Accrual Concept


Financial statements are prepared under the Accruals Concept of accounting which requires that income and expense must be recognized in the accounting periods to which they relate rather than on cash basis. An exception to this general rule is the cash flow statement whose main purpose is to present the cash flow effects of transaction during an accounting period.

Under Accruals basis of accounting, income must be recorded in the accounting period in which it is earned. Therefore, accrued income must be recognized in the accounting period in which it arises rather than in the subsequent period in which it will be received. Conversely, prepaid income must be not be shown as income in the accounting period in which it is received but instead it must be presented as such in the subsequent accounting periods in which the services or obligations in respect of the prepaid income have been performed.

Expenses, on the other hand, must be recorded in the accounting period in which they are incurred. Therefore, accrued expense must be recognized in the accounting period in which it occurs rather than in the following period in which it will be paid. Conversely, prepaid expense must be not be shown as expense in the accounting period in which it is paid but instead it must be presented as such in the subsequent accounting periods in which the services in respect of the prepaid expense have been performed.

Accruals basis of accounting ensures that expenses are "matched" with the revenue earned in an accounting period. Accruals concept is therefore very similar to the matching principle.

Test Your Understanding

Which of the following are examples of accruals basis of accounting?

Depreciation

Cash Flow Statement

Prepaid Expense

Provision for Warranty Claims