The generally accepted accounting principle is also known as GAAP. Accounting professionals must follow GAAP when reporting business financials. Using this rule simplifies comparing one's financial statement to a competitor's. This provides you with the opportunity to identify areas for growth for your company. Continue to read more about GAAP in this blog.

What is GAAP?

GAAP is an essential set of guidelines for companies to follow when reporting their financial statements.

Under GAAP, publicly traded companies must abide by these rules. Publicly traded companies are those whose shares are listed on any stock exchange that allows public trading of their shares. Some of the companies you may recognize like Google, Apple, Tesla, etc. are publicly traded companies that follow GAAP.

Accountants must follow the same rules and procedures when handling a business's finances. It is also the goal to develop realistic and objective ways of measuring profit and valuing assets and liabilities.

Following GAAP will ensure that investors can trust the information presented to them. As a result of GAAP, companies are able to improve their credibility and stability, which helps them function optimally in the capital market. Investors are generally protected from misleading or dubious reporting by these principles.

Key Benefits of GAAP

  • Establishes trust with Shareholders
  • Simplifies the process of comparing your performance with competitors
  • It helps find improvement in certain areas 
  • Reduces risk and fraud

What are the 4 principles of GAAP?

Costs, revenues, matching, and disclosure are the four basic principles of GAAP.

Cost principles refer to the fact that all listed values reflect only actual costs, not their market values.

Under GAAP, revenues are reported when they are recognized. Revenue recognition can vary depending on whether an organization uses a cash or accrual accounting method, but GAAP requires it to be acknowledged promptly.

Revenues are matched with expenses under the matching GAAP principle. An organization reports expenses when it sells a revenue-producing item and not when it receives payment or when it issues an invoice.

Disclosure principle, financial information must be included in company financial reports that anyone assessing the company's financial standing would need.

What is Non-GAAP?

Non-GAAP is an alternative accounting technique to evaluate a company's profits. Non-GAAP measures, non-operational costs, such as acquisition costs. Unlike GAAP, Non-GAAP does not have specific rules and regulations to follow. Therefore, businesses that report financial information under Non-GAAP may use a different method. This is where it can get a little tricky when comparing financial documents to other companies to see how well you are doing compared to them.

What is the significant difference between GAAP and Non- GAAP?

Unlike non-GAAP, GAAP is the financial reporting standard for public companies in the United States and provides consistent accurate information on the companies' overall performance. Profit is measured and assets and liabilities are valued in a consistent fashion from business to business. In contrast to GAAP, non-GAAP figures exclude non-recurring or non-cash expenses. Additionally, since there are no standards under non-GAAP, companies may report their financials differently. Due to this, it is hard to compare financial results across industries and companies.

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