A Guide to the Matching Principle

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When an auditor reviews a firm’s financial statements, the best possible outcome is an auditor’s opinion of Unqualified. This opinion affirms the auditor’s judgment that reports are accurate and conform to GAAP. And, this means the auditor finds no issues with matching, materiality, “historical costs,” or any other GAAP-defined accounting principle. And, this outcome means the auditor finds no problems with matching, materiality, historical costs, or any other GAAP-defined accounting principle. Another case in point is a business that pays for online marketing.

When is the matching principle used?

The matching principle is used in financial accounting to ensure that revenues and expenses are correctly matched in the period they occur. This helps to provide an accurate view of the company’s financial position and performance.

Two examples of the matching principle with expenses directly related to revenue are employee wages and the costs of goods sold. The matching principle allows an asset to be distributed and matched over the course of its useful life in order to balance the cost over a given period. Expenses not directly tied to revenues should be reported on the income statement in the same period as their use.


General Electric earns Matching Principle. 60 million in revenue during an accounting period. Even if you do not expect to pay the bonus until the next year, the company will recognize this cost and the corresponding income. A law firm pays a Rs. 4,000/month fixed-wage to six of its consultants because this expense is related to revenues achieved in the first quarter.

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Deferred expense allows one to match costs of products paid out and not received yet. Accrued expense allows one to match future costs of products with the proceeds from their sales prior to paying out such costs. This principle is an effective tool when expenses and revenues are clear.

Accrual Accounting

If we assume a useful life assumption of 10 years and straight-line depreciation with a residual value of zero, the annual depreciation comes out to $10 million. Expenditures that provide benefits for more than one year should be allocated across the asset’s useful life assumption. Harold Averkamp has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. Businesspeople seeking funding for projects, acquisitions, or investments start with the hurdles event. Free AccessBusiness Case TemplatesReduce your case-building time by 70% or more. The Integrated Word-Excel-PowerPoint system guides you surely and quickly to professional quality results with a competitive edge.

accrual basis

Thus, the machine is depreciated over its 10-year useful https://www.bookstime.com/ instead of being fully expensed in 2015. Accrual-based accounting is one of the three accounting methods you can use as a small business owner. The two other accounting methods are cash-basis and modified cash-basis accounting. Certain business financial elements benefit from the use of the matching principle. Assets (specifically long-term assets) experience depreciation and the use of the matching principle ensures that matching is spread out appropriately to balance out the incoming cash flow. Liabilities are recorded on the balance sheet at the end of the accounting period. Expenses are recorded on the income statement in the same period that related revenues are earned.

What Is the Matching Concept in Accounting?

In a small town, Dawlance Trading Company sells kitchen appliances. The company buys Rs. 6,000 worth of inventory and sells it to a local restaurant for Rs. 9,000. The Dawlance Trading Company needs to adjust inventory costs to sales at the end of the accounting period. This means that you can pay for an expense months before it is actually recorded, as the expense is matched to the period the revenue is made. By following the matching principle, businesses reduce confusion from a mismatch in timing between when costs are incurred and when revenue is recognized and realized. Accounting SystemAccounting systems are used by organizations to record financial information such as income, expenses, and other accounting activities. They serve as a key tool for monitoring and tracking the company’s performance and ensuring the smooth operation of the firm.

If the Capex was expensed as incurred, the abrupt $100 million expense would distort the income statement in the current period — in addition to upcoming periods showing less Capex spending. However, rather than the entire Capex amount being expensed at once, the $10 million depreciation expense appears on the income statement across the useful life assumption of 10 years. For instance, the direct cost of a product is expensed on the income statement only if the product is sold and delivered to the customer.