What Is A Credit Memo?

Small- and medium-sized business owners receive orders from consumers, make invoices, collect payments, and deal with vendor correspondence.

In summary, business owners face a wide range of accounting issues that require their attention.

That’s where Ignite Spot’s skilled accountants step in. We’ve worked with small business owners on a variety of bookkeeping projects.

Accounts payable and receivable, as well as credit card management, payroll, and more, are all available through our online services. Even at tax season, our company of accountants can assist business owners.

A credit memo is an example of a common document handled by our accountants.

Furthermore, you went to a store to return or exchange a good you had purchased from them, and the officer behind the counter gives a slip, including the specifics of the product returned as well as the money. A credit memo is the name for this type of slip.

You should consider the following questions in understanding the subject: 

  1. What is a credit memo?
  2. What kind of information is on a credit memo?
  3. Why are credit memos issued?
  4. How does a credit memo work?
  5. How do you prepare a credit memo?
  6. When do you issue a credit memo?
  7. What Are The Components And Format Of Credit Memo?
  8. How long does a credit memo last for?

What Is A Credit Memo?

A credit memo, also known as a credit memorandum, is a document provided by a seller to a buyer. After they send an invoice out, a buyer receives this document.

A credit memo can lower a buyer’s purchase price or remove the cost of an item completely.

When a seller issues a credit memo, it applies to the buyer’s account’s existing balance to reduce the total.

A credit memo is not the same as a refund. When a buyer receives a refund for a purchase, the seller returns the money in full.

Our experienced accountants can assist business owners with fundamental accounting duties, such as providing credit memos, keeping track of sales, and sending invoices.

Business owners who opt to outsource their accounting responsibilities to Ignite Spot can focus on what they do best: growing their company’s earnings.

Credit memos are used to reduce a customer’s outstanding balance. Delayed credits can only apply to an invoice. Delayed credits have no effect on a customer’s account until they’re applied to a stored invoice.

What Kind Of Information Is On A Credit Memo?

A credit memo is a document that provides a lot of crucial information. They usually include purchase order (or PO) number, as well as payment and billing terms in credit memos.

Other important pieces of information on a credit memo are the shipping address, a list of items, prices, quantities, and the date of purchase.

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All of this information aids a seller in inventory management. They also include the reason for issuing the credit memo in this document.

Example of a Credit Memo

Assume Seller Company issued a $400 sales invoice for 50 pieces of merchandise that it sent to Buyer Company at a $4 per unit pricing.

The buyer alerts the seller that one unit is faulty. After that, the seller’s company will issue a credit memo for $4.

At the end of each reporting period, the seller should check all open credit memos to see if they can link them to open accounts receivable.

If the accounting software allows it, this reduces the total dollar amount of outstanding bills and can reduce payments to suppliers.

Why Are Credit Memos Issued?

A seller may issue a credit memo to a buyer for a variety of reasons. The buyer returning a purchased item to the seller is a common motive.

The item may be damaged, the incorrect size or color, or the buyer may have simply changed his or her mind about the purchase.

Another reason a seller might give a credit letter is if the price changes. For example, a consumer may get a product one day before they reduce it by 30% in price.

The seller agrees to give the buyer a credit memo for the difference between the old and new sale prices.

Credit Memos from the Bank

A bank credit memo is a line item on a company’s bank account statement that boosts the balance in the checking account.

Bank Credit Memos in a Bank Reconciliation include the bank adding interest gained for having money on deposit, the bank collecting a note for the company, and a refund of a previous bank charge.

The bank reconciliation will not reconcile unless they include the amount of the bank’s credit memo in the company’s general ledger cash account.

This is because they have already added it to the bank’s balance. The corporation will debit Cash and credit another account to record the bank credit note.

How Does A Credit Memo Work?

How do you settle credit memo?

If a buyer has paid the entire invoice amount, they have two options for resolving a dispute in their favor. One alternative is to apply a credit memorandum to any future payments because of the seller. In addition, the buyer can request a cash payment based on the amount the seller owes the buyer.

If the buyer has not yet paid the seller, they can use the credit memo as a partial offset to the invoice. After the decrease mentioned in the memo, they will still be obligated to pay what is outstanding.

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For credit memos, the buyer records the memo as a reduction in its account’s payable balance. The seller must then record the memo as a reduction as well, however, it’s a reduction of its accounts to be received (money coming in).

How Do You Prepare A Credit Memo?

Accounting software is now used by most firms to account for and issue sales invoices, as well as credit memos and credit notes. Accounting software has benefited businesses by allowing for entire order monitoring from receipt of invoice to credit memo issuance, as well as auto-updates on accounts and bills receivables.

In most countries, the indirect tax requires the seller to produce a credit note and specify the mandatory information they must include.

GST in India, VAT in the United Arab Emirates, VAT in Kenya, VAT in Bahrain, and so on are examples of tax systems that require suppliers to produce a tax-compliant credit memo.

When Do You Issue A Credit Memo?

The seller could issue a credit memo to the buyer in diverse circumstances, and some of the most usual ones are below:

For any reason, the buyer returned the items or rejected the services.

Delivered items that are damaged or defective.

The pricing on the initial invoice had errors, most of which were clerical.

The customer overpaid the original invoice.

What are the Components and Format of Credit Memo?

A credit memo normally contains several key pieces of information. They usually include the purchase order number, as well as the payment and billing terms on credit memos.

On a credit memo, you’ll find your name and address, a list of items, prices, quantities, and the date of purchase.

All of this information aids a seller in inventory management. It also explains why they sent the credit memo.

What Is The Template For Credit Memo?

Credit Memo Template

  1. Begin with the company name, physical address, and any contact information, such as email or the company website. The credit memo should include the tax identification number at the top.
  1. Use any codes or numbers you have to identify the consumer within the organization.
  1. Show the credit memo number, the original invoice number, and the payment method that is required.
  1. You must enter the following into the credit memo five columns; quantity of items, identification number or description, reason for credit memo, cost of item, and total cost.
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How Long Does A Credit Memo Last For?

Credit notes have a 12-month validity period from the date they issued it. They will revoke the balance if you do not use it within 12 months.

They print the value of your credit memo on the voucher and they may verify it at any credit memo retailer.


  1. Debit Memo vs Credit Memo

A credit memo is a supplier’s invoice with a negative value that represents a credit. A debit memo is a negative-amount invoice you submit to a supplier to inform them of a credit you recorded for goods or services purchased.

  1. Is a Credit Memo a refund?

A credit memo is a posting transaction that they can apply as a payment or reduction to a customer’s invoice. When reimbursing a customer’s money, a refund is a posting transaction. This means that credit memos are used to reduce a customer’s outstanding balance.

  1. Credit Memo accounting entry

If a corporation issues a credit memo to a client to remedy an error that results in an overstatement of the sale amount, the journal entry for the credit memo can be made by debiting the sales revenue account and crediting the accounts receivable account.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can a credit memo be used online?

No. Most credit notes, unfortunately, can only be used in-store.

Can credit memo expire?

Not exactly. In fact, there may be no expiration date or period on a gift certificate or credit note sold or provided for consideration in this state.

Are credit memos legal?

Yes, they are. Credit memos, like invoices, are legal papers that allow you the vital option to cancel an already issued invoice, in whole or in part.

Is a credit memo positive or negative?

Credit memos are typically negative transactions because of the return of products to inventory and the removal of a negative sum from your accounts.

Is a credit memo the same as a credit note?

Yes. It is. A credit note, also known as a credit memorandum or a credit memo, is an official legal document suppliers deliver to customers, similar to an invoice or a purchase order, to inform them that credit is applying to their account for a variety of reasons.


With all the information on the credit memo, it’s obvious that it’s a crucial document.

However, you must have the ability to draft it properly and contain all necessary facts in order to achieve a successful landing in your sector of industry or career.


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