What Are the 5 Basic Accounting Principles?

Whether you’re a business owner, investor, or simply interested in understanding the financial health of an organization, grasping the fundamentals of accounting is essential. In this article, we will explore the five basic accounting principles that form the foundation of accurate financial reporting. And who better to guide us through these principles than a trusted Wichita CPA from Wichita Tax Advisors. 


The Principle of Entity states that the financial activities of a business should be kept separate from the personal affairs of its owners or any other business entity. This means that a business’s financial records should be maintained independently and should not be intermingled with personal finances. A CPA can help ensure that a business’s financial statements accurately reflect the business’s activities, enabling sound decision-making.


The Principle of Objectivity emphasizes the importance of recording financial transactions based on reliable evidence and verifiable data. Accountants must use unbiased, factual information to avoid any subjective interpretations. This principle ensures transparency and credibility in financial reporting. A skilled CPA possesses the expertise to gather and analyze objective financial data, minimizing the risk of errors or misinterpretation.


Consistency is crucial in accounting to facilitate meaningful comparisons over time. The Principle of Consistency requires that once an accounting method or principle is adopted, it should be consistently applied in subsequent periods. This ensures that financial statements from different periods are comparable, allowing stakeholders to identify trends and make informed decisions. A skilled CPA from Wichita Tax Advisors can ensure that consistent accounting practices are followed in your business, promoting transparency and accuracy.


The Principle of Cost states that assets and liabilities should be recorded at their original purchase cost. This principle emphasizes the importance of objectivity in accounting, as the historical cost can be verified through documentation such as invoices and receipts. However, it’s important to note that certain assets, such as marketable securities, may be recorded at fair value rather than historical cost. A Wichita CPA can guide businesses in correctly valuing their assets and liabilities based on the principle of cost.


The Principle of Materiality suggests that financial information should be reported if it is likely to influence the decisions of users. Materiality is a subjective concept, and accountants use their professional judgment to determine what information is significant enough to be disclosed. A CPA possesses the expertise to identify material financial information and present it in a clear and concise manner to aid stakeholders in making informed decisions.

In conclusion, understanding the five basic accounting principles is crucial for anyone seeking to comprehend financial statements and make informed financial decisions. Whether you’re a business owner, investor, or simply interested in financial matters, these principles provide a solid foundation. 

If you’re in the Wichita area, partnering with a skilled CPA from Wichita Tax Advisors can enhance your financial management practices and ensure compliance with these principles. A Wichita CPA can guide you through the complexities of accounting, helping you achieve accurate financial reporting and better control over your business’s financial health.