Accounting Convention


DEFINITION of 'Accounting Convention'

Guidelines that arise from the practical application of accounting principles. An accounting convention is not a legally-binding practice; rather, it is a generally-accepted convention based on customs, and is designed to help accountants overcome practical problems that arise out of the preparation of financial statements. As customs change, so to will accounting conventions.

BREAKING DOWN 'Accounting Convention'

If an oversight organization, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) set forth a guideline that addresses the same topic as the accounting convention, the accounting convention will no longer be applicable. Basically, conventions fill in the gaps between guidelines and practical usage.

  1. Discovery Value Accounting

    A method of accounting often used in the oil and gas, mining ...
  2. Accounting Hall Of Fame

    A prominent award in the field of accounting. The Accounting ...
  3. Financial Statements

    Records that outline the financial activities of a business, ...
  4. Financial Accounting Standards ...

    A seven-member independent board consisting of accounting professionals ...
  5. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ...

    The common set of accounting principles, standards and procedures ...
  6. Certified Public Accountant - CPA

    A designation given by the American Institute of Certified Public ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Footnotes: Early Warning Signs For Investors

    These documents hold very important information, but reading them takes skill.
  2. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Accounting Rules Could Roil The Markets

    FAS 142 is an accounting rule that changes the way companies treat goodwill. Be aware of the impact it has on reported earnings to avoid making bad investment decisions.
  3. Insurance

    Ancient Accounting Systems

    Learn how accounting evolved to keep records of increasingly complex transactions and civilizations.
  4. Investing Basics

    The Flow Of Company Information

    Learn how to gather all the pieces before you start to put together your puzzle.
  5. Personal Finance

    A Look At Accounting Careers

    More than just crunching numbers, this career blends detective work with trouble shooting.
  6. Options & Futures

    Core Earnings Strip Away "Creative" Accounting

    This metric is an attempt to counteract creative accounting, but it poses its own set of challenges.
  7. Markets

    Financial Statement Manipulation An Ever-Present Problem For Investors

    The SEC has taken steps to eliminate this type of corporate fraud, but it remains a real risk for investors.
  8. Economics

    Calculating Days Working Capital

    A company’s days working capital ratio shows how many days it takes to convert working capital into revenue.
  9. Professionals

    Career Advice: Accountant Vs. Controller

    Learn about the differences between controllers and accountants, how the two are related and which is the best career choice for aspiring bookkeepers.
  10. Professionals

    What is Cash Basis Accounting?

    Cash basis accounting recognizes revenues and expenses at the time cash is paid or received.
  1. What is a profit and loss (P&L) statement and why do companies publish them?

    A profit and loss (P&L) statement, or balance sheet, is essentially a snapshot of a company's financial activity for ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do dividends affect the balance sheet?

    Dividends paid in cash affect a company's balance sheet by decreasing the company's cash account on the asset side and decreasing ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Are dividends considered an expense?

    Cash or stock dividends distributed to shareholders are not considered an expense on a company's income statement. Stock ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Do dividends go on the balance sheet?

    The only account recorded on the balance sheet, when dividends are declared and before they are paid out to a company's shareholders, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are some examples of general and administrative expenses?

    In accounting, general and administrative expenses represent the necessary costs to maintain a company's daily operations ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do dividend distributions affect additional paid in capital?

    Whether a dividend distribution has any effect on additional paid-in capital depends solely on what type of dividend is issued: ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  2. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  3. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  4. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  5. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  6. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!