Where Do Dividends Go on Financial Statements

Where Do Dividends Go on Financial Statements

Dividends, or the portion of a company’s profit distributed to its shareholders, are accounted for in different sections of financial statements depending on their timing and status. Here’s how dividends are presented:

  • Statement of Retained Earnings: Dividends declared are deducted from retained earnings, reducing the company’s accumulated earnings.
  • Balance Sheet: Dividends declared but not yet paid are recorded as a current liability under “Dividends Payable.”
  • Cash Flow Statement: Dividends paid are reported as a cash outflow in the “Financing Activities” section.

Dividends Declared

When a company declares dividends, the following entries are made to record the transaction:

Retained Earningsxx
Dividends Payablexx

The amount debited from retained earnings represents the total dividends declared, while the amount credited to dividends payable reflects the obligation to pay these dividends to shareholders.

Retained Impact of Dividends

Dividends are payments made to shareholders as a distribution of the company’s profits. They represent a return on investment and are typically declared and paid quarterly or annually. Understanding where dividends go on financial statements is crucial for financial analysis and investment decision-making.

Financial Statement Impact

When dividends are declared and paid, they impact the following financial statements:

  • Balance Sheet: Dividends reduce the company’s retained earnings, which is a component of shareholder’s equity. The retained earnings account decreases by the amount of dividends paid.
  • Income Statement: Dividends are not recognized as an expense on the income statement. Instead, they are listed separately below net income as a deduction from retained earnings.
  • Cash Flow Statement: Dividends are presented as a cash outflow in the operating activities section of the cash flow statement.


Consider a company with the following financial data and declares a dividend of \$100,000:

Before DividendAfter Dividend
Retained Earnings\$500,000\$400,000

After the dividend payment, the company’s retained earnings decrease by \$100,000, and its cash balance also decreases by \$100,000.

Statement of Cash Flows Presentation

Dividends paid to shareholders are presented on the statement of cash flows as a negative number under the operating activities section.

The negative sign indicates a deduction from cash flow, as dividends represent a distribution of profits to shareholders and represent an outflow of cash from the company.

Income Statement Deduction

Dividends are not an expense and thus do not appear as a deduction on the income statement. Instead, they are presented as a separate line item in the retained earnings statement, which shows the changes in a company’s retained earnings over a period of time. Dividends are subtracted from retained earnings, reducing the company’s accumulated profits.

The following table summarizes where dividends are reported on financial statements:

Financial StatementLocation
Income StatementNot reported
Retained Earnings StatementDeducted from retained earnings

Well, there you have it, folks! We’ve covered where to spot dividends on those financial statements. Thanks for hanging out and learning with us. If you’re ever feeling lost in the world of finance, feel free to swing by again – we’ll be here dishing out the knowledge like a boss. Until next time, keep those dividends flowing and happy investing!