GAO Glossary of Terms Used in the Federal Budget Process

Accounts Receivable

Amounts due from others for goods furnished and services rendered. Such amounts include reimbursements earned and refunds receivable. This is a proprietary (or financial) accounting and not a budget term. Accounts receivable do not constitute budget authority against which an agency may incur an obligation. For federal proprietary accounting, accounts receivable are assets that arise from specifically identifiable, legally enforceable claims to cash or other assets through an entity’s established assessment processes or when goods or services are provided. (See also Accounts Payable; Proprietary Accounting; app. III.)

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Accounts Payable


Accrual Accounting