How to Buy Common Stock: 15 Steps

How to Buy Common Stock: 15 Steps

sell common stock journal entry

Is a Common Stock Considered an Asset?

Preferred stock is sometimes considered a hybrid of a bond and common stock since the dividends are pre-defined unlike common stock. On a balance sheet, both stock types would be listed under the shareholder equity section of the report. The money generated from the sales of the stock are the asset.

The most common treasury stock accounting method is the cost method. A stock split is used to reduce the market price of the capital stock of a business in order to make it more attractive to investors. The only journal entry needed for a stock split is a memo entry to note that the number of shares has changed and that the par value per share has changed (if the stock has a par value). If a company decides to retire its treasury stock, it uses the share price as of the repurchase date as the basis. A common stock is a representation of partial ownership in a company, and is the type of stock most people invest in.

Accounting for future gain or loss from selling shares received as a stock dividend requires knowing the cost basis for the shares after the stock dividends. The basis of non-taxable stock dividends is determined by allocating part of your cost in originally owned shares to the new number of shares that you own after the stock dividend is distributed. The preferred stockholder obtains the preferred stock at a higher price and gets a pre-approved dividend at specified intervals.

Asset Accounts

Investors who own common and preferred shares may have benefits, such as receiving dividends and having voting rights. Capital stock and treasury stock both describe two different types of a company’s shares. Capital stock is the total amount of shares a company is authorized to issue, while treasury stock is the number of shares a company holds in its treasury. Treasury stock is essentially capital stock that has been bought back or was never issued to the public.

The dividend account has a normal debit balance; when the company pays dividends, it debits this account, which reduces shareholders’ equity. Authorized shares are the stock shares a company can legally sell.

Common stock account

Shareholders’ equity, which refers to net assets after deduction of all liabilities, makes up the last piece of the accounting equation. Shareholders’ equity contains several accounts on the balance sheet that vary depending on the type and structure of the company. Some of the accounts have a normal credit balance, while others have a normal debit balance. For example, common stock and retained earnings have normal credit balances. This means an increase in these accounts increases shareholders’ equity.

A stock split usually increases the number of shares of a corporation’s common stock with the intention of reducing the market price of each share of stock. Both common and preferred stock are part of shareholder equity in the balance sheet equation. But there are some key differences that business owners should consider.

Information regarding the par value, authorized shares, issued shares, and outstanding shares must be disclosed for each type of stock. If a company has preferred stock, it is listed first in the stockholders’ equity section due to its preference in dividends and during liquidation. When a company issues shares of common and preferred stock, the shareholder’s equity section of the balance sheet is increased by the issue price of the shares. The par value may be shown as a separate line item from additional paid-in capital on the shares, or the balance may be totaled on the same line. A company may raise stockholder’s equity by issuing shares of capital to pay off its debts and reduce interest costs.

When figuring its weighted average cost of capital, a company equates the cost of issuing additional shares to the expected return, called the “risk premium,” demanded by investors. Conversely, treasury stock is the number of shares issued less the number of outstanding shares. Shares of treasury stock may be from a stock buyback or from when the issuing company is unable to sell all of the shares it issued. Unlike common and preferred stock, they do not offer any voting rights.

  • In the stockholders’ equity section, the treasury stock account is credited with the total basis price, and the additional paid-in capital account is credited with the gain.
  • If a company decides to reissue treasury stock for a new private placement, the treasury stock basis is the share price as of the repurchase date.

Common stock comes with voting rights, as well as the possibility of dividends and capital appreciation. In accounting, you can find information about a company’s common stock in its balance sheet. If you inherited the original stock shares, your basis is normally the value on the date of death for the person who bequeathed it.

In the stockholders’ equity section, the treasury stock account is credited with the total basis price, and the additional paid-in capital account is credited with the gain. Preferred stock, common stock, additional paid‐in‐capital, retained earnings, and treasury stock are all reported on the balance sheet in the stockholders’ equity section.

The basis of taxable stock dividends is the fair market value of the shares on the date received. Stock dividends are taxable if you or any other shareholder received cash or preferred stock while others received common stock. On a company’s balance sheet, retained earnings or accumulated deficit balance is reported in the stockholders’ equity section. Stockholders’ equity is the amount of capital given to a business by its shareholders, plus donated capital and earnings generated by the operations of the business, minus any dividends issued. Common stock represents the ownership of a corporation by its stockholders.

It allows investors to vote at annual meetings and to benefit from higher stock prices and dividends. Companies issue common stock through initial public offerings and secondary offerings. The cost of issuance includes the fees a corporation pays to the syndicate of investment banks and brokers that underwrites the new issue.

sell common stock journal entry

When stock shares sell, they go from being authorized to being issued. The money collected from the stock sale is shown in the asset section of the balance sheet as a debit to cash and in the stockholders’ equity section as a credit to common stock. In the stock buyback, the repurchased shares are no longer classified as issued shares but as treasury stock. Stock dividends occur when a corporation of distributes additional stock to existing shareholders in proportion to how much stock they already own. No tax reporting is required when a stock dividend is received as long as distributions are common stock only to every recipient, not cash or preferred stock.


Capital stock consists of a company’s common and preferred shares that it is authorized to issue based on the company’s corporate charter. The corporate charter is a legal document and indicates the maximum amount of stock a company is allowed to issue.

Stockholder’s equity includes a company’s cumulative earnings and the amount of capital invested by its shareholders in exchange for shares of its common and preferred stock. When an increase occurs in a company’s earnings or capital, the overall result is an increase to the company’s stockholder’s equity balance. Shareholder’s equity may increase from selling shares of stock, raising the company’s revenues and decreasing its operating expenses. Share capital is the money a company raises by issuing shares of common or preferred stock.

What is the journal entry for issuing common stock?

The entry to record the issuance of common stock at a price above par includes a debit to Cash. Cash is increased (debit) by the issue price. The journal entry would also include a credit to both Common Stock (increased) and Paid-In Capital in Excess of Par–Common Stock (increased).

Shareholders’ Equity

In this way, the accounting equation above remains in balance. If a company chooses to repurchase some of its common stock, its assets will decrease by the amount of cash it spends even as stockholders’ equity falls by the same amount. The only difference in this case is that the accounting entry for the debit is called “treasury stock,” whereas a credit is accounted for as “paid-in capital” in a company’s financial statements.

If a company decides to reissue treasury stock for a new private placement, the treasury stock basis is the share price as of the repurchase date. If the treasury stock is revalued and sold above the basis, the balance sheet shows a debit to cash for all the money received.