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Is Accrued Income a Current Asset? Easy Guide

Navigating the waters of finance and accounting may often confound even seasoned business professionals. This comprehensive guide will decipher the complexities around accrued income and its classification as a current asset.

A business hosts numerous transactions, many of which result in income that the business earns but is yet to receive. This income in anticipation is termed as accrued income. 

It’s a critical line item, especially on a company’s balance sheet. But, is accrued income a current asset? Herein lies the question that we’ll explore and answer in the forthcoming sections.

In-depth Discussion on Accrued Income

Accrued income, also called accrued revenue or unbilled revenue, stands for income that the company has rightfully earned. However, the firm is yet to bill or receive this income. On the surface, the term may seem straightforward.

You can imagine it as a payment in the pipeline for goods sold or services rendered. The billing and collection of this payment are still in progress. However, under the surface, accrued income plays several roles in the operations, accounting, and financial health of a business.

An integral part of bookkeeping and accounting involves recording accrued income. This income does not reflect as cash in the company’s bank account. 

Instead, it manifests itself as an item on the financial statement, more specifically falling under the assets section. It is an integral process that, coupled with other financial recordings, provides a coherent picture of an organization’s financial health.

The measure of accrued income also aids the business’s management team by providing insights into earnings that are yet to be billed. Thus, it has a guiding role to play when it comes to decision making at different operational stages.

Understanding Current Assets

Current assets, as per established financial and accounting practice, signify assets that a company can smoothly convert into cash within a fiscal year. To put it simply, all the resources which a business can promptly mobilize and reliably convert into cash within a short span form the current assets.

Why is this important? The reason lies in how businesses use current assets. These assets serve to pay off short-term financial commitments or plan for potential investments. 

They act as a buffer to meet unforeseen expenses or seize investment opportunities. Current assets typically include cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, inventory, and accounts receivable.

Is Accrued Income a Current Asset? All You Need To Know

Is Accrued Income a Current Asset?

Entering into the principal question, “Is accrued income a current asset?” The answer is a resounding “Yes”. Accrued income firmly falls under the umbrella of current assets. It bears all the qualifications needed to be placed under this category. It’s an income that the company has already earned and holds a rightful claim to.

Just like other current assets, accrued income also reconciles with the idea of liquidity. Despite its lack of physical presence in the form of cash, the company is confident of converting it into liquid form within the fiscal year.

For instance, consider a billing cycle where the service provider receives payment 90 days after delivering the service. For those 90 days, the revenue from that particular job or service would be accounted for as accrued income.

Effects of Accrued Income on Business

Businesses must closely observe the amounts corresponding to their accrued income. These figures play a primary role in determining the overall liquidity and operational efficiency of the company. 

Firms with high accrued income provide an indication that they are efficiently providing their services or selling their goods.

However, if their collection process is falling behind, it might result in a shortage in terms of operational cash flow. Although the company is doing well on paper, it might fail to meet its liquid cash requirements for daily operations, creating potential liquidity issues.

In contrast, if a company successfully transforms its accrued income into liquid cash, it leads to augmented financial stability. Such a company would experience an increase in available fiscal resources leading to a better poised and more flexible financial situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

In the process of understanding the implications and importance of accrued income, some questions frequently arise.

Is accrued income an asset or liability?

There might be some confusion regarding whether accrued income stands as an asset or a liability. We can safely ascertain that accrued income acts as an asset and not a liability.

The rationale behind this is simple: because it is a part of the income that the company has earned and maintains an authoritative claim, it categorically becomes an asset.

What is an example of accrued income?

To grasp the concept, it often helps to consider an example. Consider a telecommunications firm that introduces a new billing cycle for its customers.

The company offers its services throughout the billing cycle but bills its customers only at its end. Thus, the services the telecommunications company has already provided but is yet to bill by the end of the billing cycle are treated as accrued income.

How is accrued income shown in the balance sheet?

Accrued income has its reserved spot under the ‘Current Assets’ section of the balance sheet. On this widely referenced document, you’d find this line item among other components of current assets, contributing to the total current assets of the firm.

financial assets


To recap, accrued income is a present asset described as an income piece that a company has earned. Although it has not translated into cash flow, it holds a firm position as a current asset. 

This identity as a current asset locates it on the financial statement and signifies a company’s short-term financial prowess.

The process of understanding accounting and fiscal principles may seem like an uphill battle at the beginning. But once the foundations are set and clarity is achieved, they reveal the underlying health, efficiency, and potential of a business. Accrued income, as a component of the current assets, plays a vital role in this exploration.

The importance of these components in making financial decisions is irrefutable. Understanding how much money a company has earned but is yet to receive becomes critical when considering business expansion or investment opportunities. 

Therefore, to make informed decisions, gaining insights about these financial elements is of the essence. Each of these concepts, including accrued income and current assets, interact on a company’s balance sheet and are critical in shaping a business’s path.