The following is an excerpt from a conversation between Monte Trask and Jamie Palk just before they boarded a flight to Berlin on American Airlines. They are going to Berlin to attend their company’s annual sales conference.
Monte: Jamie, aren’t you taking an introductory accounting course at college?
Jamie: Yes, I decided it’s about time I learned something about accounting. You know, our annual bonuses are based on the sales figures that come from the accounting department.
Monte: I guess I never really thought about it.
Jamie: You should think about it! Last year, I placed a $900,000 order on December 27. But when I got my bonus, the $900,000 sale wasn’t included. They said it hadn’t been shipped until January 5, so it would have to count in next year’s bonus.
Monte: A real bummer!
Jamie: Right! I was counting on that bonus including the $900,000 sale.
Monte: Did you complain?
Jamie: Yes, but it didn’t do any good. Sophia, the head accountant, said something about matching revenues and expenses. Also, something about not recording revenues until the sale is final. I figured I’d take the accounting course and find out whether she’s just jerking me around.
Monte: I never really thought about it. When do you think American Airlines will record its revenues from this flight?
Jamie: Hmmm, I guess it could record the revenue when it sells the ticket . or when the boarding passes are taken at the door . or when we get off the plane . or when our company pays for the tickets . or I don’t know. I’ll ask my accounting instructor.
Discuss when American Airlines should recognize the revenue from ticket sales to properly match revenues and expenses.

  • CreatedFebruary 04, 2014
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