Matching Principle in Accounting

Matching Principle Definition

Under the matching principle, the company recognizes the depreciation expense of the machine for 5 years, that is, as long as it produces the product, rather than being fully charged in 2019. The answer is just that the all of the reporting period’s “revenue” earnings match only with all “expenses” incurred in the same period. On the first day of the first month, after making the monthly advance payment, the firm does not yet incur an expense. At that point, the firm has instead an asset known as a Prepaid expense. For the accountant, rental “expense” itself builds day by day, as the firm occupies the space.

Matching Principle Definition

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Revenue, Expense, Cost, Cash Flow

Accrual accounting provides a more accurate picture of a company’s financial position. However, many small businesses use cash accounting because it is less confusing.

  • 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.
  • Another example would be if a company were to spend $1 million on online marketing .
  • Therefore, it makes sense that such events should also be reflected in the financial statements during the same reporting period that these transactions occur.

Thus, if there is a cause-and-effect relationship between revenue and certain expenses, then record them at the same time. In some cases, it will be necessary to conduct a systematic allocation of a cost across multiple reporting periods, such as when the purchase cost of a fixed asset is depreciated over several years. If there is no cause-and-effect relationship, then charge the cost to expense at once. 5.Examples Example-1 A company sells TVs to its customers on cash and credit also. The revenue generated by the sale of the TV will only be recognized by the cash method when the money is received by the company. If the TV is sold on credit, this revenue will not be recognized until cash is received under cash basis.

Challenges of the Matching Principle

There is no direct relationship between these factors and a new building. Because of this, Matching Principle Definition businesses often choose to spread the cost of the building over years or decades.

  • It also results in more consistent reporting of profits across reporting periods, minimizing large fluctuations.
  • The GoCardless content team comprises a group of subject-matter experts in multiple fields from across GoCardless.
  • Similarly, the contract to be carried out on Jan 2nd is a future date event.
  • An accounting period is an established range of time during which accounting functions are performed and analyzed.

Hence, if a company purchases an elaborate office system for $252,000 that will be useful for 84 months, the company should report $3,000 of depreciation expense on each of its monthly income statements. There are situations in which using the matching principle can be a disadvantage. It requires additional accountant effort to record accruals to shift expenses across reporting periods. Doing so is moderately complex, making it difficult for smaller businesses without accountants to use. For example, it can be difficult to determine the impact of ongoing marketing expenditures on sales, so it is customary to charge marketing expenditures to expense as incurred.