The process of recording closing entries for service companies was illustrated in Chapter 3. The closing procedure for merchandising companies is the same as for service companies — all income statement accounts are transferred to the Income Summary account, the Income Summary is closed to Retained Earnings, and Dividends are closed to Retained Earnings.
When preparing closing entries for a merchandiser, the income statement accounts unique for merchandisers need to be considered — Sales, Sales Discounts, Sales Returns and Allowances, and Cost of Goods Sold. Sales is a revenue account so has a normal credit balance. To close Sales, it must be debited with a corresponding credit to the income summary. Sales Discounts and Sales Returns and Allowances are both contra revenue accounts so each has a normal debit balance. Cost of Goods Sold has a normal debit balance because it is an expense. To close these debit balance accounts, a credit is required with a corresponding debit to the income summary.