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Meaning of Accounting Income

Accounting income is necessarily a business income because the accountant is primarily concerned with the income of a business enterprise. Its fair calculation for successive accounting periods is the most single purpose of the general accounting reports. The American Accounting Association defines the business income as the increases in net assets measured by the excess of revenues over expenses. The inflow of assets results from selling products and services to customers and is measured in revenue accounts. The outflow of assets in the form of products and services provided to customers is measured in expenses accounts. The increase in net assets resulting form the activity that is, excess of revenue over expenses, is designated as net business income. The accountant has to match or associate the revenues of a given period and expenses associated with these revenues. Thus the concept of business income is a matter of matching revenue with related cost of expense, that is, if revenue is deferred because it is regarded as not yet earned, all elements of expenses related to such deferred revenue must be deferred also in order to achieve a matching of revenue which is essential to a proper determination of income.

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