Companies can choose between two primary accounting methods: cash basis and accrual basis. The adage “timing is everything” captures the biggest difference between them. Cash accounting reflects business transactions on a company’s financial statements when the cash flows into or out of the business. Accrual accounting recognizes revenue when it’s earned and expenses when they’re incurred, regardless of when money actually changes hands. The difference in timing ripples through the company’s income statements and balance sheet, and subsequently affects its tax liability.