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The 10 Key Principles of GAAP
  1. Economic Entity Principle. …
  2. Monetary Unit Principle. …
  3. Time Period Principle. …
  4. Cost Principle. …
  5. Full Disclosure Principle. …
  6. Going Concern Principle. …
  7. Matching Principle. …
  8. Revenue Recognition Principle.

10 General Principles of the GAAP

Why is GAAP important and beneficial?

Following GAAP is helpful for investors or auditors who spend a lot of time gathering your companys financial documents. Because so many businesses use these guidelines, it provides for a more streamlined and efficient process for anyone viewing your companys financial statements. For example, if an investor is interested in your business, an organized and uniform financial statement utilizing GAAP will help them make an informed decision. This could be beneficial for you if they end up deciding to invest in your company.

Using GAAP is also important because it sets the parameters for your financial document preparation. For example, GAAP lets you know what to include or eliminate in your financial documents as well as how to organize and format your statements. It can also eliminate the stress by providing you with clear instructions on how to prepare these important financial documents.

What is GAAP?

GAAP stands for generally accepted accounting principles. These principles are a set of accounting rules, principles and standards that allow organizations to organize their financial information. They also allow for the clarity and comparison of accounting records because GAAP is widely used in the United States. The GAAP encompasses a variety of principles, including the principle of sincerity and the principle of materiality. Businesses that release financial information publicly or companies whose stock is traded publicly are required to follow the GAAP. Your businesss financial statements, meaning your income statements, balance sheet and more, must follow the same structure each year.

What are the limitations of GAAP?

Though using this set of guidelines can be greatly beneficial for your company, your accounts and potential investors, there are also limitations that you should take into consideration. Though you might be required to follow GAAP, its still important to understand the restrictions it places. Here are some GAAP limitations:

Why should you use GAAP?

Though not all companies are required to follow GAAP, using these guidelines can be highly beneficial for your companys financial reports. This is especially the case if youd like to compare your companys financial documentation with that of another company to determine how well your business is doing financially. Following GAAP is a great way to create a uniform structure for your financial reporting.

10 GAAP guidelines

GAAP encompasses these 10 principles for structuring your financial documents:

1. Principle of regularity

The principle of regularity means accountants have abided by GAAP rules and methods. This ensures that accountants dont follow their own set of rules, but rather those of GAAP.

2. Principle of consistency

This principle means these guidelines were administered consistently throughout the financial statements documentation process. It also means accountants will prevent any discrepancies in the disclosing of your companys financial statements. Accountants must also be able to explain any changed or updated standards.

3. Principle of sincerity

The principle of sincerity states that accountants will remain impartial when working on your companys financial statements. It also stipulates that they will provide an accurate depiction of how well or poorly your company is doing financially.

4. Principle of permanence of methods

This principle states that consistent procedures are utilized during the financial document preparation. Consistent measures allow for a more efficient comparison process with other financial statements.

5. Principle of non-compensation

The principle of non-compensation means that both positive and negative aspects of a businesss performance are reported in full without a debt compensation prospect. For example, accountants must not seek to repay a revenue with an expense.

6. Principle of prudence

This principle states that only facts will be used in the financial reporting process — no speculation will be considered. For example, revenue amounts should not be over or underestimated. This ensures the accuracy of your companys financial statements.

The principle of continuity stipulates that in the valuation of assets, its assumed that business operations will continue and not be interrupted.

8. Principle of periodicity

This guideline states that financial documents will be distributed during the standard accounting time periods. For example, your companys financial reports will be distributed during a fiscal quarter or fiscal year. They could also be reported monthly.

9. Principle of materiality/good faith

This guideline makes sure accountants aim for full disclosure in their financial reporting. Being honest and practicing full disclosure ensures accuracy in the preparation of your businesss financial documents.

Lastly, the principle of utmost good faith stipulates that all parties must be truthful and honest. In other words, you must provide all “material” information during the financial reporting process.


What are the 10 accounting concepts?

Popular Concepts of Accounting (10 Concepts)
  • Money Measurement Concept: …
  • Business Entity Concept: …
  • Going Concern Concept: …
  • Cost Concept: …
  • Dual Aspect Concept (Accounting Equation Concept): …
  • Accounting Period Concept: …
  • Matching Concept: …
  • Realisation Concept:

How many GAAP standards are there?

What are the GAAP? The Generally Applied Accounting Principles are a set of 10 standards, meant to maintain a certain consistency across companies’ financial statements.

What are the 11 principles of accounting?

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
  • Accrual principle.
  • Conservatism principle.
  • Consistency principle.
  • Cost principle.
  • Economic entity principle.
  • Full disclosure principle.
  • Going concern principle.
  • Matching principle.

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