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An estimate in the accounts of a business of a liability that is not supported by an invoice or a request for payment at the time the accounts are prepared. An accrual is a current liability on the balance sheet and will be charged under expenses in the profit and loss account. Expenses are accrued as set out in the accruals concept outlined in Statement of Standard Accounting Practice 2. An example of an accrual would be telephone expenses, which are billed in arrears. At the end of the accounting period, if no bill has been received, an estimate (based on past bills) would be made and credited to an accruals account; the corresponding debit would be made to the telephone expense account. The telephone expense account is then cleared to the profit and loss account.

Subjects: Accounting.

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