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Explanation: Basically, allowances are used with assets and provisions with liabiities. However, I have seen "provision for doubtful accounts" instead of "allowance for doubtful accounts" in various editions of "Accounting & Trends and Techniques" published annually by the AICPA. I asked a partner at Grant Thornton - Mexico to explain the difference to me in this case. He said that if no money is actually spent/disbursed, allowance is the correct term. However, if any money is actually spent/disbursed in that same case, provision is the correct term to use, even though an asset is involved. I suggest checking in with your client to see if any money was actually spent/disbursed in this case.
Reference: Accounting Trends & Techniques published annually by the AICPA, and the explanation given to me by the Grant Thornton - Mexico partner.
Hope this helps.
16 years of experience translating for Mexico City based member firms of international public accounting firms, and other financial entities (banks, etc.)