Revenues are one of the most important drivers of any business—maybe the most important. A company could have the greatest product in the world, but if the sales force isn’t selling that product, the company can’t produce it. Without revenues, a company won’t be able to attract investors, pay suppliers or employees, build factories, or even market the product.
In addition, especially for business-to-business companies that take a product from idea to production to distribution to the consumer, being able to transact business without waiting for cash to change hands is extremely important in today’s fast-paced world.
We have revenue recognition rules in accounting that give us guidance on how to apply our accrual concepts to actual transactions, and we have rules and guidelines for recognizing accounts receivable that include how to account for uncollectible accounts.
But, as accountants, our responsibilities go far beyond just recording and reporting. We help manage cash flow by tracking and identifying delinquent accounts, helping to factor receivables, and facilitating transactions through notes and other financing arrangements (such as leases).
Finally, in addition to just tracking the numbers in and out of the journals and ledgers, we are the repository of all the detailed information that goes into the notes that accompany the financial statements. Our responsibility is large, and that is why accountants can be such a valuable member of any business team.