The “I Hate Numbers” podcast explores the accounting matching concept, also known as accrual accounting, in finance and accounting. In this episode, we explore what the matching concept is, how it applies, and why it’s essential. We also explore its impact on financial statements, providing practical examples for clarity.

What Is the Matching Concept?

The matching concept ensures that expenses recorded in the same period as the revenues they help generate, offering a clearer picture of financial performance. Various sectors, including non-profits and private companies, use it. Essentially, the matching concept helps understand a business’s true financial state over a specific period.

Why Do We Use it?

Accurate Financial Reporting:
We use the matching concept to produce financial statements that reflect true business performance. Accordingly, matching expenses with revenues provides a more accurate financial picture.

Equally important, the matching concept promotes consistent financial reporting. By applying the same rules consistently, businesses can compare their performance over different periods more effectively.

Decision Making:
With accurate financial information, businesses can make informed decisions. Additionally, matching expenses with revenues allows us to assess profitability and make better decisions.

Compliance and Regulation:
Lastly, accounting standards such as GAAP and IFRS require the use of the matching concept. Businesses must follow these guidelines to ensure their financial statements comply with regulations.


Applying the Concept

Revenue Recognition:
We record revenue when we earn it, not when we receive the cash. For example, if we provide a service in December and receive payment in January, we record the revenue in December

Expense Recognition:
Expenses are recorded when incurred. Suppose we receive a utility bill in January for December’s consumption. We record the expense in December, when the obligation arose.


Examples of the Matching Concept

Wages and Salaries:
We pay employees in January for December’s work. However, we record the expense in December.

Advertising Costs:
Suppose we run an advertising campaign in November and receive the bill in December, paying it in January. Thus, the expense is recorded in November.

Sales Commissions:
If a sales commission is earned in March but paid in April, we record it as a March expense.

Impact on Financial Statements

Income Statement:
The income statement shows revenues and expenses over a period. Hence, matching expenses with revenues provides an accurate picture of profitability.

Balance Sheet:
The balance sheet shows assets and liabilities. Correspondingly,  this is where accrued expenses and prepayments are reflected.

Cash Flow Statement:
The cash flow statement reconciles the difference between profit and cash flow. Though the matching concept does not directly impact cash flow, it helps explain discrepancies between profit and cash flow.

Altogether, the matching concept is crucial for accurate and consistent financial reporting. It allows us to track financial performance, comply with standards, and make informed decisions.

Listen to the “I Hate Numbers” podcast for more insights into accounting principles like the matching concept and how they can help manage and grow your business effectively. Additionally, don’t forget to check out the upcoming launch of the Numbers Know How business community, supported by I Hate Numbers. This community will offer valuable resources and support for your business. Listen to the I Hate Numbers podcast for more tips and insights to help you stay motivated and succeed in your business.