Accruals

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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.

BREAKING DOWN 'Accruals'

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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