Accruals Basis

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Accruals Basis

Quick Summary of Accruals Basis

The effects of transactions and other events are recognised when they occur (and not as cash or its equivalent is received or paid) and they are recorded in the accounting records and reported in the financial statements of the periods to which they relate (see also matching).

What is the dictionary definition of Accruals Basis?

Dictionary Definition

In the context of accounting, practice in which expenses and income are accounted for as if they are earned or incurred, whether or not they have been received or paid. The antithesis of cash basis accounting.

Full Definition of Accruals Basis

Accrual basis accounting is a system of accounting that matches revenues and expenses, respectively, to the period they were earned and incurred. Under accrual basis accounting, revenue is recorded when product is shipped or services provided. Similarly, accrual basis accounting requires expenses be recorded in the period in which the related revenues were recognized. Accrual basis accounting differs from cash basis accounting, where revenue and expense are recorded when cash is received or paid. Here’s an example of accrual basis accounting: suppose a company sells and ships widgets to a customer for $500 in year 1. The customer pays $200 in year 1 and $300 in year 2. Under accrual basis accounting, the entire $500 would be reported as revenue in year 1, even though $300 wasn’t received until year 2. Under accrual basis accounting, the company recognizes revenue when it has substantially fulfilled its obligations to the customer. Because accrual basis accounting requires allocating revenue and expense to different time periods, it is subject to both error and abuse. Nevertheless, only accrual basis accounting meets generally accepted accounting principles.

Cite Term

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Modern Language Association (MLA):
Accruals Basis. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. June 23, 2021
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Accruals Basis. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: June 23, 2021).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Accruals Basis. Retrieved June 23, 2021, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Accruals Basis are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 6th February, 2020 | 14 Views.