from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Debtor ( Latin debere , debt ' ) under German accounting , the term for the debtor from supplies and services . The complementary term is the vendor .


Claims against debtors are therefore claims of the supplier. Natural persons , companies or legal persons under public law can be considered as debtors .

As a rule, these receivables result from the delivery of goods or services. In order to differentiate these receivables from other receivables, the legislature has created a separate balance sheet item for them in Section 266 (2) B II No. 1 of the German Commercial Code (“Trade receivables”) . This is to ensure, within the framework of the balance sheet clarity , that a knowledgeable third party can get an idea of ​​their share in the total claims.


Trade accounts receivable may only be capitalized by the supplier in the balance sheet when the price risk has passed to the buyer. The profit is usually not already realized with the delivery or service when the contract is concluded, because in general the risks have not yet been reduced to such an extent that the profit can be qualified as certain. In the case of delivery, it is not just a question of the performance owed in accordance with Section 362 (1) BGB ; rather, handover and provision of ownership are still required ( Section 433 (1) sentence 1 BGB). In terms of tax law, the BFH suffers from the price risk, i.e. the transfer of the risk of accidental loss or accidental deterioration of the item to the buyer. The price risk generally begins with the handover, i.e. with the transfer of ownership and transfer of benefits and encumbrances to the buyer ( § 446 BGB). Particularly in the case of mail order purchases , the price risk is transferred to the buyer when the goods are handed over to a transport company ( Section 447 (1) BGB). Receivables from (service) services are to be posted when the contractually owed service has been provided and there is an opportunity to issue an invoice .

Posting of the supplier's receivables in the general ledger and sub ledger

The receivable is posted both to the subledger account for the customer and to the general ledger account, which is an account from the group deliveries and services . The general ledger account is sometimes referred to as the reconciliation account (e.g. in the SAP system) .

Differentiation from cash transactions and debtor risk

When cash sales payment for the goods and services must train to train done with handing over the goods. If payment is not made immediately, a debtor risk arises when the goods are handed over / dispatched, which must be implemented in the balance sheet by activating a receivable. With a mail order purchase, the activation of a claim is usually always connected, unless there is an advance payment . In both cases, profit is realized.

However, if the debtor risk materializes through non-payment, a dubious receivable arises , which must be accounted for at its probable value, which is associated with a forecast of the probability of repayment. If the supplier expects that the purchase price will not be paid in full, it is an uncollectible claim that must be written off . Both types of receivables lead to a correction of the result via the value adjustment / depreciation, which corrects the profit realized through the posting of sales.


The accounts receivable from deliveries and services must be booked out once payment has been made in full. If payment is not made in whole or in part, it is written off by means of corresponding “value adjustments / write-offs on receivables”. With the booking off through payment the automatic release of a reservation of title is connected, which was agreed as a condition precedent ( § 449 BGB) with the granting of the credit. The retention of title is the typical means of security that suppliers use when granting a trade credit in order to eliminate their debtor risk.


The term customer is part of many compound words related to the topic. Colloquially, the customer is often associated with the customer himself. The Accounts Receivable focuses on the posting of receivables from supplies and services, to check the creditworthiness of the debtor and the due date monitoring. The total of all customer balances must match the balance of the G / L account "Trade accounts receivable", and the total of all accounts payable balances must match the balance of the G / L account "Trade accounts payable". The accounts receivable insurance assumes the typical accounts receivable risks that can result from the granting of a supplier credit. The debtor's aim is to grant a trade credit with a fixed term. Accounts payable accounts payable to accounts receivable resulting from overpayments in business transactions. They are to be passed on because of the offsetting prohibition .

In business administration , especially in balance sheet analysis , the debtor target is known as a key figure for the turnover rate of debtor receivables:

This key figure expresses how quickly customer receivables are paid. Short debtor targets help improve liquidity and should therefore be aimed for. Long debtors objectives in the long payment periods , lack of credit , poor payment record of customers to be due or poor credit management and vice versa. Because of the high share of cash payments , retailers have the shortest turnaround times with an average of 10 days, followed by wholesalers and craftsmen with 40 days each and industry with 45 days.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Wolfram Scheffler: Taxation of companies . tape 2 : Tax balance. CF Müller, Heidelberg 2010, ISBN 978-3-8114-9607-1 , p. 60 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  2. ^ Adolf Moxter: Accounting case law . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-16-149292-1 , p. 45 f . ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  3. BFH, judgment of March 2, 1990, Federal Tax Gazette. II 1990, p. 733.
  4. ^ Wolfram Scheffler: Taxation of companies . tape 2 : Tax balance. CF Müller, Heidelberg 2010, ISBN 978-3-8114-9607-1 , p. 69 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  5. Wöltje, Jörg: Reading, understanding and designing balance sheets . 12th, revised edition. Haufe, Freiburg / Munich, ISBN 978-3-648-07191-5 , p. 17 .
  6. ^ Peter R. Preißler: Business indicators . Oldenbourg, Munich / Vienna 2008, ISBN 978-3-486-23888-4 , pp. 140 ( limited preview in Google Book search).

Web links

Wiktionary: Debitor  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations