Accrual Based Accounting GAAP Rules
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Statement of Financial Accounting Standards – SFAS
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
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Cash Basis vs Accrual Basis Accounting
Accrual Based Accounting Definition
The accrual based accounting definition, or accrual basis accounting, forms a method of recording financial transactions based on economic impact. In the accrual accounting method, record revenues when earned. Then, record costs when incurred, whether or not cash has actually been exchanged between the relevant parties. Contrast this method with cash basis accounting, which records transactions only when cash has been exchanged between the relevant parties. The accounting world uses the accruals concept well, in the accounting world it is far more common to use accrual accounting rather than cash accounting. The accrual definition may also vary based on industry and business model.
Cash Basis Accounting Method
Cash basis accounting is a method of recording financial transactions which records transactions only when cash has been exchanged between parties. This contrasts with accrual basis accounting, which records transactions based on economic impact. When thinking about accrual vs cash accounting, remember that accrual keeps record of any sales where cash keeps record of income only. It is also possible to perform accrual to cash adjustments and conversions in accounting records.
Cash vs Accrual Basis
When a company sells its product to a customer, it must record the transaction. Using cash basis accounting, the company would not record the revenue from the sale until it received the cash from the customer. Using the accrual method of accounting, the company would record the revenue from the sale once the customer has received the product, whether or not the company has received the cash from the customer. The accrual method seeks to record the entire process of a transaction.
Accrual basis accounting gives a more accurate depiction of a company’s financial condition. However, implementing it is more complicated and more costly than cash basis accounting. Accrual accounting is often used in situations with complexities beyond that of the simple sole proprietorship.
All companies that report financial statements according to GAAP rules use accrual accounting. Only very small and unsophisticated businesses (a local coffee shop, an antique store with little inventory, etc.) would use cash basis accounting.
Accrual Basis Statements
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