All About Revenue and Receivables

In most businesses, what drives the balance sheet are sales and expenses. In other words, they cause the assets and liabilities in a business.

One of the more complicated accounting items are the accounts receivable.

As a hypothetical situation, imagine a business that offers all its customers a 30-day credit period, which is fairly common in transactions between businesses, (not transactions between a business and individual consumers).

An accounts receivable asset shows how much money customers who bought products on credit still owe the business. It's a promise of case that the business will receive.

Basically, accounts receivable is the amount of uncollected sales revenue at the end of the accounting period. Cash does not increase until the business actually collects this money from its business customers.

However, the amount of money in accounts receivable is included in the total sales revenue for that same period. The business did make the sales, even if it hasn't acquired all the money from the sales yet. Sales revenue, then isn't equal to the amount of cash that the business accumulated.

To get actual cash flow, the accountant must subtract the amount of credit sales not collected from the sales revenue in cash. Then add in the amount of cash that was collected for the credit sales that were made in the preceding reporting period. If the amount of credit sales a business made during the reporting period is greater than what was collected from customers, then the accounts receivable account increased over the period and the business has to subtract from net income that difference.

If the amount they collected during the reporting period is greater than the credit sales made, then the accounts receivable decreased over the reporting period, and the accountant needs to add to net income that difference between the receivables at the beginning of the reporting period and the receivables at the end of the same period.

Finance:Banking & Credit
Personal Finance Solution

All About Personal Accounting

If you have a checking account, of course you balance it periodically to account for any differences between what's in your statement and what you wrote down for checks and deposits.

Many people do it once a month when their statement is mailed to them, but with the advent of online banking, you can do it daily if you're the sort whose banking tends to get away from them.

You balance your checkbook to note any charges in your checking account that you haven't recorded in your checkbook. Some of these can include ATM fees, overdraft fees, special transaction fees or low balance fees, if you're required to keep a minimum balance in your account.

You also balance your checkbook to record any credits that you haven't noted previously. They might include automatic deposits, or refunds or other electronic deposits. Your checking account might be an interest-bearing account and you want to record any interest that it's earned.

You also need to discover if you've made any errors in your recordkeeping or if the bank has made any errors.

Another form of accounting that we all dread is the filing of annual federal income tax returns. Many people use a CPA to do their returns; others do it themselves. Most forms include the following items:

Any money you've earned from working or owning assets, unless there are specific exemptions from income tax.

Personal Exemptions:
This is a certain amount of income that is excused from tax.

Standard Deduction:
Some personal expenditures or business expenses can be deducted from your income to reduce the taxable amount of income. These expenses include items such as interest paid on your home mortgage, charitable contributions and property taxes.

Taxable Income:
This is the balance of income that's subject to taxes after personal exemptions and deductions are factored in.

Finance:Banking & Credit
Personal Finance Solution