A payment that has been finished and recorded is referred to as a disbursement. In other words, the money has been transferred from the payer’s account to the payee’s account. A key way to monitor the company’s costs in business is to document all cash outflows consistently.  

Disbursements are one aspect of cash flow that you should fully comprehend if you want your firm to succeed. If you know how to handle disbursements, you can avoid making mistakes that could result in failed audits, penalties, and other consequences. 

What is disbursement? 

Disbursing funds, particularly from a public or designated fund, is a disbursement. It frequently refers to the payment made on behalf of a client to a third party, for which the client would later be asked to pay back. Cash outflows result from disbursement. A concern about a cash deficit arises if disbursements exceed receipts or cash inflows. 

Disbursements signify the transfer of funds from one account or fund to another. This phrase refers to public or designated funds, particularly in corporations and non-profit organisations. A corporation makes a disbursement when it pays with cash or cash equivalents. 

Understanding disbursement 

Keeping an eye on the company’s cash flow is crucial while running a corporation. Disbursement refers to any cash the business pays to any entity or individual for whatever purpose.  

The business can make these payments all at once or gradually, and could be a full year or a quarter. This payment is tracked because it serves as a record of the company’s financial flow. If the expense exceeds the revenue, the cash flow is negative, and the company could be on the verge of quitting the business.  

This early indication could aid the business in future financial management. The company’s bookkeeper is responsible for recording the disbursement, which is done in a general ledger or cash disbursement log. This record comprises the date, sum, payee’s name, mode of payment, and reason for the payment. 

How does disbursement work? 

Your company makes disbursements over a set period, such as a quarter or a year, and does it in cash or a similar manner. If you apply the accrual accounting approach, you will record your disbursements as they happen rather than as they are paid.  

Your accounting department records each transaction during this phase, after which it records them in a general ledger entry or a cash disbursement journal. Your company’s overall cash balance is modified appropriately to reflect the disbursement.  

Each entry comprises the following information: Date, payee name, debited or credited amount, payment method, the purpose of the payment, and account code. 

Types of disbursement 


The following are the types of disbursement: 

  • Controlled disbursement 

Financial institutions give their corporate clientele this kind of service. It enables businesses to examine and reschedule payouts regularly. 

  • Delayed disbursement 

Here, the payout procedure is purposefully prolonged by issuing a check drawn from a bank situated in a remote place, a practice known as remote disbursement. As banks can only process payouts after receiving the actual check, such delays might prevent the amount from being deducted from the payer’s account for up to five working days. Yet, these delays have become more challenging with the acceptance of computerised checks. 

  • Cash disbursement 

They differ from profit or loss since they measure the amount that leaves the business. There are many ways to pay for these reimbursements, including cheques and electronic fund transfers. It may also be a payment made to a third party for clients out of a general or specific fund. The business that made the payment on your behalf then deducts the money as a reimbursement. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The terms “disbursement” and “drawdown” have different interpretations in the financial sector. They relate to a money transfer from a bigger account to a particular recipient, which is one of their similarities. Nevertheless, the terms refer to entirely different things. 

Drawdowns typically involve receiving money from a retirement account, a bank loan, or money placed into an individual account. On the other hand, all cash outflows, dividend payments, purchases from an investment account, or outright cash expenditures are all considered disbursements. 

An account is credited when a disbursement is positive and debited when negative. A negative disbursement could happen if financial aid money is overpaid and subsequently taken from the student’s account. 


The bank pays the borrower following verification and permission, known as loan disbursement. It doesn’t take long for loans to be disbursed. The disbursement takes place two to three days after getting the document authorising the house loan. Disbursement means receiving a loan amount in the banking industry. 


A refund is not the same thing as a disbursement. Instead, reimbursement and a refund are the same things. The term disbursements refer to a considerably larger group of payments. Reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses is one of these disbursement payments, though, and it frequently comes from a company’s petty cash account. 


Payment is made directly to the producer of a good or service and represents the agreed-upon value of that good or service a party offers in exchange. 

To disburse is to distribute funds. The delivery of a loan amount to a borrower, the payment of a dividend to shareholders, or money deposited into a company’s operating budget are all examples of disbursements. 


Related Terms

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