Interest Expenses: How They Work, Coverage Ratio Explained

how to calculate interest expense

Extra debt may lead to financial problems if the debt cannot be paid (debt-to-equity ratio). Let’s not forget to mention one of the biggest benefits of borrowing money is that it is tax-deductible. Interest expense is the price that someone pays in exchange for borrowing money. This is helpful to business owners as it provides a clear overview of your cash flow, and that’s what potential investors will want to see, too. A low interest coverage ratio means that there’s a greater chance a business won’t be able to cover its debt. A high interest coverage ratio, on the other hand, indicates that there’s enough revenue to cover loans properly.

As a tool of comparison, the average annual return rate of the S&P 500 (Standard & Poor’s) index in the United States is around 10% in the same period. Please refer to our Inflation Calculator for more detailed information about inflation. This Compound Interest Calculator Why does bookkeeping and accounting matter for law firms can help determine the compound interest accumulation and final balances on both fixed principal amounts and additional periodic contributions. There are also optional factors available for consideration, such as the tax on interest income and inflation.

Calculating simple interest

So, it can be seen that IE is a very important line item in a financial statement as it captures the borrowing cost incurred by a company. Further, it can also be used to derive various metrics (such as interest coverage ratio) to indicate a company’s credit. Fixed costs are costs that companies incur and have nothing to do with their production level. Since borrowing money does not depend on the company’s production level, this type of expense is a fixed cost. Financial analysts prefer companies with an interest coverage ratio of at least 3.

  • Both the Fed rate and LIBOR are short-term inter-bank interest rates, but the Fed rate is the main tool that the Federal Reserve uses to influence the supply of money in the U.S. economy.
  • Establish the outstanding amount on the debt that was originally borrowed (principal amount) during the specified measurement period.
  • Interest is usually incurred whenever a company finances its assets through debt, because it’s the cost of borrowing money.
  • Most commonly, interest expense arises out of company borrowing money.
  • The IE is the aggregate of the cost of borrowing funds from banks, investors, and various other sources.
  • Interest expense is one of the core expenses found in the income statement.

For example, if a company has a total of $100 million in debt at a fixed interest rate of 8%, the annual interest expense is calculated by multiplying the average debt principal by the interest rate. The period is written as 0.25 because it’s one quarter of the year in relation to the 5% annual interest rate. So, during the first quarter of 2021, the company paid $937.50 in interest expense and can list this on its income statement. Get instant access to lessons taught by experienced private equity pros and bulge bracket investment bankers including financial statement modeling, DCF, M&A, LBO, Comps and Excel Modeling. A negative net interest means that the company paid more on interest for borrowing money than they received for lending money.

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Learn Law Firm Accounting and Bookkeeping: Tips and Best Practices and debt schedules in CFI’s financial modeling courses. Interest expenses are debits because in double-entry bookkeeping debits increase expenses. Credits, in this case, are usually made for interest payable since that account is a liability, and credits increase liabilities.

Start with a free account to explore 20+ always-free courses and hundreds of finance templates and cheat sheets. In the end, journal entries will total $150 worth of interest expense and interest payable. An advertising agency signs a $6,000, 3-month note payable (a type of loan) with an annual rate of 10% on October 1st.


You need to find out the amount of the interest expense for the last three months. For example, a company with $100 million in debt at 8% interest has $8 million in annual interest expense. If annual EBIT is $80 million, then its interest coverage ratio is 10, which shows that the company can comfortably meet its obligations to pay interest.






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