Accounting Conventions and Accounting Concepts – Detailed

Accounting Conventions: The Difference Between Accounting Concepts And Conventions

Introduction:  Accounting conventions are a set of standards for complex and ambiguous business operations. While not mandatory or legally binding, these commonly recognised principles ensure that financial statements are consistent. These conventions take into account comparison, relevance, full disclosure of transactions, and application in financial statistics while standardising financial reporting processes.

Accounting conventions address unique challenges that accountants experience when preparing financial statements for some company operations that are not fully covered by accounting standards. When there is ambiguity in commercial transactions and accounting rules fail to handle such difficulties, it is referred to as this.

Types of Accounting Conventions

  1. Conservatism

When generating financial statements, the accountant must adhere to the conservative principle of “playing it safe,” taking into consideration all conceivable loss situations when documenting transactions. While logging assets, two values appeared: market value and book value. Usually, the lower value is used because these rules contemplate the worst-case situation.

  1. Consistency

Once the business has decided on a technique for reporting, it should be followed regularly over the next few years. This approach aids investors and analysts in reading, comprehending, and comparing a company’s financial statements. If a corporation wishes to modify its method, it should do so only when there are good reasons to do so.

There are certain criticisms of this approach, such as the fact that some things are cost while others are valued at market value, which contradicts the accounting principle of consistency. Nonetheless, accounting convention favours consistency in reporting methods throughout time rather than line item consistency in comparison.

  1. Full Disclosure

Even after using the accounting standard, relevant and meaningful information about the company’s financial situation must be disclosed in financial statements. Contingent Liabilities and Law Suits against a firm, for example, should be included in the company’s financial statements as notes.

  1. Materiality

Involves the financial influence of an event or thing, as well as its importance. All events and items that can influence the choice of investors or analysts must be reported by the accountant. The information, on the other hand, should be worthy of study and have a higher value than the expense of preparing statements.

When objects are not material, their materiality allows an accountant to ignore certain accounting principles. Low-cost assets, such as stationery and cleaning supplies, are charged to the expense account rather than the depreciating assets account. Such matters are of minor relevance.

Some Examples of Accounting Conventions

  • If the company built a factory worth $250,000 ten years ago, it should still be worth that much now.
  • Revenues are reported only after they are realised, but an expense loss, which is a contingent obligation, is recorded as soon as it occurs. 

The Importance of Accounting Conventions’

  1. Impact on the Economy: 

Accounting primarily evaluates monetary-valued goods and occurrences. Market leadership, managerial efficiency, and skills aren’t taken into consideration in accounting because they don’t directly represent the financial impact of the business.

  1. Various Entities: 

Accounting conventions ensure that owners’ personal transactions do not conflict with business transactions. Because the law treats businesses and their owners as two different legal entities, this should be respected in business as well.

  1. Conciseness:

 Conventional wisdom focuses on the completed transaction. The sale or transfer of ownership of an asset or product should not be addressed at the time of contracting, but rather after the entire procedure has been completed.

  1. Understanding: 

The information in financial statements should be clear in such a way that investors or analysts reading them can grasp it.

  1. Comparison: 

Many investors and analysts compare a company’s financial statements to those of its peers in order to assess its success over time. They make certain that any information released is presented in a way that is simple for investors to understand.

  1. Reliable: 

They ensure that trustworthy data is separated and disclosed in financial statements.

  1. Neutral:

They claim that an accountant should not have a financial stake in a company and should not have a biased judgement when preparing financial accounts.

Also Read :

Accounting : Objectives For Accounting

Accounting Standards : Limitations of Accounting Standards

Marketing Information System : Example | Process | Components

Financial Statement : Objectives of Financial Statement

Receipt and Payment Account : Types, Format

Accounting Concepts with Examples 

Various accounting approaches necessitate the use of various accounting concepts.All assets are recorded in the books of accounts at their purchase price, which includes the cost of acquisition, transportation, and insurance.

The most significant accounting ideas are as follows:

  • Concepts of business entities
  • Concepts of money measurement
  • Concern for the time being
  • Cost principles and accounting periods
  • Accumulation of ideas
  • Concepts that need to be matched or double-checked

Basic Accounting Concepts (Fundamentals)

  • Basic accounting ideas aid in a person’s thorough understanding of accounting methods.
  • Each accounting notion has its own theory and accounting relationship.
  • They have to do with the economy, spending, and so on, and they aid in a better grasp of accounting.

Concept of Accruals

  • The Accrual Concept is a journal item used to record revenue and costs that have been consumed or generated by a single person.
  • It also refers to a sum of money that has not yet been paid or received. This notion relates to determining how much revenue and expenses were recognised at a given time.
  • A company will not be able to recognise itself without this concept.

An example: The money lender received a loan from the bank and sent out an invoice every month detailing the amount of interest owed. By recording the accrual interest value, the borrower will record the interest value in advance.

The Concept of Conservatism 

  • When there is uncertainty about the results associated with recognising the assets and liabilities that are to be received, the Conservatism Concept primarily acknowledges expenses and liabilities.
  • If a loss is uncertain, the company should lean toward it and recognise it, according to this principle. If this happens again, the corporation should not recoup its losses.

The entity or person should recognise the country’s liability and file a claim against the individual to determine if they are failing or not. Whatever value it has, it must be of the highest quality and acknowledged.

The Concept of Consistency

  • The concept of consistency states that if a procedure is used in business once, it should be used again and again in the future.
  • If the company’s policies are modified for any reason or problem, the business’s nature should likewise change.
  • The financial statement must include the reasons for the change as well as the implications of the change on the business.

 Example: For its equipment, a corporation applies the depreciation technique. Corporations should apply the same procedure and record the changes on their balance sheet, according to the notion.

The Concept of an Economic Entity

  • The major goal of this notion is to keep economic transactions separate or separate from business owners.
  • There is no risk of having a personal conflict or a relationship based on economic conditions if you do it this way.
  • It is employed in most firms since everyone wishes to keep their professional life apart from their personal lives, which is a good thing.

For example, the partners and the firm are both different entities in a partnership firm.

Concept of a Going Concern

  • The business’s financial principles or statements are developed on the idea that it will continue to operate in the future.
  • According to this assumption, revenue and expenses can be deferred in the future while the company is still operating, according to this assumption.
  • If a transaction is not accounted for or acknowledged, all subsequent transactions will be considered.

Example: Companies prepay or incur expenses based on the assumption that the company will continue to function in the future.

Concept Complementary

  • The primary principle of this concept is that if a corporation generates money in a given period, that revenue should be taken into account and recorded during that same period.
  • No considerations will be reported after the period has passed, which may result in an issue with the company’s final transaction sheets or balance sheet.

Example: Expenses should not be recorded until and unless revenue has been produced.

The Concept of Materiality

  • The essential tenet of this notion is that after the company’s readers have reached a decision about the financial accounts, no further transactions can be recorded.
  • Smaller transactions are mostly documented, which indicates the overall amount resulting in financial outcomes, the financial status of the business, and also aids in stating the cash flow statement.

Instead of purchasing a $50 basket in the year in which it is supposed to depreciate, a company is expensing it in the year in which it is supposed to depreciate, as announced by the corporate readers.

Accounting Concepts and Accounting Conventions: What’s the Difference?

The purpose of accounting principles and accounting conventions is to improve the view of financial information from financial statements.

The two names, however, are not interchangeable. The primary distinctions between accounting ideas and accounting norms are as follows.

Abstraction at its most basic An accounting concept is a theoretical opinion or notion used in the preparation of a financial statement for a business firm.

An accounting convention, on the other hand, refers to the procedures and methods used during the creation of financial statements to provide a fair and accurate representation of the financial data.

Process of Formulation

Accounting ideas are established by accounting bodies with the support of legal and governance authorities.

Accounting conventions, on the other hand, are derived from standard accounting procedures that are agreed upon without the involvement of governing organisations.

The process of developing accounting ideas and norms is critical in determining legibility.


Accounting ideas are used to keep track of a business’s financial accounts.

Accounting ideas also cover the recording, classification, and interpretation of an organization’s transactions.

Accounting norms, on the other hand, have the exclusive goal of preparing and presenting financial statements of a company entity at the conclusion of a financial year.

Recognition by the law

Professional bodies, as well as other governance entities, produce accounting concepts that are backed by the law.

Accounting ideas are also acknowledged by accountants and are included in the recommendations to follow while preparing financial statements.

Accounting principles have both worldwide and legal legitimacy in the accounting world as a result of this.

Some FAQ Related to Accounting Conventions and Accounting Concepts

1. What Accounting ideas and Conventions are there ?

Conservatism, consistency, complete disclosure, and materiality are the four most widely accepted accounting conventions.

2. What Accounting ideas and Conventions are there? How have they progressed ?

The “historical cost convention” is the most commonly seen convention. This necessitates recording transactions at the current price and valuing assets at their original cost. As a result, under the “historical cost convention,” no consideration is given to changing prices in the economy.

3. What are the Most Important Accounting Principles ?

Cash basis and accrual basis accounting are the two most used accounting procedures. Many small businesses begin with cash-basis accounting. However, accrual basis financial statements provide a significantly better picture of your company’s financial situation than cash basis statements.

4. What is the distinction Between Accounting ideas and Conventions, and what is the difference between them?

Accounting ideas are recognised by accountants and are included in financial statement preparation standards, whereas accounting conventions are prevalent practices that are not technically recognised as financial statement preparation guidelines.

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