32 terms

Acct.basic_term

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accrual basis of accounting
The accounting method under which revenues are recognized on the income statement when they are earned (rather than when the cash is received). The balance sheet is also affected at the time of the revenues by either an increase in Cash (if the service or sale was for cash), an increase in Accounts Receivable (if the service was performed on credit), or a decrease in Unearned Revenues (if the service was performed after the customer had paid in advance for the service).

Under the accrual basis of accounting, expenses are matched with revenues on the income statement when the expenses expire or title has transferred to the buyer, rather than at the time when expenses are paid. The balance sheet is also affected at the time of the expense by a decrease in Cash (if the expense was paid at the time the expense was incurred), an increase in Accounts Payable (if the expense will be paid in the future), or a decrease in Prepaid Expenses (if the expense was paid in advance).
revenue recognition principle
The accounting guideline requiring that revenues be shown on the income statement in the period in which they are earned, not in the period when the cash is collected. This is part of the accrual basis of accounting (as opposed to the cash basis of accounting).
accounts receivable
A current asset resulting from selling goods or services on credit (on account). Invoice terms such as (a) net 30 days or (b) 2/10, n/30 signify that a sale was made on account and was not a cash sale.
sales
A revenue account that reports the sales of merchandise. Sales are reported in the accounting period in which title to the merchandise was transferred from the seller to the buyer.
matching principle
The principle that requires a company to match expenses with related revenues in order to report a company's profitability during a specified time interval. Ideally, the matching is based on a cause and effect relationship: sales causes the cost of goods sold expense and the sales commissions expense. If no cause and effect relationship exists, accountants will show an expense in the accounting period when a cost is used up or has expired. Lastly, if a cost cannot be linked to revenues or to an accounting period, the expense will be recorded immediately. An example of this is Advertising Expense and Research and Development Expense
interest expense
This account is a non-operating or "other" expense for the cost of borrowed money or other credit. The amount of interest expense appearing on the income statement is the cost of the money that was used during the time interval shown in the heading of the income statement, not the amount of interest paid during that period of time
net income
This is the bottom line of the income statement. It is the mathematical result of revenues and gains minus the cost of goods sold and all expenses and losses (including income tax expense if the company is a regular corporation) provided the result is a positive amount. If the net amount is a negative amount, it is referred to as a net loss.
net loss
The bottom line of the income statement when revenues and gains are less than the aggregate amount of cost of goods sold, operating expenses, losses, and income taxes (if the company is a regular corporation)
the balance sheet
as a "snapshot" of a company's financial position at a given moment.
vehicles
A long-term asset account that reports a company's cost of automobiles, trucks, etc. The account is reported under the balance sheet classification property, plant, and equipment. Vehicles are depreciated over their useful lives.
cash
A current asset account which includes currency, coins, checking accounts, and undeposited checks received from customers. The amounts must be unrestricted. (Restricted cash should be recorded in a different account.)
supplies
A current asset representing the cost of supplies on hand at a point in time. The account is usually listed on the balance sheet after the Inventory account.

A related account is Supplies Expense, which appears on the income statement. The amount in the Supplies Expense account reports the amounts of supplies that were used during the time interval indicated in the heading of the income statement.
equipment
Equipment is a noncurrent or long-term asset account which reports the cost of the equipment. Equipment will be depreciated over its useful life by debiting the income statement account Depreciation Expense and crediting the balance sheet account Accumulated Depreciation (a contra asset account).
prepaid expense
A current asset representing amounts paid in advance for future expenses. As the expenses are used or expire, expense is increased and prepaid expense is decreased.
insurance expense
The amount of insurance that was incurred/used up/expired during the period of time appearing in the heading of the income statement. The amount of insurance premiums that have not yet expired should be reported in the current asset account Prepaid Insurance.
prepaid insurance
A current asset which indicates the cost of the insurance contract (premiums) that have been paid in advance. It represents the amount that has been paid but has not yet expired as of the balance sheet date.

A related account is Insurance Expense, which appears on the income statement. The amount in the Insurance Expense account should report the amount of insurance expense expiring during the period indicated in the heading of the income statement.
cost principle
The accounting guideline requiring amounts in the accounts and on the financial statements to be the actual cost rather than the current value. Accountants can show an amount less than cost due to conservatism, but accountants are generally prohibited from showing amounts greater than cost. (Certain investments will be shown at fair value instead of cost.)
conservatism
This accounting guideline states that if doubt exists between two acceptable alternatives (in other words the accountant needs to break a tie), the accountant should choose the alternative that will result in a lesser asset amount and/or a lesser profit. A classic example is inventory where the replacement cost is less than the actual cost. The accountant must decide whether to leave the inventory at cost or to reduce the inventory amount to its replacement cost. Conservatism directs the accountant to reduce the inventory to the lower amount (the replacement cost). This results in a lower asset amount and a debit to an income statement account, such as Loss from Reducing Inventory to LCM. To learn more, see the Explanation of Lower of Cost or Market (LCM).
depreciation expense
The income statement account which contains a portion of the cost of plant and equipment that is being matched to the time interval shown in the heading of the income statement. (There is no depreciation expense for land.)
carrying amount
Also referred to as book value or carrying value; the cost of a plant asset minus the accumulated depreciation since the asset was acquired. This net amount is not an indication of the asset's fair market value. Also used in reference to bonds payable: the face amount in Bonds Payable plus Premium on Bonds Payable or minus Discount on Bonds Payable and minus the unamortized issue costs.
office equipment
A long-term asset account reported on the balance sheet under the heading of property, plant, and equipment. Included in this account would be copiers, computers, printers, fax machines, etc.
land
A long-term asset account that reports the cost of real property exclusive of the cost of any constructed assets on the property. Land usually appears as the first item under the balance sheet heading of Property, Plant and Equipment. Generally, land is not depreciated.
liabilities
Obligations of a company or organization. Amounts owed to lenders and suppliers. Liabilities often have the word "payable" in the account title. Liabilities also include amounts received in advance for a future sale or for a future service to be performed. To learn more, see Explanation of Balance Sheet.
notes payable
The amount of principal due on a formal written promise to pay. Loans from banks are included in this account.
interest payable
This current liability account reports the amount of interest the company owes as of the date of the balance sheet. (Future interest is not recorded as a liability.)
accounts payable
This current liability account will show the amount a company owes for items or services purchased on credit and for which there was not a promissory note. This account is often referred to as trade payables (as opposed to notes payable, interest payable, etc.)
wages payable
A current liability account that reports the amounts owed to employees for hours worked but not yet paid as of the date of the balance sheet.
common stock
The type of stock that is present at every corporation. (Some corporations have preferred stock in addition to their common stock.) Shares of common stock provide evidence of ownership in a corporation. Holders of common stock elect the corporation's directors and share in the distribution of profits of the company via dividends. If the corporation were to liquidate, the secured lenders would be paid first, followed by unsecured lenders, preferred stockholders (if any), and lastly the common stockholders.
paid-in capital in excess of par value - common stock
The stockholders' equity account that represents the amount paid to a corporation for its common stock that was in excess of the common stock's par value. This account is sometimes referred to as the premium on common stock (The par value of common stock is recorded in a separate stockholder's equity account.)
preferred stock
A class of corporation stock that provides for preferential treatment of dividends: preferred stockholders will be paid dividends before the common stockholders receive dividends. In exchange for the preferential treatment of dividends, preferred shareholders usually do not share in the corporation's earnings and instead receive only their fixed dividend.
retained earnings
A stockholders' equity account that generally reports the net income of a corporation from its inception until the balance sheet date less the dividends declared from its inception to the date of the balance sheet.
current year's net income
Often this account appears as a line in the retained earnings section of stockholders' equity (balance sheet) and will show the year-to-date net income. The reason is that some accounting software will not put the current year's net income into the Retained Earnings account until the accounting year is finished.