If you have a company structure*, you’ll probably see the line item ‘Shareholder Current Account’ in the balance sheet. It’s one of the most difficult concepts to understand.

What is a shareholder current account (SCA)?

When you first started your business, you probably invested some of your own funds and in the normal course of business, you may have taken money out for personal reasons (called ‘drawings’). 

The SCA keeps track of these and similar transactions. From the company’s perspective, try to think of the SCA as a bank loan. However, instead of a bank lending money to the company and charges interest, you lend the money. Hopefully, you don’t charge interest! (which charges interest), the company has borrowed funds from you. 

Remember – you and your company are distinctly different legal entities. The company operates the business, collects money from sales and services, pays suppliers, has a bank account, owns assets, borrows money, and pays taxes. 

This article is to show you how it works in practice.

The diagram below shows examples of how the shareholder current account can increase and decrease. The components are explained after the diagram. There’s also an example towards the end, so you can see how it all falls into place.

You want to have a positive shareholder current account, where the company owes you money – that is, the company has a liability to you.

* A trust can have a Beneficiary Current Account, which is similar in nature.

Increases and decreases

Cash transactions

The first two transactions on each side are straight forward as they involve movement in the company’s bank account.

  • You deposit money into the company to get it going or boost it, and/or you pay company expenses yourself. This increases your shareholder current account – Funds Introduced or Cash Deposits
  • You withdraw money out of the company to live on, and/or the company pays for your personal expenses. This reduces your shareholder current account – Drawings

Accountant’s adjustments

Your accountant aims to make to pay the least amount of tax legally possible. You’ll therefore see adjustments as we prepare the company’s financial statements.

Shareholder salary

At the end of the year, your accountant looks at the profit of the company. This is calculated as all the income less all the claimable expenses. Now…somebody needs to pay tax on that profit.

As you probably have a lower tax rate than the company, Beany may allocate a salary to you out of the profit – the amount will depend on personal attribution rules*, and the market rate salary. All this means is that we move (part of) the profit from the company to you. No cash changes hands, so the company still owes you that salary. The balance of your shareholder current account increases. This is the Shareholder Salary and we include this figure in your personal tax return.

Motor vehicles

The company may make one or more of its vehicles available to you for personal use. If it does, this is a benefit for you – you don’t need to purchase your own car, the company pays for insurance, maintenance, fuel, etc. You need to reimburse the company for this benefit. Again, no cash changes hands. We calculate the amount and call this a Motor Vehicle Reimbursement – it’s considered to be company income. In your shareholder current account, this may be a separate line item, or we may include it in Drawings. Your current account decreases.

In some instances, you may let the company use your personal vehicle. The company needs to reimburse you for this because you’re paying for the insurance, maintenance, etc. We make a calculation to determine the amount. The company includes this within Motor Vehicle Expenses in the Profit and Loss Account. The company doesn’t physically pay you, so this increases the amount it owes you – it increases your shareholder current account. We usually include the transaction within Funds Introduced.

What motor vehicle expenses can I claim for my business?

Home office expenses 

These days, a lot of people work from home and/or use it to do the book-keeping side of the business – raising invoices, paying suppliers, reconciling bank accounts, using the internet, and making phone calls.

Instead of the company having to rent office space itself, you provide part of your home as an office. You need to give us information about the office size, interest paid on a mortgage, rent, power, rates, etc. We calculate what the company should pay for this privilege and included as a Home Office Expense in the company’s Profit and Loss Account. Again, as no cash changes hands, the company owes you this money and it increases your shareholder current account. We include this within Funds Introduced or show as a separate line item.

How to correctly claim your home office expenses

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Negative shareholder current account 

If you take from the company more than you give, you will hear the words ‘you have an overdrawn current account’ – you owe the balance to the company. From the company’s perspective, it’s given a loan to the shareholder. In the normal course of business, if the loan was to a third party, the company would charge interest. Because of this, the company is legally required to charge you interest on the overdrawn amount

Your account performs the calculations based on IRD rates and show it as Interest on Overdrawn Shareholder Current Account (income for the company) in the Statement of Profit and Loss, and in your Shareholder Current Account. 

An overdrawn current account is almost always a warning sign of pressure so, if you hear this, take it seriously and make time to understand what’s going on.

In the unlikely event that the company folds and you have an overdrawn current account, Inland Revenue may consider it to be a dividend and you’d pay tax on this.

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This is what you may see in your financial statements – a separate page headed Shareholder Current Accounts.

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Increases in SCA

Cash deposits

Money transferred from your personal bank account to the business bank account.

If you pay company expenses from your own bank account, it’s similar to the Cash deposits item above. The only difference is that the company can claim those expenses.

If your company doesn’t own a car, you may decide to use your own vehicle for business travel. The company should reimburse you for this and can claim an expense.

This is a non-cash adjustment made by your accountant.


If part of your home (including garaging and sheds) is used primarily for business purposes, instead of the company renting an office or storage space, you can be paid for this.

This is a non-cash adjustment made by your accountant.

Once the company’s profit is determined, your accountant may choose to allocate part or all of the profit to the shareholders. This is usually done to minimalise tax.

This is a non-cash adjustment made by your accountant.

If the company declares a dividend during the year and doesn’t physically pay it from the bank account, it will get credited to your SCA, which increases the SCA.

This is a non-cash adjustment made by your accountant.

Decreases in SCA

Cash withdrawals

Money that you transfer from the business bank account to your personal bank account, or cash withdrawals from an ATM.

Transfers are made from the business bank account for your personal bills.

You may have a company vehicle available for you to use, even though you may not actually use it. A good rule of thumb is that if the vehicle is at home and you have the keys, it could be considered available.

This is a non-cash adjustment made by your accountant.

If you have an overdrawn current account, this means you’ve used more company assets than you’ve given (money, for example). Because you owe the company, the company has an asset and must charge you interest. This interest is taxable income for the company.

This is a non-cash adjustment made by your accountant.

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