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WHAT ARE ACCOUNTING CONCEPTS AND CONVENTIONS


Posted by Valentine Uwakwe in Uncategorized May 19, 2012

131 Votes

Accounting concepts and conventions evolved as a result of information needed by the users of
accounting information which became conflicting over time because of different methodology or
procedure used in its preparation .it was thereby adopted to ensure that accounting information is
presented accurately and consistently
Accounting concepts and conventions could be defined as ground or laid down rules of accounting that
should be followed in preparation of all accounts and financial statements.
There are different kinds of accounting concepts and conventions
The concepts include
i. GOING CONCERN CONCEPT
Giving the fact that a business entity is solvent and viable this concept assumes the notion that the
business unit will have a perpetual existence and will not be sold or liquidated
ITS IMPORTANCE
It supports the use of historical cost concept in measuring assets such as; supplies equipments etc. that
will be used in operation of a business. Without the Going concern concept accounts will be drawn up
on a winding up basis.
ii. ENTITY CONCEPT
This concept states that every business unit not withstanding its legal existence is treated a separate
entity from the body or bodies that owe it, this implies that its existence is distinct from its owner(s).
ITS IMPORTANCE
It records and reflects the financial activity of the specific business organization and not of its owner(s)
or employees. It is also important because it ensures that a company and its owner(s) can contract and
sue each other incase of any misunderstanding arising in the future.
iii. MATCHING OR ACCURAL CONCEPT
This concept states that in an accounting period the earned income and the incurred cost which earned
the income should be properly matched and reported for the period. This concept is also universally

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accepted in Manufacturing, Trading organization.
Points to considered when matching
1. Outstanding expenses though not paid for in cash are shown in the profit and loss accounts.
2. Prepaid expenses are not shown in profit and loss accounts
3. Income receivable should be added in the revenue
4. Income receivable in advance should be deducted from revenue
ITS IMPORTANCANCE
Accrual concept attempt to correctly match all the accounting expenses (cost) to income (revenue) to
the time it occurs at that accounting period. It also enables all revenue and expenditure of an accounting
period to be recognized. It helps specify the profit of the organization in the accounting period.
iv. REALISATION CONCEPT
Realization concept encourages the periodic recognition of revenue as soon as it can be measured and
the value of the assets is reasonably certain
In realization the revenue are realized in three basis
1. Basis of cash
2. Basis of sale
3. Basis of production.
ITS importance
It encourages the recognition of transaction and profit arising from them at the point of sale or transfer
of ownership
v. HISTORICAL COST CONCEPT
This concept implies that all assets acquired, service rendered or received, expenses incurred etc. should
be recorded in the books at the price at which it was acquired
(Its cost price). The cost is distinct from its value and the record does not signify the value. It also holds
that cost is the most reliable and verifiable value at which a good is or services should be initially
recognized.
ITS importance
It allows the record of all transaction no matter how minute it may be before it might or might not be
subjected to depreciation.
vi. DUAL ASPECT CONCEPT
This concept ensures that transaction are recorded in books at least in two accounts, if one account is
debited its also credited with the same amount in a different account. The recording system is also
known as double entry system. Assets = Liabilities + Capital.
vii. MONEY MEASUREMENT CONCEPT
This concept states that an item should not be recorded unless it can be quantified in monetary terms in
other words it specifies that accountants should not record facts that are not expressed in money terms.
ITS importance
This concept could be said to be efficient because money enables various things of diverse nature to be
added together and dealt with.

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THE VARIOUS KINDS OF CONVENTION INCLUDE
i. CONSISTENCY: It states that accounting method used in one accounting period should be the same as
the method used for events or transactions which are materially similar in other period (i.e. accounting
practices should remain unchanged from period to period ). This also involves treatment of transaction
and valuation method. Consistency is also advisable so that the comparison of accounting figures over
time is meaningful. Consistency also states that if a change becomes necessary, the change and its effect
should be clearly stated.
ITS importance
As stated by D.VICTOR consistency in accounting is an important assumption that facilitates
comparability for information users. It also encourages reliability and fair presentation.
ii. MATERIALITY
According to AMERICAN ACCOUNITNG ASSOCIATION, an item should be regarded as material if there is
reason to believe that knowledge of it would influence decision of informed investors. An item is also
considered material if its omission or misstatement could distort the financial statement such that it
influences the economic decision of users taken on the basis of financial statement.
ITS importance
It helps prevent records to be unnecessarily being over burden with minute details.
iii. PRUDENCE OR CONSERVATISM
This is an accounting practice that emphasizes great care in the anticipation of possible gains while
possible losses are efficiently provided for. Prudence requires an accountant to attempt to ensure that
the degree of success is not overstated. It also makes provision for possible bad and doubtful debts out
of current years profit.
ITS importance
A strict application of prudence convention would ensure that profits and assets of the firm are not
overstated.
iv. OBJECTIVITY
This convention states that the financial statement should be made on verifiable evidence.
ITS importance
It gives proof of a transaction in an objective manner in contrast to subjectivity or dependence on the
verifiable opinion o the accountant preparing the financial statement.
v. DISCLOSURE
It states that information relating to the economic affairs of the enterprise which are of material interest
should be clearly disclosed to the readers.
ITS importance
it discloses sufficient information which is of material in trust to owners,present and potential creditors
and investors. It also helps the reader not to be misled in anyway by hearsay.
2. PROBLEMS AFFECTING ACOUNTING CONCEPTS AND CONVENTIONS
There are many problems arising from the application of these laid down principles. They include
i. The Problem of Objectivity: There are many aspects of accounting that ensures that objectivity cannot
be universally appliable in the peparation of accounts. e.g. the different value of the charge rate of
depreciation by accountants.

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ii. The Problem of Consistency: Most times because of the method employed in treating certain items
may vary (i.e. the items) from time to time making the concept of consistency to be applied more and
more rigid. This problem can also be seen in short term manipulation of reported result.
iii. Problem of materiality: In materiality deciding what is and what is not material is a problem and this
concept does not apply while recording cash transaction thereby leading to small amounts being
omitted from the cash book on the ground that they are not material.
iv. Problem of Prudence: Conservatism to an excess degree will result in the creation of secret reserves.
v. Problem of Realization: This problem arises in the case of revenue recognition and the valuation of
closing stock whereby the general principle for valuation of inventory is to take the lower of cost and
realizable value. It also asks the question at what stage can profit be deemed to have been realized?
vi. A Problem also arises where accounting concept and convention conflict with each other and one
may at a time override the application of the other. E.g. Conflict of Money Measurement and
Materiality.
This arises where only items quantifiable in monetary terms are recorded but some smallish items can
also be measured thereby contradicting materiality etc.
vii. Problem of Going Concern Concepts: This arises whereby sales are made but the customers with the
notion of the perpetual existence of the firm in mind might delay the payment of the item acquired
thereby leaving the firm with no cash and this gradually leads to the dwindling of the business.
viii. Problem of Money Measurement: Transactions which cant be expressed in money terms do not
find a place in the books of account though they might be useful in business.
3. EXAMINE THE NEED AND RELATIONSHIP IN ACCOUNTING CONCEPTS AND ADJUSTMENT IN
ACCOUNTING.
First let us specify the meaning of Adjustment.
Adjustments can be said to mean transactions which have not yet been journalized by the end of an
accounting period and appended to the trial balance. They are called adjustment because the
transactions are incorporated by mathematical adjustment to the figures of ledger account balances.
It also involves two kinds
Accrual Adjustment: (This is adjustment for revenue and expenses that are matched to dates before
the transaction has been recorded).
Deferrals Adjustment: (This is adjustment for revenue and expenses that are matched to date after the
transactions have been recorded)
THE NEED AND RELATIONSHIP.
Adjustment is vital in accounting in order to adjust expenses and revenue to the accounting period
where they actually occurred.
It is also needed so that omissions can be accounted for and errors corrected. These entries are made so
that revenue and expenses are reported in appropriate accounts with the correct amount. Adjustments
are also needed to reflect the actual value of a service/product at the end of the period.
Giving the fact that adjustments are based on reality and not on source documents, this strengthens and
view its relationship with the concept of realization, accrual etc. Adjustment entries also agrees with the
objectivity convention (which states that financial statements should be made on verifiable evidence)
which can be seen as a result of the depreciation of items as time goes on some assets will require to be

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adjusted, verified and accounted for and this is done using mathematic calculation as evidence.
Adjustments also encourage accountants to be consistent in their method of recording and updating the
general ledger accounts. It is also needed to bring items such as inventory in line with physical stock
counts typically held at the end of the year.
4. CONCLUSION
Accounting concept and convention implies that those who prepare accounts should prepare it with the
intention of clarity such that it will be understandable to its users. Its usage also makes it easy for users
to compare the performance of similar companies in the same industry.
As up to date means bringing the income statement and balance sheet in line with the accrual basis of
accounting, Adjustment entries could be said to be very crucial in recording transaction and bringing it
up to date.
Accounting concept, convention and adjustments in accounting also assist users to form, confirm or
review a report to ensure that accounts do indeed portray accurately the business activities.
RECOMMENDATION
It is recommended that when a firm chooses to treat items such as depreciation in a particular way, it
should go on using that method year after year but when it is necessary to change the used method,
then an explanation of the change and its effects on result must be shown as a note to the accounts
being presented.
It is also advisable to record every cash transaction in the cashbook regardless of the amount.
In adjustment it is recommended to prevent inadvertent omission of some adjustment entries, it is
helpful to review the ones from previous accounting period.
Accountants can also avoid error in adjustment which can be as a result of not knowing all the deduction
he/she has.
It is also recommended that conservation should not be over stretched to the point where it might
eventually result in distorting the financial result.
When an accountant has a choice between two alternatives treatment he/she should select the one that
shows a less encouraging position of the financial statement.
Every accountant is also expected to apply judgment in the best interest of the general public.