Compensating Balance Definition And Meaning

compensating balance definition

Although the account is in the insurer’s name, the insured’s bank recognizes the funds as the insured’s compensating balance, freeing the insured’s funds. Determine bad debt expense by estimating the net realizable value of accounts receivable to be reported in the balance sheet. There are many scenarios in which a company might need to set aside a specific amount of restricted cash. The company requires at least a $200,000 line of credit facility to finance its operations.

The financial centers and banks get a fair chance of investing a certain amount of money in other loan programs which can evoke new business opportunities for them accordingly. Such arrangements include both outstanding borrowings and the assurance of future credit availability. Compensating balance is a term used to describe the minimum balance that borrowers must maintain for their loan accounts. For the lender, the compensating balance serves as a way to reduce its lending costs. Lenders can use this amount to reinvest in other ventures or keep some or all of the proceeds. This limit may differ according to each lender’s requirements. In 2018, the average compensating balance required to be maintained amounted to $4,354,000 and the amount required on December 30, 1978, was $4,008,000 after adjustment for estimated average float.

The transfer of a note to a financial institution is discounting. The financial institution accepts the note and gives the seller cash equal to the maturity value of the note reduced by a discount. The discount is computed by applying a discount rate to the maturity value and represents the financing fee the financial institution charges for the transaction. The term means a 2% discount, if paid within 10 days, otherwise full payment within 30 days. The imputed rate approximates the rate used for a note having an independent borrower and lender, and with comparable terms and conditions. We may receive financial compensation from these third parties.

compensating balance definition

They include money market funds, treasury bills, and commercial paper. The disclosure that is required is the company’s policy concerning which short-term, highly liquid investments it classifies as cash equivalents. Receivables is an asset designation applicable to all debts, unsettled transactions or other monetary obligations owed to a company by its debtors or customers. Receivables are recorded by a company’s accountants and reported on the balance sheet, and they include all debts owed to the company, even if the debts are not currently due. For example, lenders may use it to provide further loans to other borrowers. For the borrower, however, a compensating balance is restricted funds. The borrower cannot access these funds until the loan’s maturity.

When You Use An Aging Schedule Approach For Estimating Uncollectible Accounts?

For example – a borrower must subtract the amount required for compensating balances from the mentioned value in his/her debts in order to complete the task. Compensating balance is the percentage of the overall loan outstanding which helps people in maintaining their accounts. Therefore, banks are given the liberty to use the available funds in other business contra asset account endeavors considering them as investment opportunities. The amount of money a bank requires a customer to maintain in a non-interest bearing account, in exchange for which the bank provides otherwise free services. Divide the nominal interest due by the available principal to calculate the effective interest rate of your compensatory balance installment loan.

compensating balance definition

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Is Restricted Cash Included In Net Debt?

If your total loan is for $100,000 and the compensatory balance is $5,000, your available balance is $95,000. Multiply the loan principal by the stated interest rate to calculate the nominal interest due on the loan. A $100,000 loan with a 5 percent interest rate would have nominal interest of $5,000. He was to pay one third of the amount before the book went to press, the balance he was to pay within a reasonable time. Nothing implied or stated on this page should be construed to be legal, tax, or professional advice. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm and this page should not be interpreted as creating an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. For questions regarding your specific situation, please consult a qualified attorney.

For example, a corporation may agree to keep $1 million in its checking account at a bank in exchange for the bank agreeing to lend up to $10 million to the corporation at 1% below the prime lending rate. At a minimum, compensating balances must be disclosed in the notes to the corporation’s financial statements. compensating balance definition A compensating balance is a minimum bank account balance that a borrower agrees to maintain with a lender. The purpose of this balance is to reduce the lending cost for the lender, since the lender can invest the cash located in the compensating bank account and keep some or all of the proceeds.

  • If your total loan is for $100,000 and the compensatory balance is $5,000, your available balance is $95,000.
  • Sometimes a company will voluntarily decide to set aside restricted cash.
  • In this lesson, you will learn how to account for interest-bearing and non-interest bearing notes.
  • Usually, a company needs to report any such balance as restricted cash.

Depending on the type of loan arrangement they enter into, borrowers have to meet some criteria. These criteria may also differ according to the lender a company chooses. One such condition comes in the form of a compensating balance. Cash and cash equivalents refers to the line item on the balance sheet that reports the value of a company’s assets that are bookkeeping cash or can be converted into cash immediately. Cash equivalents include bank accounts and marketable securities, which are debt securities with maturities of less than 90 days. Furthermore, the banks regulators are not much concerned with the debt of the borrower since compensating balance is within their reach which works as a certificate of deposit too.


Compensating balance is the least or minimum balance that an organization or an individual needs to keep with the lender. The primary objective of such a balance is to reduce the lending cost of a borrower. For instance, a company takes a loan of $50,000 from a bank and agrees never to use $5,000. Net debt is equal to total debt less cash and cash equivalents. Restricted cash is not often explicitly identified on the balance sheet, but can be estimated as a percent of cash and equivalents depending on the industry, for example.

A company must reveal compensating balances in its financial statements. As per the accounting rules, if the amount of compensating balances is material, then a company must reveal compensating balances separate from the cash balances in the financial statements. As to what constitutes a material amount, the rules say the amount should be significant enough to influence a person’s opinion. In accounting, “cash” refers to the money held by a company in liquid form that can be spent or invested. Restricted cash is money that is reserved for a specific purpose and therefore not available for immediate or general business use. The use of a compensating balance or minimum required account balance allows the banker to generate a higher return on a loan because not all funds are actually made available to the borrower. In this lesson, we will talk about how to create the balance sheet and the statement of cash flows.

In this lesson, you will learn what makes up the accounting equation, its purpose, and how it works. Compensating balancemeans the cash balance which the Treasurer maintains with a depository to compensate the depository for its services. The effective rate is higher than the stated interest rate because of the compensatory balance. It is an operating expense incurred to make sales, and that is why it is recorded in the same period as the revenue.

compensating balance definition

Except for the fact that he had tried to do right, he could see no compensating balance. To lessen this shock, a compensating balance was designed, but which is not now in use. The finance professionals have labeled ‘compensating balance’ as the most minimal amount of balance that needs to be maintained in order to keep the account running. Employee compensation and benefit opportunities should be communicated through company policies. These policies define compensation for financial and non-monetary benefits, identify the value for the employee, and comply with legal requirements. There are a few basic building blocks that form the foundation of accounting.

Additionally, restricted cash is presented on the balance sheet as a separate line item, or it is included in prepaid expenses, other current assets, other long-term assets, or cash and cash equivalents. It is often the case that restricted cash results from a legally binding agreement. GAAP call for the presentation of information about restricted cash balance. These restrictions may include amounts set aside in escrow accounts which can be used only for a specified purpose. These amounts should be excluded from cash and from current assets if appropriate.


These compensating balances result in the borrower paying a higher effective interest rate because the bank has the use of the money. Money from a loan that a borrower keeps in an account with a lender providing some surety that the lender will be repaid.

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For example, lenders may require borrowers to provide security. One such requirement comes in the form of a compensating balance. In this term, the lender requires borrowers to hold a minimum balance in an account. A company’s balance sheet must include all assets and liabilities, including cash. A major restriction may be placed on cash by a bank in connection with a loan or a commitment to loan . Specifically, the depositor must leave a stated amount on deposit in an account .

By introducing a delay in the path of mode a the time spent by photons in mode b inside the cavity can be trivially compensated to obtain a balanced MZI. From Lansing to London, public employee compensation has emerged as a central issue for governments struggling to balance their budgets. Nor is the balance redressed and compensation found in any new creations of the kind. In the country the balance ordained in nature has its compensating power.

When accounting for compensating balance, companies must understand that they cannot use it. However, they must still present this information to their stakeholders. Therefore, companies must disclose the compensating balance requirement in the financial statements as a disclosure in the notes. This disclosure covers the accounting for compensating balances. When obtaining a loan, borrowers agree to various terms associated with it. Most lenders introduce these terms to ensure the credit risk for their transactions is minimum.

As the borrower has to pay the interest on the full loan amount. Or, we can say, it raises the cost of capital for the company taking a loan. A borrower who has entered into a compensating balance arrangement may need to disclose this situation in the footnotes to its financial statements, if the amount is material. Compensating balances are reported as either current or noncurrent with a note in the disclosure statement about the amount that is restricted, with a contractual agreement. When there is no formal written contract, the amount that is restricted is simply disclosed with a note. The certain rate can be calculated by multiplying it with the given stated principal.

A compensating balance is a minimum balance that must be maintained in a bank account, used to offset the cost incurred by a bank to set up a loan. The bank is free to loan the compensating balance to other borrowers and profit from differences between interest rates. When you take out a loan from a bank, it is typically an installment loan — that is, a loan you pay off in several installments. Depending on your credit history, you may be required to keep a deposit of funds at the bank to qualify for the loan. This deposit is known as a compensating balance and reduces the bank’s total risk in making a loan. If you fail to repay the loan, the bank can seize the compensating balance.

For example, a company might agree to keep $500,000 in a bank account in exchange for that bank extending a $5 million line of credit. Compensating balances are considered restricted cash and must be reported on a company’s financial statement. A compensating balance is a minimum balance that must be maintained in a bank account, and the compensating balance is used to offset the cost incurred by a bank to set up a business loan.

An implicit interest rate is one that is not explicit; in other words, the rate is not stated. DisclaimerAll content on this website, including dictionary, thesaurus, literature, geography, and other reference data is for informational purposes only. This information should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional.

Usually, borrowers set the compensating balance as a percentage of the total loan value. Restricted cash is the one that a company sets aside on its own for a specific purpose. On the other hand, compensating balance is the minimum amount that an organization needs to keep due to a contractual agreement with the bank. Company ABC has a loan of $100,000 million from Bank A. The terms of the loan include an interest rate of 5% and a compensating balance of $10,000. The borrower should keep this amount in a non-interest bearing account with the same bank. Such a requirement is a common phenomenon with corporate loans. The need to maintain the balance could be in a savings account, certificate of deposit or checking account, depending on the terms of the contract.

You’ll also learn why the classified balance sheet is called a snapshot in time. Disclosures about compensating balances have not been addressed in any authoritative pronouncements. When restriction is informal and the cash is material, it should be classified as investments and funds or other assets. When restriction is legally binding, it should be classified as noncurrent investments and funds or other assets if the debt is classified as noncurrent. But if the liability is current, the restricted cash also is classified as current. Trading history presented is less than 5 years old unless otherwise stated and may not suffice as a basis for investment decisions.