Matching Principle Examples

why is the matching principle important

One important result of the matching principle is the concept of depreciation. When you have fixed assets or durable equipment that you will use for more than one year, you will break up the cost of that asset over its expected life. The matching principle requires that a company tie revenue it generates during a given period — say a month, quarter or fiscal year — with expenses it incurred to reap that revenue. The principle also can apply to a project or long-term initiative — say, the construction of a highway. The matching principle requires that revenues and any related expenses be recognized together in the same reporting period. 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.

However, a temporary entry is made on Dec 22nd since John received the contract on this date, and as on that day, he needs to show the supposed value of the transaction . They are distinct from product expenses, which are related to products. This means that all resources needed to earn this revenue have been used, all steps needed to earn this revenue have been taken, and there is no apparent reason for this revenue not being received by the business.

What is the Matching Principle in Accounting?

It also results in more consistent reporting of profits across reporting periods, minimizing large fluctuations. This is especially important in relation to charging off the cost of fixed assets through depreciation, rather than charging the entire amount of these assets to expense as soon as they are purchased. According to the matching principle, both the commission fees and cosmetic sales must be recorded in the same accounting period. This means that both should be recorded in the November income statement. When expenses are recognized too early or late, it can be difficult to see where they result in revenue.

  • Overall, the matching principle provides investors with a normalized income state and streamlined information regarding a company’s profitability and its ability to efficiently operate.
  • And matching it with the related revenue is known as the Matching Principle of accounting.
  • For example, a firm pays upfront in google ads for their marketing to work on improving the website search of the company to boost their revenues.
  • Period costs are shown on the financial statement as and when the company incurs them.
  • Learn more about the standards we follow in producing Accurate, Unbiased and Researched Content in our editorial policy.
  • There are times, however, when that connection is much less clear, and estimates must be taken.

In this case, the company recognizes revenue when it rents out the property so that expenses related to property need to be depreciated at the same time. The second fact is that all costs that have been incurred for the purpose of earning the revenue should be included in the expenses for the period in which the credit for the income is taken. First, that the revenue has been earned in the period in which it is included in the income statement. You purchase a bike for $200 in 2019 and it’s expected to have a lifespan of 10 years. The cost of the bike will need to be matched with the revenue it’s made you. In this case, let’s say you use it to bike to work and it’s saved you on gas.

Why Matching Principle?

If you recognise an expense later than is appropriate, this results in a higher net income. Enrolling in a course lets you earn progress by passing quizzes and exams. Mrs. Johnson has a bachelors degree in psychology, and masters degrees in teaching and business administration. She has six years of experience teaching all subjects at the elementary level and three years of experience teaching English and math at the secondary level. If the organization has $100,000 in deals in September, the organization will pay the commission of $20,000 next October. We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.

Why accounting is important in our daily life?

It can be used in our daily lives because it maintains and expands the financial health of a business. Accounting plays an important role in running a business because it helps you track financial income and expenditures, management, and ensure statutory compliance which can be used in making business decisions.

Harold Averkamp has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. Another example would be when a firm decides to expand operations and purchase a new factory with an expected useful life of 10 years for $5,000,000. The Income Statement will show an increase of $2,500 due to the commissions while the Balance Sheet will also increase by $2,500 in Current Liabilities. Employee bonuses depend on the performance of a company for a given period. To better understand how this concept works in the real world, imagine the following matching principle example. The fee for this month from the 15th to the 30th, when the adjustment entry is made, is Rs.3,000.

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Recording the cost of machinery only in the time period when the machinery was purchased will result in a financial deficit for that time period because machinery is often a large expense. The matching principle requires a degree of estimation for certain expenses such as warranty costs, interest costs, and capital purchase expenses with an inexact useful life. Violating the matching principal can result in inaccurate financial why is the matching principle important reports when costs are not matched to the revenue they generate. To illustrate the matching principle, let’s assume that a company’s sales are made entirely through sales representatives who earn a 10% commission. The commissions are paid on the 15th day of the month following the calendar month of the sales. For instance, if the company has $60,000 of sales in December, the company will pay commissions of $6,000 on January 15.

What is matching principle why this principle should be followed by the business entity?

Give reason why a a business concern should follow this concept. Matching concept states that expenses that are incurred in an accounting period should be matching with the revenue earned during that period.

For example, when managing revenue, matching principle usage ensures that any expense incurred in the production of that revenue is properly accounted for in the month that the revenue is generated. Like the payroll accrual, this entry will need to be reversed in May, when the actual commission expense is paid. For the month of April, your company had sales in the amount of $27,000. This means that you owe your sales staff a total of $4,050 in commissions for the month of April. In order to use the matching principle properly, you will need to record a monthly depreciation expense in the amount of $450 for the next three years, or over the useful life of the equipment. Expensing a portion of the cost of the conveyor belt over its useful life, you will be using the matching principle as you match any revenue earned with the expense of the asset throughout the life of the asset.

From the course: Accounting Foundations: Understanding the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles)

If you’re a business owner, revenue recognition and the matching principle are subjects to heed because they go a long way toward computing how much your company makes over time. Investors and business partners — such as vendors, service providers and customers — pay attention to corporate financial reports to determine things like profitability and liquidity.

Receiving goods is not necessarily enough to make them an expense, even though paying for them might be a liability. When the goods are used by your business, they become an expense of the business. When someone performs a service for your business, whether as an employee or as a contract laborer, you have incurred an expense. The matching principle, then, requires that expenses should be matched to the revenues of the appropriate accounting period and not the other way around.

Matching principle of accounting

In the month of January, Jim’s business had sales of $9,000, which means that Jim owes his salespeople $900 in commissions for January. For example, if the office costs $10 million and is expected to last 10 years, the company would allocate $1 million of straight-line depreciation expense per year for 10 years.

why is the matching principle important

With the help of quite some ratios, the company’s performance is determined, which helps investors decide on investments. Accounting SystemAccounting systems are used by organizations to record financial information such as income, expenses, and other accounting activities. They serve as a key tool for monitoring and tracking the company’s performance and ensuring the smooth operation of the firm. Depreciation ExpenseDepreciation is a systematic allocation method used to account for the costs of any physical or tangible asset throughout its useful life. Depreciation enables companies to generate revenue from their assets while only charging a fraction of the cost of the asset in use each year. And matching it with the related revenue is known as the Matching Principle of accounting. Please note that in the matching principle of accounting, the actual payment date doesn’t matter; It is important to note when the work was done.


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. Product costs that the company is yet to match to the revenue come on the balance sheet as an asset. The income statement shows the product costs that the account managers match to the revenue and the period costs of the current period. So, it means that the matching principle directly affects the net profit or loss. Therefore, if the company used “cash-based accounting”, it might have recognized the expense in February because it paid in cash in February.

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The expense must relate to the period in which the expense occurs rather than on the period of actually paying invoices. For example, if a business pays a 10% commission to sales representatives at the end of each month. If the company has $50,000 in sales in the month of December, the company will pay the commission of $5,000 next January. Expenses are recorded in your accounting records when goods are used or services are received. When you are deciding how to record an expense for goods, note that the principle mentions the goods being used.

Is the Matching Principle Used Under the Cash Basis of Accounting?

This principle helps avoid distortions in financial position and improve the quality of financial statements. The company estimates the economic benefit of the machine is 5 years. 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.

why is the matching principle important

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