Part of owning a business is accounting for income and expenses and there is more than one way to do this. For example, you can follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or choose a non-GAAP method such as cash basis accounting. The format you choose is going to affect the net income you report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the numbers you provide to current and potential investors.
It is important that you choose an accounting method that provides a reasonable level of transparency and reports your business activity in the most accurate way possible. In other words, choosing the wrong accounting method could be misleading. Here are a few things to know about GAAP versus non-GAAP reporting so that you can choose the accounting method that fits your business.