By Xiuli Wang

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Basic Elements of Expense Recognition Expense recognition will typically follow one of three approaches, depending on the nature of the cost: x Associating cause and effect: Many costs can be directly linked to the revenue they help produce. For example, a sales commission owed to an employee is directly based on the amount of a sale. Therefore, the commission expense should be recorded in the same accounting period as the sale. Likewise, the cost of inventory delivered to a customer should be expensed when the sale is recognized.

T-accounts would quickly become unwieldy in an enlarged business setting. In essence, taccounts are just a “scratch pad” for account analysis. They are useful communication devices to discuss, illustrate, and think about the impact of transactions. The physical shape of a t-account is a “T,” and debits are on the left and credits on the right. The “balance” is the amount by which debits exceed credits (or vice versa). Below is the t-account for Cash for the transactions and events of Xao Corporation.

Com 31 Information Processing The Accounting Cycle As you can tell by reviewing the illustration in Part 1, the “+/-” system lacks internal consistency. Therefore, it is easy to get something wrong and be completely unaware that something has gone amiss. On the other hand, the debit/credit system has internal consistency. If one attempts to describe the effects of a transaction in debit/credit form, it will be readily apparent that something is wrong when debits do not equal credits. Even modern computerized systems will challenge or preclude any attempt to enter an “unbalanced” transaction that does not satisfy the condition of debits = credits.

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