Hedge Accounting

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DEFINITION of 'Hedge Accounting'

A method of accounting where entries for the ownership of a security and the opposing hedge are treated as one. Hedge accounting attempts to reduce the volatility created by the repeated adjustment of a financial instrument's value, known as marking to market. This reduced volatility is done by combining the instrument and the hedge as one entry, which offsets the opposing movements.

BREAKING DOWN 'Hedge Accounting'

The point of hedging a position is to reduce the volatility of the overall portfolio. Hedge accounting has the same effect except that it's used on financial statements. For example, when accounting for complex financial instruments, such as derivatives, the value is adjusted by marking to market; this creates large swings in the profit and loss account. Hedge accounting treats the reciprocal hedge and the derivative as one entry so that the large swings are balanced out.

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