ContentThe best accounting software for your small businessHow to Pick an Accounting Method for Your BusinessReady to create your first business? Start your free trial of Shopify—no credit card required.Differences Between Cash-basis vs. Accrual-basis AccountingCash or Accrual Accounting for Your Small Business

Accrual basis accounting provides a better representation of performance. The third option is accrual accounting—balancing revenue earned in each period against the operational expenses occurred in generating that revenue. As noted in our example above, SaaS companies bear the burden of reporting revenue incrementally over time to align with each customer’s service agreement. Accrual accounting offers the best way to reconcile these agreements and provide a clear view of revenue trends and growth month after month. Cash-based accounting is an easy option for companies wanting to get their foot in the door, but its simplicity only goes so far. While the cash in/cash out methodology works well for simple transactions, it becomes less effective as accounting needs become more complex. As your company grows and multiple payment models are introduced alongside pre-paid discounts, new pricing tiers, and differing service contracts, cash accounting will slowly lose its usefulness.

If your company is currently using the cash basis method of accounting and feel it may be time to transition to an accrual method, we can help. Once you connect your business bank accounts and credit cards to a software, financial transactions show up in a queue and are grouped into categories. Once you approve of the categories, transactions automatically settle in your financial statements. Remember, to get a small business loan, you’ll likely have to provide financial statements—a balance sheet and income statement at the very least, possibly a cash flow statement well. Shopify Capital [...]