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What are sales?

In accounting, sales refers to the revenues earned when a company sells its goods, products, merchandise, etc. (If a company sells one of its noncurrent assets that was used in its business, the amount received is not recorded in its Sales account.)

The amounts recorded at the time of the sales transaction is also known as gross sales since there may be subsequent subtractions for sales returns, sales allowances, and early payment discounts. (Gross sales minus these subtractions results in the amount of net sales.)

Under the accrual basis or accrual method of accounting, goods sold on credit are reported as sales (revenue) when the goods have been transferred to the buyer. Usually this occurs before the seller receives payment from the buyer. The sales on credit are recorded with a debit to Accounts Receivable and a credit to Sales.