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What is the face value of a bond payable?

Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA

Definition of Face Value of a Bond Payable

The face value of a bond payable is the amount printed on the bond. The face value is also referred to as the following:

  • Face amount
  • Par value
  • Stated value
  • Maturity value
  • Principal amount
  • Legal amount

The bond’s face value is used to calculate the cash interest payments required during the life of the bond, and it indicates the cash amount that must be paid at the maturity date.

Example of Face Value of a Bond Payable

Assume that a corporation issues a bond payable having a face value of $1,000,000 and a stated interest rate of 6% per year. This means that the bond issuer is obliged to pay the following amounts:

  • $30,000 of interest every six months until the bond matures ($1,000,000 X 6% X 6/12)
  • $1,000,000 at the maturity date of the bond

At the time the corporation issues a bond for cash, the long-term (noncurrent) liability account Bonds Payable will be credited with the face value of the bond. Cash will be debited for the cash received, and any difference will be recorded in one or two of the following bond-related liability accounts:

Between the date that a bond is issued and the date that the bond matures, the discount, premium, and/or issue costs must be amortized to the account Interest Expense. On the maturity date, the maturity value will be removed when the bond issuer’s $1,000,000 payment is made to the one or more bondholders.

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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

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