Course Outline
Join PRO

What are wages payable?

Author:
Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA

Definition of Wages Payable

Wages payable refers to the wages that a company’s employees have earned, but have not yet been paid. Under the accrual method of accounting, this amount is likely recorded with an adjusting entry at the end of the accounting period so that the company’s balance sheet will include the amount as a current liability. (The adjusting entry typically debits Wages Expense and credits Wages Payable.)

Example of Wages Payable

To illustrate wages payable we will use the following hypothetical dates and other information. Jane is an hourly-paid sales clerk at a company that ends its accounting year on December 31. During the work week of Sunday December 22 through Saturday December 28 Jane earned $400 of wages that the company will pay to her on January 2. For the last three days of the year (December 29-31) Jane earned $160. This amount (plus any wages she earns from January 1-4) will be included in her January 9 paycheck.

Given this information, the company has wages payable of $560 ($400 + $160) as of December 31.

Reporting Wages Payable on the Balance Sheet

The company’s current liabilities on its December 31 balance sheet must include the $560 of wages payable that Jane had earned and the company owes as of December 31. (The company’s income statement for the year that ends on December 31 must also report the $560 as part of its wages expense.)

The amount in the account Wages Payable (or Accrued Wages Payable) will often be reported on the balance sheet as part of a current liability description such as accrued compensation, accrued payroll liabilities, accrued expenses, accrued liabilities, etc.

Join PRO to Track Progress
Must-Watch Video

Advance Your Accounting and Bookkeeping Career

  • Perform better at your job
  • Get hired for a new position
  • Understand your small business
  • Pass your accounting class
Watch the Video

Join PRO or PRO Plus and Get Lifetime Access to Our Premium Materials

Read all 2,645 reviews

Features

PRO

PRO Plus

Features
Lifetime Access (One-Time Fee)
Explanations
Quizzes
Q&A
Word Scrambles
Crosswords
Bookkeeping Video Training
Financial Statements Video Training
Flashcards
Visual Tutorials
Quick Tests
Quick Tests with Coaching
Cheat Sheets
Business Forms
All PDF Files
Progress Tracking
Earn Badges and Points
Certificate - Debits and Credits
Certificate - Adjusting Entries
Certificate - Financial Statements
Certificate - Balance Sheet
Certificate - Income Statement
Certificate - Cash Flow Statement
Certificate - Working Capital
Certificate - Financial Ratios
Certificate - Bank Reconciliation
Certificate - Payroll Accounting

About the Author

Harold Averkamp

For the past 52 years, Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has
worked as an accounting supervisor, manager, consultant, university instructor, and innovator in teaching accounting online. He is the sole author of all the materials on AccountingCoach.com.

Learn More About Harold

Certificates of
Achievement

Certificates of Achievement

We now offer 10 Certificates of Achievement for Introductory Accounting and Bookkeeping:

  • Debits and Credits
  • Adjusting Entries
  • Financial Statements
  • Balance Sheet
  • Income Statement
  • Cash Flow Statement
  • Working Capital and Liquidity
  • Financial Ratios
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Payroll Accounting
Badges and Points
  • Work towards and earn 30 badges
  • Earn points as you work towards completing our course
View PRO Plus Features
Course Outline
Take the Tour Join Pro Upgrade to Pro Plus