written by | May 30, 2022

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Table of content


Table of content

What Are Returns Inwards and Returns Outwards?

Return inwards is the term used to describe returned items after being sold to the buyer. This usually happens against warranties and in the case of outright good returns. 

The customer can mark transactions as a debit against accounts payable and credit to purchase inventory to return the goods inwards. 

In contrast, return outward refers to directly returning the products from the customer base to suppliers. So the return outward comprises two credit and debit transactions.

Did You Know?

Returns are usually annually calculated to be compared. A holding period return is calculated based on the gain or loss for the entire time in which the investment was kept. 

Also Read: Everything You Need to Understand About Inventory Control

What Is Return Inwards?

The name implies that the term "return inwards" refers to the return of items after selling. Accounting transactions include credit and debit. The debit column will consist of payments for accounts payable, and the credit column will contain inventory items purchased.

Returns inwards may not lead to an increase in the price of selling the goods. Furthermore, the return of products does not mean selling them to third parties during the accounting time frame. Return inwards may not comprise items that are designed to be sold. It could also include fixed assets or products used as part of internal operations.

Also known as sale returns, returns inwards allow customers to return goods within a certain period. Whether they were not satisfied with the performance, quality, features, or warranty of a particular product, the customer can return it for a refund. In this competitive market, companies encourage this practice so that they can show off amazing products.

Sales returns are recorded for specific events that are described below.

  • Returning the excess quantity of goods purchased by the purchaser.
  • Returning items due to the wrong description provided by the seller. Additional examples could include an inadequate quality, description, etc.
  • Defective return goods.
  • Returning items that were sold but are expired.
  • Returning damaged goods as per the warranty on the product.

Understanding the Return Inwards Meaning Closely

In business, return inwards means a business's return of sold goods. This flow of goods is deducted from the sale balance to determine the firm's actual position. The goods are returned because the customers may not like the item's features, quality, performance, or warranty. The sellers want to promote their products, so they offer a return policy that allows them to do this. Return inwards is important for any business since it helps the business avoid costly mistakes.

How Does It Differ From Carriage Inwards?

The buyer usually bears a shipment's transportation inwards cost, but it can be included in the price of goods. This cost is included in the price of goods under Free on Board (FOB) and Carriage, Insurance, and Freight (CIF) terms. Under FOB, a company pays only for the initial shipping cost, but all subsequent transportation costs are the buyer's responsibility. In contrast, CIF terms include the carriage cost inwards up to the destination point.

How Does It Differ From Sales Returns?

Sales returns are a normal part of the business in the accounting world. Customers may return goods due to defects or because they did not meet the conditions of sale. When a customer returns a product, the company will deduct the value of that item from its sale revenue, and it will be reflected on its balance sheet as a reduction in accounts payable. Cash sales will have a similar effect. However, certain aspects should be considered when recording sales returns.

Transactions Recorded in the Returns Inwards Journal

The return inwards journal records the transactions made when the goods are returned. The seller prepares this journal by using the outgoing debit note. When the buyer complains about the discrepancy in the goods, the seller prepares the debit note and sends it to him. 

The buyer corrects the anomaly, and the seller records the information in the return inward journal. The return inwards journal is an important part of the accounting system. Also, you can learn the basics of accounting to get a better understanding of this topic.

Effect of Returns Inwards on Accounts Receivable

A return inwards book is an account that records all returned goods and reduces the total accounts receivable of the business. These inward returns include both sales and purchase returns. Unlike other receivables, inward returns do not appear on the income statement. They are deducted from the sales account on the statement of profit. In some cases, a retailer may offer a discount on returned goods.

Also Read: What Is Overhead Cost and How You Can Calculate It?

What Are Return Outwards and Inventory Costs?

The return outwards is distinct from the return inside. It involves resending the product to the seller or other third party previously received from the purchaser in numerous books of accounts and transactions.

The same logic applies to returning inward when writing the transaction outwards. The buyer can return the item when they are unhappy or receive poor quality. The return process will be processed within a reasonable time frame to be compensated.

Concepts of Cost of inventory, sales, and purchases are critical for determining your business' bottom line. If you want to maximize your profit potential, you need to understand the concepts of return outwards and make the most of your business.  

Cost of Purchases

A company should keep track of the number of expenses it has incurred when making a purchase. These costs are considered indirect expenses. They can be either purchases or sales returns. 

The difference is the cost of returns is the debit, and that of purchases is credit. However, it is important to remember that not all purchases are returned outwards. In fact, a business may incur costs when purchasing a good.

Relation Between Cost of Inventory and Returns Outwards

When a company makes a purchase and later decides to return it, the cost of inventory return outwards will be calculated. The original purchase price was recorded in the Accounts Receivable account, and the cost of returned goods is the difference between the purchase price and the original purchase price. 

Thus, if the customer returns a large portion of a product, the cost of inventory return outwards will be the difference between the original purchase price and the new purchase price.

Cost of Accounts Payable

A reduction in your business expenses is what you can call the Cost of Accounts Payable Return Outwards. These expenses are not related to the original purchase of the goods. Instead, they are normal business expenses. They should be charged to your profit and loss account. 

Carriage outwards refers to goods that a customer has returned because of an unsatisfactory condition. While this type of return reduces your total accounts payable, the return inward occurs when you sell a good, but the customer returns it because it is not as expected.

Difference Between Returns Inwards and Returns Outwards

Basis of Difference

Return Inwards

Return Outwards

Meaning

Goods sold to the buyer are returned by them.

Goods bought are returned to the suppliers.

Reduction

Reduces the sum from the Debtors.

Reduces the sum paid to the Creditors.

Treatment

Deducted from the “Sales section” in the Trading Account.

Deducted from the “Purchase section” in the Trading Account.

Term

Also called Sales Returns.

Also called Purchases Returns.

Issued

The seller provides the Credit note.

The buyer provides the Debit note.

Balance

It has a debit balance.

It has a credit balance.

Conclusion

Return inwards and outwards can be often referred to as the two faces of the coin. Transactions are returned to the buyer inwards, while the outward transaction is recorded in the books of account for the seller. 

The recording of return-inward transactions is essential since it allows the manager to evaluate production efficiency. This helps to spot issues that are frequently complained about and, consequently, helps improve the production. Does your business include shipping? 

Exporting businesses requires a lot of online transactions, and a free platform like Khatabook makes it highly simple for them to maintain online payment transaction reports. So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy amazing Khatabook features for free by signing up. Now keep track of your cash flow and manage your incomes and expenses with ease by using the Cashbook app by Khatabook.

FAQs

Q: What Are the Other Names for Return Inwards and Return Outwards?

Ans:

Return Inward is also known as sales return, and return outwards is also called purchase returns journal.

Q: What’s the Difference Between Return Inward Meaning and Return Outward Meaning?

Ans:

Return inwards can be defined as the seller's return of products that were initially sold to the buyer due to the excess of goods or defective items. The term "return outwards" is defined as returning the purchased goods that the purchaser has purchased to the vendor from which the item was originally bought.

Q: What Does Return Outwards Mean in Trial Balance?

Ans:

Return outwards can also be referred to by the name of purchase returns. The amount of outward return (or) return on purchases is subtracted from the total amount of purchases made by the company. It is considered an expense transaction. Return outwards will hold the balance of credit and is put on the side of the trial with the credit balance.

Q: What About Return Inward Meaning?

Ans:

Returns inwards are items returned to the seller by the buyer, such as warranty claims or in the case of a return of items for credit.

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Disclaimer :
The information, product and services provided on this website are provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis without any warranty or representation, express or implied. Khatabook Blogs are meant purely for educational discussion of financial products and services. Khatabook does not make a guarantee that the service will meet your requirements, or that it will be uninterrupted, timely and secure, and that errors, if any, will be corrected. The material and information contained herein is for general information purposes only. Consult a professional before relying on the information to make any legal, financial or business decisions. Use this information strictly at your own risk. Khatabook will not be liable for any false, inaccurate or incomplete information present on the website. Although every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this website is updated, relevant and accurate, Khatabook makes no guarantees about the completeness, reliability, accuracy, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, product, services or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Khatabook will not be liable for the website being temporarily unavailable, due to any technical issues or otherwise, beyond its control and for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the use of or access to, or inability to use or access to this website whatsoever.