A debt that is not collectible and therefore worthless to the creditor. This occurs after all attempts are made to collect on the debt. Bad debt is usually a product of the debtor going into bankruptcy or where the additional cost of pursuing the debt is more than the amount the creditor could collect. This debt, once considered to be bad, will be written off by the company as an expense
The provision for bad debts might refer to the balance sheet account also known as the Allowance for Bad Debts, Allowance for Doubtful Accounts, or Allowance for Uncollectible Accounts. In this case Provision for Bad Debts is a contra asset account (an asset account with a credit balance). It is used along with the account Accounts Receivable in order to report the net realizable value of the accounts receivable.
Provision for Bad Debts might also be an the income statement account also known as Bad Debt Expense or Uncollectible Account Expense. In this situation, the Provision for Bad Debts reports the credit losses that pertain to the period shown on the income statement