Notes Payable Learn How to Book NP on a Balance Sheet

What is notes payable

There are other instances when notes payable or a promissory note can be issued, depending on the type of business you have. When you repay the loan, you’ll debit your Notes Payable account and credit your Cash account. For the interest that accrues, you’ll also need to record the amount in your Interest Expense and Interest Payable accounts. An example of a notes payable is a loan issued to a company by a bank. The company should also disclose pertinent information for the amounts owed on the notes.

What is notes payable

You recently applied for and obtained a loan from Northwest Bank in the amount of $50,000. The promissory note is payable two years from the initial issue of the note, which is dated January 1, 2020, so the note would be due December 31, 2022. In addition, there is a 6% interest rate, which is payable quarterly. If notes payable are due within 12 months, it is considered as current to the balance sheet date and non-current if it is due after 12 months. There are a variety of types of notes payable, which vary by amounts, interest rates and other conditions, and payback periods. They are all legally binding contracts, similar to IOUs or loans.

A journal entry example of notes payable

The “Notes Payable” line item is recorded on the balance sheet as a current liability – and represents a written agreement between a borrower and lender specifying the obligation of repayment at a later date. Notes payable are written agreements (promissory notes) in which one party agrees to pay the other party a certain amount of cash. Alternatively put, a note payable is a loan between two parties.

The promissory note, which outlines the formal agreement, always states the amount of the loan, the repayment terms, the interest rate, and the date the note is due. Your day-to-day business expenses such as office supplies, utilities, goods to be used as inventory, and professional services such as legal and other consulting services are all considered accounts payable. The lender may require restrictive covenants as part of the note payable agreement, such as not paying dividends to investors while any part of the loan is still unpaid. If a covenant is breached, the lender has the right to call the loan, though it may waive the breach and continue to accept periodic debt payments from the borrower. The agreement may also require collateral, such as a company-owned building, or a guarantee by either an individual or another entity.

In accounting, Notes Payable is a general ledger liability account in which a company records the face amounts of the promissory notes that it has issued. The balance in Notes Payable represents the amounts that remain to be paid. Since a note payable will require the issuer/borrower to pay interest, the issuing company will have interest expense. Under the accrual method of accounting, the company will also have another liability account entitled Interest Payable. In this account the company records the interest that it has incurred but has not paid as of the end of the accounting period.

Can you include notes payable when projecting expenses?

Debit your Notes Payable account and debit your Cash account to show a decrease for paying back the loan. Recording these entries in your books helps ensure your books are balanced until you pay off the liability.

  1. The lender may require restrictive covenants as part of the note payable agreement, such as not paying dividends to investors while any part of the loan is still unpaid.
  2. You can verify a promissory note by checking with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR database.
  3. Notes payable is a written agreement in which a borrower promises to pay back an amount of money, usually with interest, to a lender within a certain time frame.
  4. After matching the supplier’s invoice with its purchase order and receiving records, the company will record the amount owed in Accounts Payable.
  5. While Notes Payable is a liability, Notes Receivable is an asset.

A note payable is classified in the balance sheet as a short-term liability if it is due within the next 12 months, or as a long-term liability if it is due at a later date. When a long-term note payable has a short-term component, the amount due within the next 12 months is separately stated as a short-term liability. Notes payable is a liability that arises when a business borrows money and signs a written agreement with a lender to pay back the borrowed amount of money with interest at a certain date in the future. By contrast, accounts payable is a company’s accumulated owed payments to suppliers/vendors for products or services already received (i.e. an invoice was processed).


Notes payable is a liability account that’s part of the general ledger. Businesses use this account in their books to record their written promises to repay lenders. Likewise, lenders record the business’s written promise to pay back funds in their notes receivable.

Maturity of Interest Payment Journal Entry (Debit, Credit)

Over 1.8 million professionals use CFI to learn accounting, financial analysis, modeling and more. Start with a free account to explore 20+ always-free courses and hundreds of finance templates and cheat sheets. You can compare the rate you’d earn with notes payable to rates on similar assets such as fixed-rate bonds, Treasuries, or CDs as you decide whether they would be right for your portfolio. Often a company will send a purchase order to a supplier requesting goods.

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But with accounts payable, there is no written promise involved. In your notes payable account, the record typically specifies the principal amount, due date, and interest. Accounts payable is an obligation that a business owes to creditors for buying goods or services. Accounts payable do not involve a promissory note, usually do not carry interest, and are a short-term liability (usually paid within a month).

We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team. Get up and running with free payroll setup, and enjoy free expert support. Interest expense will need to be entered and paid each quarter for the life of the note, which is two years.

Additionally, they are classified as current liabilities when the amounts are due within a year. When a note’s maturity is more than one year in the future, it is classified with long-term liabilities. The account Accounts Payable is normally a current liability used to record purchases on credit from a company’s suppliers. The following is an example of notes payable and the corresponding interest, and how each is recorded as a journal entry. Of course, you will need to be using double-entry accounting in order to record the loan properly. However, notes payable on a balance sheet can be found in either current liabilities or long-term liabilities, depending on whether the balance is due within one year.

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