Accounting Concepts and Principles

Accounting is the measurement of economic activity for a business operation. It is customarily reported via financial information. Learn about the basic accounting concepts and the associated principles used in accounting to report financial information.

Working Trial Balance

Working Trial Balance

The accounting profession uses various tools to generate accurate accounting information at the close of accounting cycles (monthly, quarterly and annually). The primary document is the working trial balance. It is very similar to the traditional trial balance except there are additional columns used to identify various adjustments and the corresponding source documents (work papers).

Amortization of Financing Costs

Amortization of Financing Costs

When a business acquires a loan there are typically closing costs involved. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) require these financing costs to be amortized (allocated) over the life of the loan. There are several principles the reader needs to understand to properly calculate and assign these costs to the financial statements. This lesson explains the basic business principles of amortization of financing costs, organization of information, reporting and interpretation. It is written for bookkeepers, novice accountants and small business owners. The final section is an in depth example and model to follow. 

Various Sets of Accounting Books

Accounting Books

Accounting’s primary purpose is to measure economic activity. There are several different methods to determine the economic value generated in your business each year. In accounting this is referred to as sets of books. There are four basic sets of accounting books. Each has a different purpose and end goal.

Fixed Costs – Explanation and Examples

Fixed Costs

‘Fixed costs’ is a business term used mostly in cost accounting. It has several meanings based on its usage. The most common definition associated with fixed costs is expenses that must be paid regardless of production or sales volume. The best example is rent for a company. It doesn’t matter whether you produce or sell one widget or several thousand, the rent must still be paid.

So why is it important to understand fixed costs?  How is it used in cost accounting and in financial reporting?  Finally, what are examples of fixed costs? 

Revenue and Sales – What is the Difference?

Revenue and Sales

Sales are a component of revenue. Revenue encompasses several sources of income including sales. Other sources of revenue include interest, trust monies, royalties, and fees. In effect, revenue includes all sources of income, realized and unrealized. Sales are divided into two levels, gross sales are all sales at the regular price; net sales are gross sales less discounts or adjustments associated with that particular product(s). 

Format of the Profit and Loss Statement for Service Related Businesses

Profit and Loss Statement for Service Related Businesses

Service related businesses require a different format than the traditional profit and loss statement AKA the income statement. The traditional profit and loss focuses on sales of products and a corresponding cost of goods sold section to help the reader evaluate the gross margin. But in service, the owner needs a profit and loss statement formatted to key in on overall productivity and costs of that productivity.

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