Income Summary Account: Overview & All You Need To Know

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The income summary is a summary of the revenue and expenses of the business. This is a single-use summary account. In this guide, there is a summary of how to close the income summary account, and also closing it from a temporary account.

Income Summary Account

Let us begin by defining an income summary. The income summary is the process of closing a temporary account (such as the income and expenses accounts) that had been used for transaction tracking for a set period of time.

At the end of each accounting period, the income summary account is used to close all revenue and expense accounts. At the end of the period, the income summary account serves as a holding account for the revenue and expenditure accounts.

In other words, the income summary account is a temporary record and summary of the revenue and expenses earned and expended by the business from non-operating and operating activities within a certain accounting period. It is often referred to as the revenue and expense summary.

The income summary statement is divided into two sections: debit and credit. This comprises permanent accounts that show how much money the company earned and spent. The income statement is a collection and summary of the accounts for temporary revenue and expenses. The income statement data can be transferred to the income summary statement to determine whether a business made a profit or loss.


Among the positives are the following:

  • It enables the compilation of all revenue and expenses into a single report, which can subsequently be utilized for performance analysis.
  • It could be used for budgeting and variance analysis, to name a few applications.
  • Furthermore, by centralizing all income and expense information in one place, it streamlines tax return submission.


Among the negatives are the following:

  • It includes both running and non-operating income and expenses and, as a result, does not provide a complete view of the organization’s financial health.
  • It is accrual in nature, which means it records values whether the company gets or provides funds.

Closing Income Summary Account

The income summary account is used only for accounting closure (revenue and costs). The income summary account, in a nutshell, displays the difference between revenue and expense. After transferring funds to the retained profits account, which is a permanent account, then the next is closing the income summary account.

Whether your credit or debit account is determined by whether your profits surpass your expenses. If revenue exceeds expenses, credit the retained earnings and debit the income summary. This boosts the amount in your retained profits account. If your revenue falls short of your expenses, you must credit your income summary account and debit your retained earnings account. Your retained earnings account will be emptied as a result.

Is Income Summary A Temporary Account

As previously stated, a temporary account must be closed at the end of each accounting period. Its goal is to depict a company’s exact revenues and expenses over a specific time period. Furthermore, the goal of this account is to display the earnings earned as well as the accounting actions for various times. The temporary account, on the other hand, has three sorts of accounts: revenue, expenses, and income summary.

Could you please tell me if the income summary is a temporary account? This is a one-time account, as stated.

As previously stated, the income summary account receives all temporary accounts of a company once they are closed at the conclusion of each accounting period. As a result, the value of each account on the income statement is debited from the temporary accounts and deposited into the income summary account as a single amount. Because the income summary is a temporary account, it must be debited and credited to the capital account.

How To Close The Income Summary Account

Accountants can either liquidate the income statement accounts and transfer the values to the retained earnings account right away, or they can transition them to the income summary account first and then transfer the values to the retained earnings account. Let me explain how to do the second.

  • The data provided in the income statement (such as revenues and expenses) fixed and variable costs are distinguished. Depending on the nature of the cost, it can be characterized in a variety of ways. One of the most common methods is to transfer the classification according to the revenue summary. The accounts are debited, and the monies are credited to the income statement.
  • Account balances should be double-checked for accuracy. Accountants should keep in mind that the balance should equal the net income from the previous year.
  • The balance of the income summary account is then transferred to the retained profits account if the company is a corporation, or to the owner’s capital account if it is a sole proprietorship. After then, the account is closed.

The Income Summary Account

The Income Summary account is a subset of the Income Statement account that is primarily used to close off the time period. As a result, it will never appear on financial statements or have the customary balance sign displayed. To be more specific, it is used to terminate temporary accounts, with the phrase “terminate” referring to the balances of the accounts being zeroed out.

As a result, the income summary account efficiently cleans the ledgers in preparation for the beginning of a new financial reporting period. It is also useful in determining if a company made a profit or a loss within a given time period.

Furthermore, the income summary account is deleted, with the leftover monies transferred to retained earnings (for firms) or capital accounts (for partnerships). This moves revenue or loss from one income statement account to a balance sheet account. In this case, the income summary account is the only one that is used, and it has a zero balance for the rest of the year.

Income Statement Format With The Major Components

An income statement contains the following data. Formatting this document may be determined by regulatory requirements, business needs, and operational requirements. 

1. Sales or Revenue: The first section of the income statement highlights the company’s overall sales. Revenue comes in two forms: operational and non-operating. Operating revenue is generated by a company’s principal activities, including product development or service provision. Non-operating revenue comes from system installation, operation, and maintenance. 

2. Cost of Goods Sold: is the overall cost of sales or services. Remember that this simply covers your selling costs. Indirect expenditures like overhead are rarely included in the cost of goods supplied (COGS). 

3. Gross profit: You calculate the gross profit by subtracting net sales from the total cost of goods sold. The difference between net sales and COGS is the cost of goods sold.

4. Gains: These events boost an organization’s income. Gains are money earned by the company from a commercial activity like selling an operating piece. Profits from one-time non-business activities are also included. A corporation may sell obsolete cars or undeveloped land. The two terms, gain, and revenue, are not interchangeable. Profit is money made from the sale of fixed assets, which is unusual for a company. 

5. Expenses: They are costs incurred by a corporation to earn revenue. Regular expenses include depreciation, employee salary, and supplier payments. Operational and non-operating expenses are the two basic types. Operating expenses originate from a company’s primary business activities, while non-operating expenses result from non-core business activities. Non-operating expenses include obsolete inventory charges and lawsuit settlements. 

6. Advertising expenses: These expenses are necessary to increase the client base. Print and online ads, as well as radio and TV advertising, are examples. Advertising costs are usually included in SG&A expenses. 

7. Administrative expenses: It is important to note that administrative expenses are not charges incurred by certain divisions within a corporation. These also include salaries, rent, office supplies, and travel. Administrative costs are fixed and will likely remain stable regardless of sales growth. 

8. Depreciation: This is a way of spreading the cost of a long-term asset over time. It is a non-cash management agreement to depreciate a company’s assets. Depreciation is the loss in value of an asset over time. 

9. Earnings before taxes: This is a financial metric. It is in measure by subtracting expenses from revenue. It appears on a multi-step income statement. 

10. Net income: This is your profit after all business expenses are deducted. Total expenses minus total revenue equals this amount. However, gross profit is the amount earned after deducting the cost of goods sold.

How Do You Record Income Summary?

The income summary items are the total expenses and total income from your company’s income statement. To get the income summary, simply add them all together. After that, the amount is transferred to the balance sheet and the account is closed.

What Accounts Closed to Income Summary?

Income Summary and Dividends are closed to the Retained Earnings permanent account, whereas Revenue and Expense accounts are closed to Income Summary. The income summary account connects revenues and expenses, while the Retained Earnings account acts as a buffer.

Is Income Summary Part of Balance Sheet?

The term “shareholders’ equity” appears on the balance sheet under the equity section.
After you’ve finished reading the balance sheet, you’ll be able to close the income summary.

Is Income Summary a Debit or Credit Account?

If the net balance of the income summary is positive, it means that the company made money that year. If the net balance is negative, it means that the company lost money that year. It gives a brief summary of the income and costs that come from running the business and other activities.

What Is the Other Name of Income Summary?

The income statement is also called a profit and loss statement, a statement of operations, a statement of financial results or income, or an earnings statement.

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