Matching Principle Definition

General Electric earns Rs. 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. The company buys Rs. 6,000 worth of inventory and sells it to a local restaurant for Rs. 9,000.

Get instant access to video lessons taught by experienced investment bankers. Learn financial statement modeling, DCF, M&A, LBO, Comps and Excel shortcuts. Expenses not directly tied to revenue production should be expensed immediately in the current period. For example, a business spends $20 million on a new location with the expectation that it lasts for 10 years.

Matching Principle of Accounting Video

You could look at the matching concept in accounting as a blend of accrual accounting methods and the revenue recognition principle. 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. Because use of the matching principle can be labor-intensive, company controllers do not usually employ it for immaterial items. For example, it may not make sense to create a journal entry that spreads the recognition of a $100 supplier invoice over three months, even if the underlying effect will impact all three months.

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For example, a company may decide to construct a new office building to increase employee productivity. There is no direct way to attribute these Matching Principle Definition costs to increased profits by increasing employee productivity. As a result, the company amortizes the cost of the building over its useful life.

What Is Accrual Accounting, and How Does It Work?

If the company has $50,000 in sales in the month of December, the company will pay the commission of $5,000 next January. Financial accounting is the process of recording, summarizing and reporting the myriad of a company’s transactions to provide an accurate picture of its financial position. Accruals are revenues earned or expenses incurred which impact a company’s net income, although cash has not yet exchanged hands. Cash accounting records payments and receipts when they are received. Accrual records payments and receipts when services or good are provided or debt is incurred.

Matching Principle Definition

Accrued expense allows one to match future costs of products with the proceeds from their sales prior to paying out such costs. Now, if we apply the matching principle discussed earlier to this scenario, the expense must be matched with the revenue generated by the PP&E.