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One of tally nine reader Mr. Mohammad Saleem  requested me to write about bad debt and accounting of bad debt in tally.

In business bad debt is common in view of accounts and a business unit has always fear of bad debt when goods are being sold on credit period. High bad debt reflects poor sales management and lack of managerial control over the business and over the passage of time, units having high debt in accounts turns to bankruptcy.

bad debt is generally refers to the amount which is doubtful to receive from your debtors. It is also known as bad and doubtful debt.  Bad debt arise under following circumstances:

What is Bad Debt

  • 1) When there is no possibility to recover an amount from you debtor.
    2) Your debtors become insolvent or run away.
    3) All your efforts becomes fruitless to recover the amount.
    4) There is a legal dispute between you and your debtors regarding the quantum or  genuineness   of the debt
  • 5) Under any case, when the management is of the opinion that there is no possibility to recover certain amount
  • How to do accounting entry manual and in tally

  • In tally, bad debt entry is made through a  journal voucher
  • In case of bad debt, the accounting entry are made as under :
    Dr. Bad Debt Account (Under Group Indirect Expenses)
    Cr. Debtors account
    Entry can also be made directly by
    Dr. Profit and loss account
    Cr. Debtors account
  • Suppose, you have sold goods worth of Rs. 3,50,000.00 to one your debtors M/s. Shah Brothers  who is regularly paying your debt. He paid the Rs. 3.25 lac and then he inform you that he is not in a position to pay you balance Rs. 25000.00. You do not want to file  a legal case against your debtor on the matter  to recover your amount and decides to write off the amount as bad debt.
    you will require to pass the below entry:
  • Dr. Bad debt account   Rs. 25000.00
    Cr. Shah & Bros. Rs. 25000.00
    (Being amount written off as per letter dated…… of suppliers… )
  • Things seems to be easy however it is not easy. An Assesses has to prove the legitimate of the amount written off as bad debt. If the Income tax officer reject the amount of bad debt, then the assess will be require to pay tax on such amount written off.
  • Let we go further in the above case. After you have written off the amount of Rs. 25k as bad debt, and then again you have sold fresh goods to  the same customer on credit base then the amount you have written as bad debt will be considered as a suspicious transaction. The tax authority will look this kind of transactions as a way of tax evasion.
  • Bad debt also can be credited to provision for bad debt. that is leaving the debtors account balance unaffected, and creating a provision account for that part of the amount.
    When the unit is not sure of the exact amount that is not possible to write off, they can use provisional figure and in this case, the entry will be made as under :
    Dr. bad debt account (Under group indirect expenses)
    Cr. Provision for bad debt) (under group provision)
    When the figure of bad debt is finalised
    Dr. provision for bad debt
    Cr. Debtors account
  • Generally public limited companies and big organizations always follow this system.
    Impact of bad debt on financial statements
  • like other expenses bad debt is also an expenses which reduce the profit of the company(or increase loss)
    On the other side it decrease or reduce your current assets (Receivable amount from your debtors)
  • a high amount of bad debt indicates mis management in respect of sales and collection policy.
  • Be sure, you can not write off any amount payable to your supplier as bad debt!

If you are not familiar with basic rules of accounting then I suggest you to read my article on basic rules of accounting and some more thumb rules of accounting for a better understanding of accounting

41 thoughts on “Bad Debt: Accounting entry in tally

  1. pitamber sharma says:


    really you told very simply


  2. Surendran says:

    Very useful information.Thanks a lot

  3. Mobile Kid says:

    if provision for bad debts = 1000; bad debts finalized = 1500

    then what will be the entry…How we adjust 500 ?

    1. anksh sharma says:

      Dr. Bad debt account Rs. 1500.00
      Cr. Provision for bad debts Rs. 1000.00
      Cr. debtor account Rs. 500.00

  4. Kindly let me know what will be the provision entry if the billing period cover two financial year. For Eg : If the billing period of telephone expenses is 05/03/2012 to 04/04/2012, bill date is 07/04/2012 and the payment date is 24/04/2012. What will be the provision entry for telephone expenses ?

  5. vijay s patil says:

    under bad debts can we write off loan account or any amount paid under investment ie company share pleas give example how to clear these account

  6. suppose we sold goods woth rs. 50000/- plus service tax 12.36% then what shud be the entry for bad debts? can we get credit of service tax on bad debts amount.??

  7. mahender kumar says:

    hello sir.
    i am confuse plz help me ……..can u explain me what is the bad debtors & provision and what is the provision for debters

  8. Suryakanta Nayak says:

    I am glade knowing about baddebt entry , but sir what entry to be passed when bad debt recovered? please reply me.

  9. vinod kumar says:

    thanx it very easy to understand

  10. Nagaiah d says:

    iam just confused in bad debts and provision for bad debts

  11. dianah ruth says:

    hi thanks for that info. i am confused about bad debts and provision for bad debts. do you have to create separate accounts for these? What is there difference anyway?

    1. Hello Dianah ruth,
      Bad debt means a confirmed figure which is not recoverable. While the provision for bad debt is an estimate (approximate amount ) which may or may not be recoverable.
      Yes, Since both are different by nature, you need to create two separate account.

  12. amit patwa says:

    hello sir,please let me know that how to create revaluation account(under which group)and same for realisation account(under which group). thanks in advance

  13. hi, i need a entry for bad debts recover in tally.i am confused that i have to pass both recovery entry i.e, cr.baddebts acc(under group indirect exp and then transfer entry i.e, dr.baddebts acc: cr.profit&loss acc.

    OR single entry is enough because baddebts acc is already in indirect group.

  14. Hi,
    In tally how to make the below transaction. I have purchased some materials for project but under indirect exp and not under purchase account but later returned this material and collected cash back. how to make ledger for this. Should we maintain project related material purchase make under purchase account or can we just do it as indiret

  15. surykant nayak :- ans your question here

    while receiving bed debs in journal entry receivable will be nil in outstanding there but in case your are getting your bed debs recover in that case your will do entry in journal voucher as dr. to party and cr, to bed debs while recovering the amout here..
    then go throw the recepit voucher and received money there and check in journal you will see your recover amount bed debs and cr. and party dr, both are nil…..

  16. article was helpful

  17. H S Shridhar says:

    Dear Sir,
    The article was very useful I thank you for the same.

    Please could you kindly guide me with regard to how to journalise the following scenario in Tally.
    Sundry Debtors (Op Balance vide TB) 50,000

    Op bal of Provision for BD (vide TB) Rs 5500

    Bad Debts (op bal in Trial Balance) Rs 2500
    Additional Bad Debts (outside the TB) Rs 1500
    New Provision required 5% of sundry debtors ((50000 – 1500)*5%)) Rs 2425
    Total Rs 6425
    Less old provision Rs 5500
    Net Amt debited to P&L Rs 925

    The NCERT text book explanation, I have understood clearly; but I have not yet understood how to record these in Tally ERP 9. Kindly suggest the JVs in Tally and oblige.

    1. Forget about Tally or a software

      If you understood the concept as per the NCERT Text book then write Entries in a plain paper or in a word document
      And then paste those entries here and I will guide you how to post them into Tally.
      Tally is just a software if you can do it in a paper then you can do the same in Tally also.

      1. H S Shridhar says:

        Ok Sir, I will send the JVs passed by me in Tally, but I am not satisfied in the Net Profit fig in P&L post those adjustments. Kindly guide me in this regard.

        1. No, Tally Entries won’t be helpful.
          What I am expecting is pass entries in a word file and then post here
          We will see about Tally later.
          Tally has nothing to do with those entries if your accountings entries are incorrect in itself.

  18. H S Shridhar says:

    Following is the problem as per NCERT. Kindly ignore the previous figures sent by me earlier.

    Opening Balances:
    Sundry Debtors Rs. 32000
    Bad Debts Rs. 2000
    Provision for Doubtful Debts Rs 3500

    Additional Information:
    Write-off further bad debts Rs. 1000 and create a provision for doubtful debts @ 5% on debtors.

    The JVs suggested in the text book are:
    Bad debts A/c Dr 1000
    To Sundry Debtors 1000
    (Further bad debts)

    Provision for doubtful debts A/c Dr 3000
    To Bad Debts A/c 3000
    (Bad debts adjusted against provision)

    Profit and Loss A/c Dr 1050
    To Provision for Doubtful Debts 1050
    (Amount charged from Profit and Loss A/c)

    Abstract of P&L A/c (vide text book)
    Provision for doubtful debts:
    Bad Debts Rs. 2000
    Further bad debts Rs. 1000
    New Provision Rs. 1550
    Total Rs. 4550
    Less: Old provision Rs. 3500
    Net amt debited to P&L 1050

    Abstract from Bal Sheet:
    Sundry Debtors 32000
    Less further BD -1000
    Less Provisions
    for doubtful
    debts 1550
    (bal fig) ——- 29450

    The concept is clear to me from the text book; but I seem to have a problem in recording the above information in Tally; I have been constantly failing to obtain the identical results via Tally.

    I also wish to point out that I have passed certain other typical JVs on manual basis for Provision for BD and the things are working perfectly well as laid down in the text book.

    Hope the above info is sufficient

    1. okay,
      I will go through this and revert back to you in an hour.

    2. Bad debts A/c Dr 1000
      To Provision for Bad Debts 1000

      Dr Bad Debts A/c 3000
      Cr Provision for doubtful debts A/c 3000

      (Bad debts adjusted against provision)

      Bad Debts A/c Dr 1050
      To Provision for Doubtful Debts 1050
      (Amount charged from Profit and Loss A/c)

      Entries shold be this way

      Your examples are very confusing

      Better first you do it in an Excel Sheet, Word file instead of doing it in Tally

    3. Sundry Debtors are not the ledger but group of ledgers

      you can’t debit or credit Group of ledgers
      Same way not a good idea to debit/credit P & L account directly

      You need to apply the 3 Golden Rules in accounting if you search this website you will find the chapters related to Basic Accountancy

      and unless and untlll you understand the basic accountancy you can pass entries in an accounting software like Tally even if you pass, you may not be able to undestand them
      Your manual entires were also wrong.

  19. H S Shridhar says:

    Thank you Sir for your very valuable hints and suggestions. I will also make further observations from your other articles on Accountancy and shall try to improve my Tally handling skills.

    In Tally, however, right now I am trying to figure out why the P&L A/c is showing Net Profit X and the text book is showing Net Profit Y for the same set of JVs!

    I have always admired Tally for its well-established “Power of Simplicity”. My long-cherished objective is to adapt Tally more effectively with a view to record every text book illustration in Tally for flawless results.

    I have also duly noted to present my workings via Word/Excel henceforth.

    With kind regards

    H S Shridhar

    1. As I said, A software is just a tool. It is not the solutions. It will never give you wrong data.
      The software will return the output whatever we feed.
      If the Tally is showing something differnet then it means you have input the data in that way.

      Your query was so long that I can’t get that much time to go through all of that. but If I were you I will do small things first
      I won’t do everything in one go
      First I will take one step I will check it
      Then I will take the second step and I will check it.

      Thats how you can solve any issue. If you try to do everything in one go, it will become a mess.

      and in jv as explaiend you earlier you are pasing entries to groups instead of the ledger while in Software you have to pass entries to ledger and you should avoid debit/credit directly to p and l account because utlimately all revenue accounts are reflected in the p N L accounts automatically.

  20. H S Shridhar says:

    I am sorry that my queries were too lengthy.

    I have duly noted to try out the set of JVs as suggested by your kind self.

    Also, as pointed out in your replies, I must have committed a serious error in passing adjustment JVs via Sundry Debtors grouping in Tally (rather than passing them via ledger). I will explore the things further.

    I thank you Sir once again, for taking this extraordinary initiative to teach the finer aspects of things.

  21. H S Shridhar says:

    Yes Sir, as kindly observed by you, I had erroneously passed the JVs using Tally’s Profit & Loss A/c. Taking the cue from your kind suggestions, I have subsequently passed the JVs via appropriate ledgers that I created under appropriate groups. After doing so, I am now getting accurate financial statements via Tally – with lightning speed and accuracy.

    Your teaching has also helped me in understanding better the manual accounting aspects of Provision for Doubtful Debts.

    1. Hello H S Shridhar,

      Thank you for updating and reveting back. I am glad that you are able to solve it.
      If you do a thing mannually then you can do the samething 100% through a software also. and always solve a small part of the problem instead of solving entire problem. It will be less confusing, quickly and it will teach you many things.
      I wish you to be successful in your professional life.

      1. shakthiPrasad BS says:

        is provision for bad debts and provision for doubtful debts are same. Kindly let me know

  22. H S Shridhar says:

    Thank you Sir. I wish I could upload my manual worksheets and the perfected Tally reports; but I do not know how to attach these workings via the comments box here.

  23. H S Shridhar says:

    Sure Sir,

    I have noted to submit the workings and tally reports for your further review and constructive criticisms


    H S Shridhar
    04-08-2021 9:55 pm

    1. I gone thourgh your reports. It is not possible to check all the data but I checked the Bad Debt related entries
      and it seems it is perfect.

      If you have any confusion then do let me know I can look up that particular data.

  24. H S Shridhar says:

    Dear Sir,

    As desired, I have e-mailed separately my working notes in Excel and the corresponding Tally outputs for your kind perusal and further suggestions.

    Kind regards

    H S Shridhar
    Bengaluru 5th August 2021 12:10 AM

    Subject Line: Tally Outputs etc

      1. H S Shridhar says:

        I confirm having already sent the mail to last night. I have now sent the message once again about five minutes ago. Kindly check. If there is any alternative mail ID, please let me know

        H S Shridhar

          1. H S Shridhar says:

            okay Sir

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