Account stated

An account stated is a financial statement agreed upon by two parties, summarizing the balance due for goods or services provided, which both parties acknowledge as accurate and accept as a binding agreement.
Updated: May 24, 2024

3 key takeaways

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  • An account stated is an agreed-upon statement of account balances between two parties.
  • It serves as a binding acknowledgment of debt or credit owed.
  • This document helps prevent future disputes over the amount due and provides legal clarity.

What is an account stated?

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An account stated is a detailed statement of account balances between two parties that both acknowledge as correct. Once both parties agree to the account stated, it becomes a binding agreement, solidifying the amount owed for goods or services provided. This process is often used in business transactions to confirm the amounts due and prevent future disputes.

Importance of an account stated

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The account stated is important for several reasons:

  • Legal clarity: It provides a legally binding agreement that can be used to resolve disputes regarding the amount owed.
  • Trust: It builds trust between parties by confirming the accuracy of financial transactions.
  • Record keeping: It helps in maintaining accurate financial records, which are essential for accounting and auditing purposes.

How an account stated works

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  1. Issuance: One party (usually the creditor) issues a statement of account to the other party (the debtor) detailing the transactions and the balance due.
  2. Review: The debtor reviews the statement for accuracy, ensuring that all charges and credits are correctly recorded.
  3. Agreement: Both parties acknowledge and agree to the statement, either explicitly (in writing) or implicitly (by not disputing it within a reasonable time frame).
  4. Binding agreement: Once agreed upon, the account stated becomes a binding contract, confirming the amount owed.

Examples of account stated

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  • Business transactions: A supplier sends a detailed statement of account to a retailer summarizing the total amount due for goods delivered over the past month. The retailer reviews and agrees to the statement, acknowledging the debt.
  • Professional services: A law firm provides a statement of account to a client, summarizing the fees for services rendered. The client reviews the statement and agrees to the charges, forming an account stated.

Real-world application

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Consider a scenario where a graphic design company provides services to a client over several months. At the end of each month, the company sends an invoice detailing the services provided and the amounts charged. After a few months, the client requests a summarized statement of all the invoices and payments made. The graphic design company prepares this statement and sends it to the client. The client reviews the statement, finds it accurate, and acknowledges it in writing. This acknowledgment creates an account stated, confirming the total amount the client owes.

Benefits of an account stated

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An account stated offers several benefits:

  • Reduces disputes: By agreeing on the amount due, parties can avoid future disagreements over payments.
  • Legal enforceability: Provides a clear, agreed-upon document that can be used in court if necessary.
  • Improves financial management: Helps both parties keep accurate and up-to-date records of their financial transactions.

Understanding the concept of an account stated helps businesses and individuals manage their financial transactions more effectively and ensures clarity and agreement on amounts due. To further explore related concepts, you might want to learn about invoicing practices, accounts receivable management, and contract law.

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Arti is a specialized AI Financial Assistant at Invezz, created to support the editorial team. He leverages both AI and the knowledge base, understands over 100,000... read more.