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The Accrual Concept

In the world of bookkeeping, terms and concepts can sometimes appear complex, but understanding them is crucial for the financial health of your business. One such fundamental concept is the 'accrual' method. At Hamollisons Bookkeeping Services, we aim to simplify this for you.

What is the Accrual Concept?

In essence, the accrual concept dictates that financial events are recorded when they occur, not when cash exchanges hands. It provides a more holistic view of a company's financial position than just looking at cash flows.

Breaking It Down

  1. Revenue Recognition: If you've provided a service or delivered a product, you record the revenue, even if the client hasn't paid yet.

  2. Expense Recognition: Similarly, if you've received a service or a product, you record the expense, even if you haven't made the payment.

Why Does the Accrual Concept Matter?

  • Realistic Financial Picture: By recording revenues and expenses when they occur, you get a clear idea of your business's profitability during a specific period, irrespective of when the money is received or paid.

  • Informed Decision Making: Knowing your actual expenses and incomes for a period allows for better budgeting, forecasting, and business decisions.

  • Regulatory Compliance: Many regulatory bodies require businesses to use the accrual method, especially as they grow in size.

Accrual vs. Cash Accounting: A Snapshot

While the accrual method records transactions when they occur, cash accounting does so when cash is received or paid. Each has its merits, but the accrual concept often provides a more comprehensive view of financial health.

Key Takeaways

  • The accrual concept offers a timely reflection of business activities.

  • It helps businesses understand their true financial position, irrespective of cash flows.

  • Switching from cash to accrual accounting can be a transition but offers depth to financial reporting.


Understanding the accrual concept is foundational in bookkeeping. It ensures that financial statements are timely, relevant, and offer a true reflection of a business's activities. At Hamollisons Bookkeeping Services, we're dedicated to ensuring that such concepts are not just numbers and terms but tools to drive your business forward. For further clarity on how this affects your business, or to explore a tailored accounting solution, don't hesitate to reach out.

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