Accounting Basics

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Different Types of Cash Accounts

The definition of cash goes beyond paper bills and coinage. Any sort of account that’s backed by cash is deemed a cash account. For example, when you go to the college bookstore and write a check to pay [more…]

What Are Cash Equivalents in Accounting?

In the accounting world of cash, cash equivalents are close but no cigar! Now, the basic premise of cash equivalents is that they’re just a hair away from being available for withdrawal on demand. They’re [more…]

How to Control Cash and Restricted Cash

The big deal about controlling cash for your intermediate accounting class is making sure the balance sheet presentation doesn’t mislead users with the amount of cash available to meet day-to-day expenses [more…]

The Origin of Accounts Receivable

Accounts receivable (A/R) is the amount of money a customer owes the business for merchandise it purchases from a company or services a company renders. Just about all types of businesses can and probably [more…]

Trades and Sales Discounts Affect Customer Balances

It’s not unusual for the list price of the goods available for sale or the total amount of the invoice to not be what the customer eventually ends up paying. The amount the customer pays may be subject [more…]

How to Estimate Uncollectible Accounts

It’s a sad fact of life that businesses extending credit to their customers will probably have at least one or more deadbeat customer who just won’t pay the bills. Under generally accepted accounting principles [more…]

How to Recognize a Face Value Notes Receivable

For the current asset section of the balance sheet, a note receivable is a short-term (coming due within 12 months of the balance sheet date) debt someone owes you. In many cases, this current asset arises [more…]

Accounting Basics of Inventoried Goods

Three types of businesses operate: service, manufacturing, and merchandising. Breathe a sigh of relief, because you have to worry about only two (manufacturing and merchandising) here. Service businesses [more…]

Last In, First Out Inventory Carrying Valuation Method

With the last in, first out (LIFO) method, the company assumes that its newest items (the ones most recently purchased) are the first ones sold. LIFO is not codified in GAAP but is a tax concept that Internal [more…]

How to Handle Special LIFO Issues

Figuring COGS and valuing ending inventory using all the cost flow assumptions is pretty easy when you get the hang of it. Plus, larger companies have software tailored to the task, which makes the undertaking [more…]

How to Use Lower of Cost or Market

Using the lower of cost or market means comparing the market value of each item in ending inventory with its cost and then using the lower of the two as its inventory value. [more…]

How to Retail Inventory

Accounting for merchandise inventory has its frustrating moments, but it’s easier than accounting for manufacturing inventory. A merchandising company such as a retail store has only one class of inventory [more…]

How to Handle Markups and Markdowns in Accounting

You may get quite a thrill when you’re out shopping and you see something fantastic on the discount rack. When you see it, you probably think, “Ching-ching, I just scored!” However, have you ever thought [more…]

How to Use Perpetual and Periodic Inventory Methods

Two major types of inventory systems exist: perpetual and periodic. Larger retailers have electronic cash registers (ECRs). If you’ve ever used the self-checkout, you’ve used one. The checkout features [more…]

What Constitutes Accounts Payable (A/P)?

Accounts payable includes money a company owes it vendors for services and products that it has purchased in the normal course of business and anticipates paying back in the short term. [more…]

What Are Contingencies in Accounting Terms?

Contingencies exist when a company has an existing circumstance as of the date of the financial statements that may cause a gain or loss in the future, depending on events that haven’t yet happened and [more…]

The Dark Side of Debt-Free

Finally, that wonderful day comes when the debt is paid off. You may not think of it as a thorny accounting situation — and it isn’t, as long as the debt is held to maturity. In other words, there’s no [more…]

Types of Dividends

Dividends are distributions of company earnings to the shareholders. They can be in the form of cash, stock, or property. Most unrelated investors (not directly involved with the day-to-day operations [more…]

Financial Income versus Taxable Income

In addition to using different standards for financial income (also known as book income) versus taxable income, the entities and individuals interested in financial accounting and taxable income are different [more…]

Temporary Differences in Tax Accounting

Temporary differences occur because financial accounting and tax accounting rules are somewhat inconsistent when determining when to record some items of revenue and expense. Because of these inconsistencies [more…]

Take Advantage of Net Operating Losses

It’s a fact of life in the business fast lane that companies don’t always have more revenue than expenses every year. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, and it can happen for many reasons, including moving [more…]

The Difference between Costs and Expenses

What’s a cost and what’s an expense? Consider an example. Assume that Penway Manufacturing, Inc., makes toasters and needs to buy some new metal fabrication machines to form the outer shell of the toaster [more…]

Depreciation Methods

Depreciation is the method of allocating costs to the appropriate period. Although accountants have to follow generally accepted accounting principles [more…]

What Is an Asset Impairment?

An impairment loss takes place when a company makes the judgment call that the carrying value of an asset on the company balance sheet is less than fair value, [more…]

How to Control Your Business Cash

Bookkeeping is all about keeping tabs on where your business’s cash is. Here are a few handy tips that will ensure that your bookkeeping doesn’t require too much red ink so your small business can thrive [more…]

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