Income category and accounting for Arts Council grants

We have recently been lucky (skilful?) enough to be successful in our first Arts Council Grant application. I’m struggling, however, how to account for it.

Do I just treat it as General Sales income? Any suggestions for other categorisation? Should I create a new category?


Depends if the full grant is subject to income recognition straight away or apportions over a period of time , in case yes , create a balance sheet account and then move relevant potion to P&L

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how you account for it depends on how you are going to use the money.

If the money is for say, hiring people or paying wages, it is known as a revenue grant and the accounting entries would be:

Debit Bank £x
Credit Wages (expense) £x

alternatively, you could do this

Debit Bank £x
Credit Grant Income £x

You’ll probably want to create a new account code for this in Quickfile, somewhere around 4001, 4002, 4003 and name it something like Grant Income.

If the grant is for equipment or some kind of asset(s), then it is known as a capital grant and accounting for this can get a little bit tricky.

It can get tricky because you have 2 options,

Option 1 is to use the grant to reduce the cost of the asset(s).

Say you were using the money to buy some kind of, say sound equipment that cost 5,000 and you had a 100% grant for this, then this would be the double-entry.

Receive the grant money:
Dr Bank by 5000
Cr Grant Income by 5000

Buy the sound equipment and pay for it:
Dr Asset Account (sound equipment) by 5000
Cr Bank by 5000

Reduce the asset’s cost by the value of the grant
Dr Grant Income by 5000
Cr Asset Account (sound equipment) by 5000.

That’s a basic example of how to account for the grant.

It can get a little bit trickier if the grant is for less than you paid for the asset, eg a 75% grant, this would involve depreciating the remaining 25% over the life of the asset.

Option 2 is a more involved way of accounting for capital grants which uses an account known as deferred income, but if you can keep it simple, then the double-entry above is the way I’d go.

Hope this helps a bit.

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It should always be credited to income, never to an expense code. You cannot net off revenue and expenses, they should be shown separately.

When you show it as income in the P&L depends, as @FaradayKeynes said on the type of grant, and whether you recognise the revenue immediately or over a period of time.

If you’re not sure, then I strongly suggest asking your accountant.

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