Accruals and deferrals

Also known as: Deferred items, prepaid expenses

Accruals and deferrals are a procedure for the annual financial statements with which values in the income statement and the balance sheet can be assigned to the correct accounting period.

Definition / explanation

Immer dann, wenn zum Balance sheet date zwischen Ausgaben und Aufwendungen oder Einnahmen und Erträgen zeitliche Unstimmigkeiten vorliegen, müssen Beträge genau abgegrenzt werden. Die Rechnungsabgrenzung sorgt dafür, dass der Erfolg zeitlich zugeordnet wird.

Accruals and deferrals are prescribed in Section 250 of the German Commercial Code and in Section 5 (5) of the Income Tax Act. A distinction is made between transitory, active, passive and anticipatory prepaid expenses.

Prepaid expenses

Active prepaid expenses

Active prepaid expenses are always addressed if already Payments are made before the balance sheet datethat represent a change in expenses for the next fiscal year.

example - If the insurance is paid for a full year that does not end on December 31, part of the bill must be accrued. If the insurance runs from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, the booking for EUR 5000 could look like this:

Booking record 1
Contribution to insurance 5000 EUR to bank 5000 EUR
Half of the contribution relates to the following year and must therefore be actively delimited.

Booking record 2
Active RAP 2500 EUR in insurance contributions 2500 EUR
In the following year, the active RAP is dissolved again.

Booking record 3
Insurance contributions 2500 EUR to active RAP 2500 EUR
With the third booking record, the active RAP is canceled again.

Deferred income

Deferred income is created if an income was made before the balance sheet datewhich actually only generates income after the balance sheet date.

example - If a customer pays EUR 5000 for a license agreement (period 01/07/2015 to 30/06/2016), EUR 2500 is paid directly to the account, while EUR 2500 must be accrued.

Booking rate for 2015
License agreements 2500 EUR to passive RAP 2500 EUR

Booking rate for 2016
Passive RAP 2500 EUR to license agreements 2500 EUR

Transitional and anticipatory prepaid expenses

Accruals and deferrals - If income or expenditure was made before the balance sheet date and the income or expenditure only affects profit or loss after the reference date. (e.g. rents, fees or charges).

Accruals and deferrals - Income and expenses that have not yet been paid, but already belong to the fiscal year to be closed.

Summary

  • By means of accruals, values can be assigned to the correct accounting period
  • Accruals and deferrals ensure that success can be assigned to a specific time
  • Accruals and deferrals are prescribed in Section 250 of the German Commercial Code and in Section 5 (5) of the Income Tax Act
  • A distinction is made between active, passive, transitory and anticipatory prepaid expenses
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