Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


General Provisions and How Do They Work

File Photo: General Provisions and How Do They Work
File Photo: General Provisions and How Do They Work File Photo: General Provisions and How Do They Work

What are the general provisions?

Companies set aside cash as general provisions on their balance sheet to cover anticipated future losses. A general provision is considered supplemental capital for banks under the first Basel Accord. General provisions on financial business balance sheets are regarded as higher-risk assets due to the assumption of potential fund default.

Knowing General Provisions

In business, losses are inevitable due to asset resale value, product failure, litigation, or a customer who can no longer pay. Companies must set aside enough money to cover these risks.

Companies cannot recognize provisions at will. Instead, businesses must obey regulators’ rules. Both GAAP and IFRS provide standards for contingencies and provisions. ASC 410, 420, and 450 include GAAP information, whereas IAS 37 has IFRS information.

Noting General Provisions

Creating provisions involves documenting expenses in the income statement and matching liabilities in the balance sheet. Account names for general provisions may vary by kind or be included in parenthesis with accounts receivable, the unpaid debt owed to a company for products or services provided.

A firm that handles client interactions through accounts receivables may include a provision for bad debts or doubtful accounts on its balance sheet. Since the default has not occurred, the sum is tentative but predicted accurately.

Companies may have used write-offs from the previous year to build general provisions for questionable accounts in the current year. Due to the subjectivity of estimations, IAS 39 forbids general regulations based on prior experiences. Instead, the reporting company must conduct an impairment study to assess receivables recoverability and related contingencies.

Businesses offering pension plans may save some of their capital for future liabilities. The balance statement may only include generic provisions for projected future liabilities as footnotes.

Banking and Lending Requirements

International regulations require banks and other lenders to carry enough capital to balance risks. The balance sheet might show a lousy debt allowance or general provision to meet the criteria. Reserves offer backup money for riskier loans that may default.

Differences between general and specific provisions

Identifying prospective losses triggers special protections. Customer financial issues or commercial disputes may result in logged receivables.

An aged receivable analysis showing time since creation can show balances. The reserve for dubious debts may include long-standing balances.

However, specific provisions may not cover the full dubious receivable. Provide 50% if there is a 50% possibility of collecting a dubious debt for a receivable.

Banks distribute general conditions upon loan approval, whereas particular provisions address loan defaults.

Special Considerations

Provisions can cause controversy. Creative accountants have historically utilized provisions to adjust profits, increasing them during good years and decreasing them during bad years.

Accounting regulators are tightening down. New regulations banning subjective estimations have reduced broad provisions.


  • These assets on a company’s balance sheet cover anticipated future losses.
  • Set aside amounts are based on projected losses.
  • Every loan requires general clauses in the event of default.
  • General provisions have declined since regulators banned provision-level projections based on historical experiences.

You May Also Like

File Photo: Net Interest Income: What It Is, How It's Calculated, and Examples

Gross Lease

3 min read

What is net interest income? Net interest income measures a bank’s financial performance by comparing revenue from interest-bearing assets against costs from paying interest on obligations. A ba...  Read more

Notice: The Biznob uses cookies to provide necessary website functionality, improve your experience and analyze our traffic. By using our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Cookie Policy.