Matching Principle & Concept

Chartered accountant Michael Brown is the founder and CEO of Double Entry Bookkeeping. He has worked as an accountant and consultant for more than 25 years and has built financial models for all types of industries. He has been the CFO or controller of both small and medium sized companies and has run small businesses of his own.

  • Because it is relatively sophisticated, small firms without accountants may find it challenging to use.
  • The expense must relate to the period in which the expense occurs rather than on the period of actually paying invoices.
  • It aligns with the accrual basis of accounting and serves as a foundation for reliable financial reporting.
  • This facilitates a comparison of performances and allows stakeholders to get timely information.
  • The pay period for hourly employees ends on March 28, but employees continue to earn wages through March 31, which are paid to them on April 4.

Together with the time period assumption and the revenue recognition principle the matching principle forms a necessary part of the accrual basis of accounting. The alternative method of accounting is the cash basis in which revenue is recorded when received and expenses are recorded when paid. Prior to the application of the matching principle, expenses were charged to the income statement in the accounting period in which they were paid irrespective of whether they relate to the revenue earned during that period. Application of matching principle results in the deferral of prepaid expenses in order to match them with the revenue earned in future periods. Similarly, accrued expenses are charged in the income statement in which they are incurred to match them with the current period’s revenue.

Matching Principle – Excel Model Template

When a company acquires property, plant & equipment (PP&E), the purchase — i.e. capital expenditures (Capex) — is considered to be a long-term investment. Materiality states that all material facts must be a part of the accounting process. But immaterial facts, i.e. insignificant information should be left out. The materiality of a transaction will depend on its nature, value and its significance to the external user. If the information can affect a person’s investing decision then it is definitely a material fact. The matching concept can have numerous disadvantages, such as the usage of estimation cannot be allowed.

An additional similar example related to the Matching Principle is accrual salaries. Let me be more specific so that you can better understand the wages of the salesperson. Assume we have sold the goods to our customers amount $70,000 for the month of December 2016. Let’s say a company just incurred $100 million in Capex to purchase PP&E at the end of Year 0.

  • Based on the Matching principle, the Cost of Goods Sold should record the period in which the revenues are earned.
  • Since there is an expected future benefit from the use of the asset the matching principle requires that the cost of the asset is spread over its useful life.
  • Commissions, office supplies, and rent are examples of period costs that aren’t directly related to the product.
  • Let us define the period and product costs to clarify the matching principle further.
  • The concept is that the expenses of fixed assets should not be recorded imitatively when we purchase.

Let’s say that the revenue for the month of June is 8,000, irrespective of the level of this revenue the matched rent expense for the period will be 750. Otherwise, the title should have been passed onto the buyer so as to create a legal obligation for the buyer to pay for them. The second aspect is that the full cost of those items must be included in that particular period’s income statement.

Matching Principle in 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. Upgrading to a paid membership gives you access to our extensive collection of plug-and-play Templates designed to power your performance—as well as CFI’s full course catalog and accredited Certification Programs. Access and download collection of free Templates to help power your productivity and performance.

What is the Matching Principle?

But the profits for the months of June and July would be $206,000 ($230,000 – $24,000) and $156,000 ($180,000 – $24,000), respectively. This is because the salary expense matches the revenues generated for the individual months. As a result, if a corporation spends $252,000 on an expensive office system that will be effective for 84 months, the company should deduct $3,000 from each of its monthly income statements. In the world of accounting and finance, the Matching Principle is a fundamental guideline that directs how expenses should be recognized and reported. This is because a company cannot generate sales or revenues without paying expenses like the cost of labor, raw materials, marketing expenses, selling expenses, administrative expenses, or other miscellaneous expenses. Assume the revenue per cash basis is recognized in January 2017, then the cost of goods sold $40,000 should also recognize in 2017 as well.

According to the realization accounting concept, revenue is only recognized when it is realized. Now revenue is the cash inflow for a business arising from the sale of goods or services. And we assume this revenue as realized only when it legally arises to be received. So in simpler terms, the profit earned will be recorded when it is actually earned. The comes under the purview of accrual accounting. While the matching principle accounting accurately represents the finances of the organisation, it often misses the effects of inflation.

In such cases, the careful determination of such expenses has to be made and appropriate adjustments will be required in order to determine the proper profits (or loss) for the current accounting period. According to the matching principle of accounting, the incomes or revenues of a particular period must be matched with the expenses of that particular period. Because revenue recognition and the cost of goods sold are so closely related, the corporation should recognize the entire $4,000 cost as an expense in the same reporting period as the sale.

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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. Doing so makes better use of the accountant’s time, and has no material impact on the financial statements. The company prepares the financial statements on an accrual basis, then revenue and expenses are recognized consistently the same as cash.

Importance of the Matching Principle

It shows the working of the principle with the accrual basis of accounting. The profits reported under the principle are more consistent throughout reporting periods, reducing huge variations. This is especially true when it comes to depreciating the cost of fixed assets rather than charging the total cost of these assets to expense as soon as they are purchased. Investors like a smooth and normalized income statement that connects revenues and expenses rather than one that is unconnected. Recognizing expenses at the wrong time may distort the financial statements greatly.

Solved Matching Concept Example

On the balance sheet at the end of 2018, a bonuses payable balance of $5 million will be credited, and retained earnings will be reduced by the same amount (lower net income), so the balance sheet will continue to balance. In 2018, the company generated revenues of $100 million and thus will pay its employees a bonus of $5 million in February 2019. So for example, if the company underwent a major management overhaul this would have no effect on the accounting records. Explain matching concepts in accounting by using an appropriate matching concept example.

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