s transmission breaks, for example, the seller promises to replace it. Making the sale with a warranty attached is the past event that creates this contingency. However, the item acquired by the customer must break before the company has an actual loss.

What Is A Contingent Liability?

The warranty period starts on the date of purchase as stated on your proof-of-purchase and expires at the end of the period indicated in the section “Warranty period” below. If you require service for products without production date or serial number on the product a valid proof-of-purchase is required. This warranty policy only applies to consumer products. For professional products the warranty terms of the sale- or purchase agreement applies. For some product categories a partner company of Philips is the warrantor of the product; please check the documentation supplied with your product. The warranty begins on the date of purchase and expires at the end of the period indicated above.

  • In the last entry, you would replace inventory with the specific costs you had.
  • The warranty does not cover consequential damages , nor compensation for activities done by yourself, such as regular maintenance, installing firmware updates or saving or restoring data.
  • She most recently worked at Duke University and is the owner of Peggy James, CPA, PLLC, serving small businesses, nonprofits, solopreneurs, freelancers, and individuals.
  • The matching principle states that a company must match revenue with expenses.

This is because part of the warranty obligation is being fulfilled. A contingent liability is recorded if the contingency is likely and the amount of the liability can be reasonably estimated. The liability may be disclosed in a footnote on the financial statements unless both conditions are not met. Accrue the warranty expense with a debit to the warranty expense account and a credit to the warranty liability account. Apply the same percentage to the sales for the current accounting period to derive the warranty expense to be accrued.The Philips warranty applies when the product has been handled properly for its intended use, and was used in accordance with the operating instructions. The entry would be the same except for one possible modification.

When Should A Product Warranty Liability Be Recorded?

Account for the liability and expense incurred by a company that provides its customers with an embedded warranty on a purchased product. The warranty period refers to a period throughout which a vendor or manufacturer is obliged to repair, replace, or compensate for a defective product. When the warranty period for the product expires, the vendor or manufacturer is no longer liable for any defects. Next, calculate the cost of replacing those potentially defective water bottles.Subsequent costs are expensed as incurred to align with the matching principle. Expenses are not estimated and recorded in advance. Analysts often determine the average age of accounts payable to determine how quickly liabilities are being paid as an indication of an entity’s financial health. Estimated product warranty payable When companies sell products such as computers, often they must guarantee against defects by placing a warranty on their products. When defects occur, the company is obligated to reimburse the customer or repair the product. For many products, companies can predict the number of defects based on experience.

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Damage from the use of unauthorized replacement parts will void this warranty. If the product is used within a country where use is not intended, voltage conversion may be necessary. Philips cannot be held responsible for powering failures due to improper voltage supply to the appliance. Assume that a company is facing a lawsuit from a rival firm for patent infringement. The company’s legal department thinks that the rival firm has a strong case, and the business estimates a $2 million loss if the firm loses the case. Because the liability is both probable and easy to estimate, the firm posts an accounting entry on the balance sheet to debit legal expenses for $2 million and to credit accrued expense for $2 million. By accepting money for an extended warranty, the seller agrees to provide services in the future.

accounting for product warranties

The face value of the credit may be $20 but you are still only providing a $10 part. In the last entry, you would replace inventory with the specific costs you had. Parts would come from inventory so that would not change. Do not confuse standard warranties with extended warranties that consumers purchase for an additional fee. General provisions are balance sheet items representing funds set aside by a company as assets to pay for anticipated future losses. Peggy James is a CPA with over 9 years of experience in accounting and finance, including corporate, nonprofit, and personal finance environments. She most recently worked at Duke University and is the owner of Peggy James, CPA, PLLC, serving small businesses, nonprofits, solopreneurs, freelancers, and individuals.

What Is Warranty Expense?

When all expenses relevant to a product sale are recognized together in the same period. In order to avoid unnecessary inconvenience, we advise you to read the user manual carefully and/or consult the support section of this web site before contacting your dealer or Philips.Most of the products we purchase come with some type of warranty. A warranty is guarantee that the manufacturer of the product will repair or replace the product for a certain period of time. In 2013, I bought my husband a Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, because he likes to smoke meat and I like to eat smoked meat. This product came with a 10-year limited warranty. That means that if something breaks because of a defect , the company will replace the part that broke.

What is an example of a warranty?

When you buy a TV and you have a written promise that it will be repaired for free if it breaks within the first year, this is an example of a warranty.Many companies incur contingent liabilities as a result of product warranties. If the warranty is given to a customer along with a purchased item, an anticipated expense should be recognized at that time as well as the related liability. If the cost of this type of embedded warranty eventually proves to be incorrect, the correction is made when discovered. Companies also sell extended warranties, primarily as a means of increasing profits. These warranties are recorded initially as liabilities and are reclassified to revenue over the time of the obligation.Based on five years worth of data, the company estimates that 3% of the water bottles sold will be returned because of a defect. When this occurs the company replaces the water bottle. Warranty expense is the cost that a business expects to or has already incurred for the repair or replacement of goods that it has sold. The total amount of warranty expense is limited by the warranty period that a business typically allows.

Whats included in cost of sales?

Cost of sales measures the cost of goods produced or services provided in a period by an entity. It includes the cost of the direct materials used in producing the goods, direct labor costs used to produce the good, along with any other direct costs associated with the production of goods.When the car needs a $400 repair under the warranty, the manufacturer will reduce Warranty Liability by debiting the account for $400. The matching principle states that a company must match revenue with expenses. If Weber sells a smoker in 2013 but expenses a warranty claim in 2020 (remember it is a 10-year warranty), the company is violating the matching principle. The warranty expense occurs because the sale took place. The expense is a cost of the sale and therefore should be matched with the revenue generated by that sale. When a company provides a warranty with its product, the company has an obligation to repair or replace the product if it is defective. That obligation generates a liability at the time the product is sold because the company has a liability that starts when the product is sold.


I assume you need to value the returned water bottle before it is fixed, then capitalize the labor/materials that are required to get the bottle back to the appropriate condition. I would guess that valuing a broken product is not easy to do….. Using this purchases figure, the number of days that a company takes to pay its accounts payable on the average can be found.Pending lawsuits and product warranties are common contingent liability examples because their outcomes are uncertain. The accounting rules for reporting a contingent liability differ depending on the estimated dollar amount of the liability and the likelihood of the event occurring. The accounting rules ensure that financial statement readers receive sufficient information. This is called the matching principle, where all expenses related to a sale are recognized in the same reporting period as the revenue from the sale transaction.These two conditions are part of the FASB’s Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 5, Accounting for Contingencies. ABC International sells $1,000,000 in widgets in September. In October, ABC receives a warranty claim, which it fulfills with a $250 replacement part. The entry for this claim is a debit of $250 to the warranty liability account and a credit of $250 to the spare parts inventory account. At the end of the year, the accounts are adjusted for the actual warranty expense incurred.