Balance Sheet Savvy

Decoding Mortgage Payments: Unlocking the Secrets of Accrual Accounting

Title: Demystifying Mortgage Payments: Understanding Accrual Accounting and Principal BalancesImagine you’ve just purchased your first home, and now the word “mortgage” seems like a whole new language. Understanding the complexities of mortgage payments can be overwhelming.

That’s why we are here to simplify it for you. In this article, we will walk you through the accrual method of accounting, interest and principal portions of mortgage payments, adjusting entries, and how they all tie into your balance sheet.

So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s demystify mortgage payments together!

Accrual Method of Accounting and

Interest Portion of Mortgage Payments

Accrual Method of Accounting

Accrual accounting is a common method used in financial reporting, particularly for large transactions like mortgage payments. Instead of only recording cash transactions, accrual accounting records expenses and revenues when they are recognized, regardless of when cash changes hands.

This method provides a more accurate snapshot of a company’s financial health.

Interest Portion of Mortgage Payments

When you make your monthly mortgage payment, it typically consists of two parts: the interest portion and the principal portion. The interest portion is the cost of borrowing, and it’s based on the outstanding principal balance and the interest rate.

For example, if your outstanding balance is $200,000 and the interest rate is 4%, your monthly interest payment would be $666.67.

Principal Balance and Adjusting Entries

Principal Balance and Mortgage Loan

The principal balance is the amount you initially borrowed from the lender, excluding interest. As you make your monthly mortgage payments, a portion goes towards reducing this balance.

Over time, as you pay down the principal, the interest portion of your monthly payment decreases, while the principal portion increases. This reduction in the principal balance is an essential part of building equity in your home.

Adjusting Entries and Interest Payable

At the end of each accounting period, usually December 31 for most individuals, adjusting entries are made to account for accrued expenses. In the case of mortgage payments, an adjusting entry records the interest expense incurred during the accounting period that has not been paid.

This creates an interest payable account on your balance sheet, reflecting the amount owed to the lender. Understanding the December 31 adjustments is crucial because it ensures your financial statements accurately represent your financial position, even if some expenses are not yet paid.


Understanding mortgage payments and the intricacies of accrual accounting and principal balances can be challenging. However, by demystifying these concepts, you can make more informed decisions regarding your mortgage.

By navigating the world of mortgage payments with confidence, you can focus on enjoying your new home and achieving your financial goals. In conclusion, understanding the accrual method of accounting and the breakdown of mortgage payments, including the interest and principal portions, is crucial for homeowners.

By grasping these concepts, individuals can accurately track their financial position and make informed decisions about their mortgage. Adjusting entries and principal balances play key roles in building equity and ensuring accurate financial statements.

So, whether you’re a first-time homeowner or someone looking to brush up on their financial knowledge, demystifying mortgage payments is essential for achieving financial stability and making the most of homeownership.

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