Method used to determine when revenues and expenses (with associated assets and liabilities) are recognized in the accounts of a firm, and reported in its financial statements. In accrual basis accounting, for example, revenues are recognized when earned and expenses are recognized when incurred, whether or not any cash is received or paid. In cash basis accounting, however, revenues and expenses are recognized only when cash is received or paid, irrespective of the timing of actual sales or purchases.
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