DEFINITION of 'Accruals'

Accounts on a balance sheet that represent liabilities and non-cash-based assets used in accrual-based accounting. These accounts include, among many others, accounts payable, accounts receivable, goodwill, future tax liability and future interest expense.


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The use of accrual accounts has greatly increased the amount of information on accounting statements. Before the use of accruals only cash transactions were recorded on these statements. But cash transactions don't give information about other important business activities, such as revenue based on credit and future liabilities. By using accruals, a company can measure what it owes looking forward and what cash revenue it expects to receive. It also allows a company to show assets that do not have a cash value, such as goodwill.

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  1. What is the difference between an accrual and an account payable?

    The difference between an accrual and an account payable is that an accrual is an accounting adjustment for revenue that ... Read Full Answer >>
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  3. What is a profit and loss (P&L) statement and why do companies publish them?

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    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 >>
  5. Who actually declares a dividend?

    It is a company's board of directors who actually declares a dividend. The declaration date is the first of four important ... Read Full Answer >>
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