S'il n'y avait pas d'avantages fiscaux, y aurait-il des avantages à la comptabilité d'exercice?

Garrick Saito

Garrick Saito, ancien contrôleur, grande entreprise publique

Répondu il y a 368w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 20.8k et de vues de réponses 79.7m

Some defintions, before we begin.

Cash accounting. Revenue and expenses are recorded based on cash paid or received.

Accrual accounting. Revenue and expenses are recorded based on sales made or expenses incurred, regardless of whether they have been paid. Sales in which the proceeds have not yet been received are recorded on the Balance Sheet as Acccounts Receivable. Expenses incurred but by not yet paid are called Accounts Payable on the Balance Sheet.

The original question contains a false assumption. There are no inherent tax advantages to accrual accounting. The temporal fuzziness actually occurs with the cash accounting system, not accrual. As others have correctly stated, accrual accounting provides a more accurate picture of reality, and are based upon actual events (i.e. sales made or expenses incurred).

I can't imagine any company basing a cash or accrual decision on tax considerations. The decision of whether to use a cash-based system has to do more with practicality. As Peter Baskerville has correctly pointed out, the use of a cash-based system is most appropriate for smaller mom-and-pop type companies no larger than a hot dog stand, where ease of accounting is given a higher priority than accurate monthly results which reflect the reality of what "really" happened.

You cannot "game" the tax system based on what type of accounting system you use -- so says ten of thousands of lines of carefully thought out tax code. If you could, there would be only one clear choice. Taxing authorities understandably want what is due to them and have established a system that cannot be manipulated to any significant degree.

Let's pretend, for a moment, that I were your CFO and you've asked me to create the lowest amount of tax liability possible. That would require me to choose a cash based system of accounting and get the books to the lowest taxable earnings possible (which would ultimately translate to the lowest taxes).

In order for me to do this, I would have to engage in some undesirable business practices (using a cash-based system) by getting revenue to its lowest point and expenses to its highest point possible.

Revenu. Lowering your "book" revenue might involve extending credit to high risk customers who may wind up never paying you (i.e. unwanted bad debt expense) or giving customers unbelievably favorable payment terms (i.e. net 90 instead of net 30). This lackadaisical accounting would ultimately lead certain customers to believe you're in no hurry to receive your money and, again, would increase your risk of unwanted losses (i.e. bad debts).

Expenses. Getting expenses to its highest point would involve paying operating expenses early or perhaps pre paying for services and products ahead of receiving them -- clearly not a good utilization of your liquidity, particularly in conjunction with intentionally slowing down income cash (see Revenu, above).

Now, with all these bad business practices I've set up for you including the creation of poor cash flow and increased risk of bad debts, I may be able to pull off a tax savings during the first year. The word des économies, however, is a misnomer, because the reality is that I have not saved you a dime. All I've done for you is to reporter accounting events into the following accounting/tax year. From a tax perspective, the difference between accrual and cash based systems simply creates a tax liability timing difference (i.e. Uncle Sam says "pay me now or pay me later, but rest assured, vous serez pay me.").

Now, what happens in the next year? Well, now I'm stuck. I won't be able to reproduce what I did in the first year.

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On a cash basis, during he second one year period, I will have exactly 12 months of collections and 12 months of paying expenses. If I continue to do exactly the same thing in year two as I did on did in year one, whatever I could push off (i.e. defer) at the end of year two will be completely offset (eliminated) by what got pushed into year two from what I pushed off in year one. In other words, the intentional manipulation in year one catches up to you in year two, having essentially no favorable effect.

A slippery slope, to which there is no escape.

Natalia Goncharova

Natalia Goncharova, worked at Accounting

Répondu il y a 368w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 69 et de vues de réponses 108k

Accrual accounting is meant to protect/benefit company's stockholders (mostly investors and creditors). While the change from the cash to accrual accounting may impact the tax situation during the year of the change, the underlying reasoning for accr. acc is not meant for tax optimization purposes.

Accrual accounting reflects events as they happen, regardless of when cash changes hands. For example, if a short term security lost half of its value from the point when it was acquired by a company, management must mark-it-to-market to reflect the current asset value. Accr. accounting matches revenues with expenses regardless of when the expense is paid. Revenues are recognized when they are earned and expenses when they are incurred. This way, a company cannot [should not be able to] move a certain expense to the next year (if cash has not been paid), while showing the related revenue in the current year.

The idea is to provide accurate, timely, and reliable information to stockholders for them to make informed decisions and for the markets to functions with some trust level built-in. Timeliness of information is of essence here.

A business with sales of more than $5 mil/y, or with inventory sold to the public and gross receipts of more than $1mil/y is required to use the accrual method.

W. Michael Hsu

W. Michael Hsu, I've helped agencies design and build their entire accounting process & systems.

Répondu il y a 86w


Business have a need to make a profit. Without profit, entrepreneurs are unable to take care of their team, put food on the table for those they love, or survive another day to solve the problem of the world that they’ve set out to resolve with their business.

Accounting was invented to help entrepreneurs obtain an understanding of their business so that they can make the necessary decisions to grow the business. Accrual accounting, specifically, is designed to do that by matching up revenue with its related expenses, account for risks and liabilities, and identify the tell-tale signs of opportunities. Accrual accounting is the tactical skills needed to deliver real actionable financial information to stakeholders.

Thoughts of taxes and tax benefits should come après the strategy and operations of business have been addressed. To save on taxes, you’ll have to reduce your on-paper profit one way or the other. I have yet to meet an entrepreneur who started their legitimate business to “not make a profit.” Somehow, in today’s world, accountants have mistakenly led the world to believe that accounting’s only use was to save on taxes. They are wrong.

For most small businesses - it will make the most sense to use accrual accounting for day-to-day operations and strategy purpose while having your tax accountant to convert your books to cash for tax planning, tax strategy, and tax filing. They are complimentary and not mutually exclusive.

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To learn more about how to use accounting and metrics to grow your business - check out my videos on youtube and other places.

Rudy Fischer

Rudy Fischer, A Certified Management Accountant in Ontario, Canada

Répondu il y a 336w

In accounting, there is a concept called
"matching". You want to match the expenses you incur to (but
not necessarily limited to) a sale, activity or in time. Accrual accounting lets
you match those yearly invoices paid or services received but not yet paid to
revenues earned but maybe not collected.

Following this allows for you to compare your
operations to similar operations elsewhere, provided others follow the same
rules. For somewhat larger businesses, it’s hard to compare one operation using
cash based to one that using accrual based accounting.

That way you can figure out which company you want to
invest in with your retirement savings plan.

Peter Baskerville

Peter Baskerville, a étudié le commerce et la comptabilité à la Queensland University of Technology

Répondu il y a 368w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 1.8k et de vues de réponses 12.7m

I don't believe that tax is the driving force behind the decision to use accrual-basis accounting. Simply put, the primary purpose of accounting is to provide accurate information on the financial position and financial performance of a business so that internal and external stakeholders can make informed decisions about the allocation of scarce economic resources under their control. Accrual-basis accounting performs this role far better than cash-basis accounting.

Accrual-basis accounting is 'proper accounting' in that it applies and adheres to all the concepts, conventions and standards deemed necessary by statutory/governing authorities to accurately report on the financial activities of a business. Cash-basis accounting is a 'cost-benefit' compromise allowed by governing authorities who accept that in certain circumstances the cost of fully complying with accounting standards (accrual-basis accounting) far outweighs the benefits of producing accurate financial reports. Cash-basis accounting is typically appropriate and allowed for:

  • sole traders (tradesmen),
  • small businesses who don't extend credit to customers,
  • non-profits whose primary focus is on reporting funds received and funds used rather than profits and
  • government departments where cash management rather than profit is the primary concern.

Generally any organisation that has many stakeholders, engages in complicated financial operations and whose primary purpose is profit, would benefit from accrual-basis accounting because stakeholders would be able to make better decisions about the allocation of scarce economic resources under their control. For the purpose of accuracy and accountability, publicly traded entities in particular are required by law to use accrual-basis accounting.

The concept of cash flow management, while absolutely vital to an enterprise, is a separate issue to the decision about which accounting basis to use. Financial accounting is primarily concerned with preparing financial reports that accurately report on past financial activities while management accounting focuses on interpreting the past financial reports to plan future financial activities. While profit plans could be based easily on accrual-basis reports the cashflow budget would require the management accountant to analyse the cash implications of accrual-basis reports in order to set sound cash flow predictions. While this does require extra work, the general consensus by stakeholders and governing authorities is that if the costs are not too prohibitive, then accrual-basis accounting is the preferred option when wanting accurate reports on the profit performance and financial strength of a business. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of each accounting basis ...

S'il n'y avait pas d'avantages fiscaux, y aurait-il des avantages à la comptabilité d'exercice?

Answer based on the following article... http://knol.google.com/k/nowmast...

Michael DiLauro

Michael DiLauro, CPA, CMA with over 25 years of accounting experience

Répondu il y a 368w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 63 et de vues de réponses 98.1k

I think it's been answered quite well. So, I'll be brief.

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Accrual accounting is all about, in theory anyway, reality.
The idea behind accrual accounting is to compare apples with apples. Or, put another way, to compare the revenue from your apple sales with the cost (both direct and indirect) of those same apples.
So yeah, accrual accounting is important, if you want a true picture of your operation's, er, operations.

And, in case you're wondering why I said "in theory, anyway", it's because I've all-too-often seen business owners (and their sly number-crunchers) use accrual accounting to enhance their financial statements. You know what I mean? Accrue revenue where none exists, accrue away expenses by plopping them, in various guises, on the balance sheet.

All of which is to say, accrual accounting, while theoretically extremely useful, can also be, very much, like that yappy, always-barking dog. Just when you start feeling smug about having figured it out, it, one day, turns around and bites you.

Hope this helps.

Wray Rives

Wray Rives, CPA CGMA

Répondu il y a 368w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 5.3k et de vues de réponses 5m

I think there is a fundamental advantage in that accrual accounting generally does a better job of reporting the economic reality of a business's operations. Even though cash is certainly king, there are any number of situations where cash basis accounting does not properly match revenue with the costs incurred to generate those revenues. Cash basis accounting actually presents a greater ability to manipulate current profits and earnings through creative use of receivables and payables, than you would achieve with a set of accrual basis financial reports.

As far as the answer applying to publicly traded companies the SEC requires the use of accrual basis accounting.

James Charlie

James Charlie, former Finance Expert at Technology Companies

Répondu il y a 10w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 188 et de vues de réponses 10.7k

The type of accounting method a company chooses will determine how it will record and keep track of finances. According to Entrepreneur - Start, run and grow your business., the two most basic accounting methods are cash and accrual accounting. While cash accounting is a simpler way to keep finances recorded in the books, accrual accounting allows companies to recognize revenue and expenses as they are incurred. Rather than waiting for a cash transaction, accrual accounting will tell your company how well it is performing.

For example, if one pays workers wages at the beginning of the next month(September) for work done the previous month(August) this expense is documented as expenses of the previous month and not of the current.

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