Bad Debt Expense
bad debt expenseAn expense account that reflects the amount of your company's accounts that are not collectable, that is the amount of your company's accounts that are "bad debts." A "bad debt expense" account is an expense account of your company. A typical company makes an estimate as to how much it has in bad debts on a periodic (usually monthly) basis. For example, your company estimates that it has about $1,200 per year in accounts that are not collectable. Your company would make the following accounting entries each month: a debit to your "bad debt expense" account in the amount of $100, and a credit to your "allowance for bad debts" account in the amount of $100. When you actually decide that a particular debt is not collectable, you would not make an entry to the "bad debt expense" account. Instead, you would debit your company's "allowance for bad debts" account for the amount of the bad debt and credit your accounts receivable account for that amount.
Related Terms from the Bankruptcy and Debt Law Glossary