Accrual basis is a method of recording accounting transactions for revenue when earned and expenses when incurred. The accrual basis requires the use of allowances for sales returns, bad debts, and inventory obsolescence, which are in advance of such items actually occurring. An example of accrual basis accounting is to record revenue as soon as the related invoice is issued to the customer.
A key advantage of the accrual basis is that it matches revenues with related expenses, so that the complete impact of a business transaction can be seen within a single reporting period.
The alternative method for recording accounting transactions is the cash basis.