Definition: Accrual can be defined as continuous net payments without counting any outlying balance at any time. It is the total of all revenues and expenses associated with a period or any amount of time. It does not include the cash paid to or received by a subcontractor or affiliate for services rendered. 

An accrual is a financial event that usually has an identifiable beginning and end. It can be incurred either in cash or in property or product. The accrual of income occurs when the customer’s earned income is ready for payment.

Accruals are the mechanism by which a company informs its clients about its finances and business and tracks them. This makes accounting a more efficient process because clients will receive regular, accurate statements that accurately reflect their assets and liabilities.

It enables businesses to recognize a revenue stream from a given unit or asset on a different accounting basis from expenses incurred in providing that service.

Accrual can be broken down into two categories

Accrued Revenue

Accrued revenue is a general term used to describe any payment for goods or services currently owed but has not yet been paid for. While this definition could be expanded to include most types of revenue, it generally applies to goods and services sold by a business as it receives payments from customers over time. Sometimes, companies will capitalize payments they receive from outside sources, often referred to as aftermarket or residual revenue.

Accrued revenues give an idea about how much your company is making from its current sales and how much it’s earning from past sales.

Accrued Expenses

Accrued expenses happen when you have incurred costs for goods or services you received and continue to use even though the original provider has not met their burden. Accrued expenses are recorded as liabilities for tax purposes and include the cost of property, labor, maintenance, equipment, or repairs.

Accrual is a significant accounting term for companies that produce goods and services. Accruals are records kept by a company that shows how much cash has been received, how much cash is needed in the reserves, and the cash requirements from various future events.