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Definition

accounting error

What is an accounting error?

An accounting error is a non-fraudulent discrepancy in financial documentation. The term is used in financial reporting.

Types of accounting errors include:

  • Error of omission -- a transaction that is not recorded.
  • Error of commission -- a transaction that is calculated incorrectly. One example of an error of commission is subtracting a figure that should have been added.
  • Error of principle -- a transaction that is not in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles ( GAAP). One example of an accounting error of principle is an expenditure that is placed in an inappropriate category.

If a company discovers that an accounting error significantly affected a previous report, it usually issues a restatement of the original release.

Learn More About IT:

> Linda Tucci explains 'How the SEC's proposed IFRS will affect your accounting systems.'
> John W. Day provides a guide to identifying and correcting accounting errors.
>A.C. Sondhi & Scott A.Taub co-authored 'Revenue Processes at Risk for Compliance Failures and Restatements.'

This was last updated in March 2009

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