What are the meanings between 'incur' and 'occur' in accounting?

As long as you make payments as agreed and on time, you usually will have no legal difficulty. The use of accruals allows a business to look beyond simple cash flow. In a cash-based accounting approach, a company records only the transactions where cash changes hands. Accruals form the base for accrual accounting and incorporate all transactions, including accounts receivable, accounts payable, employee salaries, etc. Recording an amount as an accrual provides a company with a more comprehensive look at its financial situation.

Difference Between Incurred Expenses & Paid Expenses

It provides an overview of cash owed and credit given, and allows a business to view upcoming income and expenses in the following fiscal period. Incurred Losses — the total amount of paid claims and loss reserves associated with a particular time period, usually a policy year. It does not ordinarily include incurred but not reported (IBNR) losses. Thisaccrual accountingconcept requires businesses to record expenses when they are incurred rather than when they are paid. This way the expenses are of the company are recorded in the same period as the revenues related to those expenses.

What does it mean for an expense to be incurred?

An incurred expense is a cost that your business owes when receiving goods or services. Paid expenses are incurred expenses that you have paid for. For example, when you actually pay off the credit card used to buy supplies, the incurred expense becomes a paid expense.


Though you don’t exchange cash, you’re obligated to pay the accrued liability in the future. Accrued liability and accrued expense can be used interchangeably. Accrual accounting is based on the matching principle that ensures that accurate profits are reflected for every accounting period. The revenue for each period is matched to the expenses incurred in earning that revenue during the same accounting period. For example, sale commission expenses will be recorded in the period that the related sales are reported, regardless of when the commission was actually paid.


This concept is called thematching principle.GAAPrequires that the matching principle be used on all financial accounting and statements in order to present a consistent picture of the company’s activities. For example, if you bought a new couch in January and paid cash, you incurred that expense when you ordered it. If you purchased a new computer in February and put it on a credit card, you incurred the expense in February, even if you won’t pay the credit card company until later. If you bought a car with a loan, you have incurred the expense of the loan, including the down payment, monthly payments, interest and turn-in fees.

Actual legal liability for something is what satisfies the definition of incurred. Most insurance and reinsurance contracts are meant to respond to real claims and associated expenses—those actually incurred by the relevant party. Actual legal liability for the expense or loss is what triggers the obligation. Based on the definitions above, it appears that “incurred” refers to becoming liable or subject to an obligation, be it a claim, a loss, an expense, or another legal obligation. In other words, there has to be a real legal obligation or liability, not a theoretical or expected obligation or liability.

Words nearby incur

  • Actual legal liability for the expense or loss is what triggers the obligation.
  • Actual legal liability for something is what satisfies the definition of incurred.

The question for the court was which charges the policyholder in fact incurred. The court held that, under New York law, an insured must at some point be legally liable to pay that charge, even if that liability is later extinguished prior to payment by the policyholder. Here, the policyholder was never liable for those charges, and she was never charged the difference by her doctors. Accordingly, she never “incurred” those charges, and the complaint was properly dismissed. If you cannot meet the financial obligations of your business, the company may declare bankruptcy.

Incurred debt always requires some action by the person or company that acquires it. Often the action is the signing of a loan, rental lease or service contract. Another key feature of incurred debt is that it typically remains valid for a specific amount of time. For example, you may have a mortgage that lasts 30 years. The last key feature of incurred debt is that it decreases the amount of disposable income you have available.

Will be incurred meaning?

verb (used with object), in·curred, in·cur·ring. to come into or acquire (some consequence, usually undesirable or injurious): to incur a huge number of debts. to become liable or subject to through one’s own action; bring or take upon oneself: to incur his displeasure.

Example sentences from the Web for incurred

For instance, when a business hires a contractor to do work for a day, it incurs an expense because the contractor expects payment for the services that he has performed. If the business gives the contractor cash for the services performed at the end of the day, the incurred expenses become a paid expense. For instance, if you pay a bill with a credit card because your paycheck arrives late and you subsequently pay the credit card balance as soon as possible, you may avoid financial trouble. Additionally, taking on debt sometimes allows people and businesses to pursue ventures that otherwise would be impossible. Also, incurring some debt is required to obtain a favorable credit rating, provided that debt is handled responsibly.

When you pay the amount due, you reverse the original entry. Usually, accrued liabilities occur in one period, and you pay the expense in the next period.

Incurred debt is negative, however, when the amount you owe exceeds the amount you can repay, or when the lack of proper budgeting and payment planning prevents you from paying the debt off. Accrual accounting is built on a timing and matching principle. At that time, you owe a debt, so the entry is a liability.

Part of this incurred expense — the down payment — has been paid, while the rest is still due. Allowing too many incurred expenses to accumulate without paying them off can be dangerous because it may make it more difficult to do so. Businesses often take out loans to fund purchases, but loans do little more than delay payment of incurred expenses. If your company amasses too much debt and too many outstanding expenses, it might be unable to meet its obligations, which can lead to default.

For example, if your business receives $10,000 worth of goods from a supplier who expects payment within the next month, the business has incurred a $10,000 expense. If a small-business owner uses his credit card to buy supplies for his company, the amount he puts on the credit card is an incurred expense because he has to pay it back at some point in the future. When you incur a debt, your creditor, lender or service provider has a right to repayment. If you fail to repay what you owe, the people or company to whom you owe money may sue you to collect your debt.

You enter an accrued liability into your books at the end of an accounting period. In the next period, you reverse the accrued liabilities journal entry after paying the debt. An accrued liability occurs when you gain a debt, or incur an expense that you have not paid. For example, you receive a good now and pay for it later.

Bankruptcy is a legal process that allows a business to sell off its assets and close its doors or restructure to continue operations. Bankruptcy can cancel or reduce certain debts, which makes it easier for you to pay off incurred expenses that remain. Bankruptcy is typically considered a method of last resort for dealing with accumulated expenses, as it can have a severe negative impact on the business’s ability to qualify for credit. An incurred expense is a cost that your business owes when receiving goods or services. In business, the phrase “incurred expenses” typically refers to costs incurred that have not been paid.

The word “incurred” is used in various contexts in insurance and reinsurance. We all think we know what it means, but do we all agree? Losses are incurred, obligations to pay are incurred, expenses are incurred, and liabilities are incurred under various forms of insurance and reinsurance agreements.