what is matching principle

Though matching and accrual-based accounting sound similar, the matching concept is better than the accrual basis. For instance, a company would recognize the estimated tax expense under accrual basis in the current accounting period despite the actual settlement happening in the subsequent period. Matching principleis an important concept of accrual accounting which states that the revenues and related expenses must be matched in the same period to which they relate.

what is matching principle

The matching principle is an accounting principle which states that expenses should be recognised in the same reporting period as the related revenues. Investors typically want to see a smooth and normalized income statement where revenues and expenses are tied together, as opposed to being lumpy and disconnected. By matching them together, investors get a better sense of the true economics of the business.

This means that you owe your sales staff a total of $4,050 in commissions for the month of April. Depreciation expense reduces income for each period that the expense is recorded.

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Alternatively, you can use the same formula used to determine the total interest amount and use the number of days in that accounting period. Then in 2016 when the band has more of the income and fewer expenses, because they were already closed out in 2015, then it will appear to be doing much better financially than it actually is. The matching principle normal balance ensures that these types of misleading accounting principles do not happen. If goods purchased in the current year remain unsold at the end of the year, their costs are excluded from the cost of goods sold when reporting a profit for the year. Instead, the costs of these items will be deducted from the revenue of the next period after they are sold.

what is matching principle

When businesses interpret financial statements, those statements must be calculated and prepared in a certain manner to abide by proper accounting principles. The matching principle must be utilized to better prepare documentation with accurate reporting. In this article, we define the matching principle, explain its benefits and provide examples of it in use. Prepaid expenses, such as employee wages or subcontractor fees paid out or promised, are not recognized as expenses; they are considered assets because they will provide probable future benefits. As a prepaid expense is used, an adjusting entry is made to update the value of the asset.

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Accrual accounting measures a company’s performance and position by recognizing economic events regardless of when cash transactions occur, whereas cash accounting only records transactions when payment occurs. It is a basic accounting principle which states, the recognition and recording of revenue should be in the same period it’s earning. Using the matching principle, costs are also properly accounted for, resulting in more accurate financial statements. This recurring journal entry will be made for each subsequent accounting period until the prepaid rent account has been depleted, which will be in December.

The accrual method recognizes the revenue when the clients’ services are concluded even though the cash payment is not yet in the bank. The sale is booked to an account known as accounts receivable, found in the current assets section of the balance sheet. Under GAAP and IFRS, a corporate bookkeeper recognizes revenue by debiting the customer receivables account and crediting the sales revenue account. If the transaction is a cash sale, the bookkeeper debits the cash account. When finance people talk about debiting cash — an asset account — they mean increasing money in company coffers. As an entrepreneur, heeding revenue recognition in corporate processes help personnel produce a set of accurate financial statements at the end of each quarter and fiscal year.

For example, when managing revenue, matching principle usage ensures that any expense incurred in the production of that revenue is properly accounted for in the month that the revenue is generated. Business expense categories such as prepaid expenses use the matching principle what is matching principle in similar fashion as depreciation. For example, in January, your business prepaid annual rent in the amount of $15,000. When retail stores allow customers to take additional and extended lines of credit with their stores, the customers tend to purchase more merchandise.

Use of such a principle helps a company present an accurate picture of the operations. Since this principle matches the expense to revenue, it helps in building investors’ trust that the numbers are unreal. An accountant will recognize both expenses and revenue then they are correlated even though cash flow run inconsistently. The salary expenses are the cost of services the company render from its staff.

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Therefore, to overcome this, one can segregate expenses in two different categories – period and product costs. This journal entry displays the rent expense for the month, while reducing the prepaid rent account. Another benefit is the ability contra asset account to recognize and record depreciation expenses over the useful life of an asset in order to avoid recording the expense in a single accounting period. Matching principle is a method for handling expense deductions followed in tax laws.

what is matching principle

Businesses don’t have to wait for the cash payment to be received to record this sales revenue. An example of revenue recognition would be a contractor recording revenue when a single job is complete, even if the customer doesn’t pay the invoice until the following accounting period. The matching principle also has a cause and effect relationship with financial transactions occurring from normal business operations.

The matching principle states that the commission expense needs reporting in September’s income statement. If a company uses the money basis of accounting, the reporting of commission should be in October instead of September . In both accounting and procurement, effective use of the matching principle helps organizations who use accrual basis accounting conform to GAAP and ensure their procurement and accounting systems are working properly. The matching principle is part of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles , based on the cause-and-effect relationship between spending and earning. It requires that any business expenses incurred must be recorded in the same period as related revenues. In other words, it formally acknowledges that business must spend money in order to earn revenue.

Why Matching Principle?

If an expense is not directly tied to revenues, the expense should be reported on the income statement in the accounting period in which it expires or is used up. If the future benefit of a cost cannot be determined, it should be charged to expense immediately. Another example would be if a company were to spend $1 million on online marketing . It may not be able to track the timing of the revenue that comes in, as customers may take months or years to make a purchase. In such a case, the marketing expense would appear on the income statement during the time period the ads are shown, instead of when revenues are received. Expenses are recorded in your accounting records when goods are used or services are received.

The cost of the bike will need to be matched with the revenue it’s made you. In this case, let’s say you use it to bike to work and it’s saved you on gas. In this circumstance, you should charge the bike’s cost to the depreciation expense of $20 per year, adding up to 10 years.

In the case of prepaid rent, for instance, the cost of rent for the period would be deducted from the Prepaid Rent account. Accrual accounting is based on the matching principle, which defines how and when businesses adjust the balance sheet.

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Thank you for reading this guide to understanding the accounting concept of the matching principle. The step-by-step plan to manage your company before your financial statements are prepared. For example, if you start your own company and you go to the bank on December 1st to take out a 90-day loan for $6,000 at an interest rate of 10%, you would have to pay $150 in interest over the 90 days. On December 31, when your accountant is closing the books for that fiscal year, he or she would have to account for the amount of interest that accrued during the 30 days of that year.

Expenses need to be recorded when they’re incurred rather than when they were paid for. Accrued expenses is a liability with an uncertain timing or amount, but where the uncertainty is not significant enough to qualify it as a provision.

Author: Roman Kepczyk