When an accountant states that a reported amount is overstated, it means two things:

  1. The reported amount is incorrect, and

  2. The reported amount is more than the true or correct amount.

For example, a company reports that its prepaid insurance is $8,000. However, the true or correct amount of prepaid insurance is only $7,000. The accountant will say that the reported amount for prepaid insurance is overstated by $1,000.

Because of double-entry accounting or bookkeeping, another general ledger account will also have a reporting error. In our example, if Prepaid Insurance is overstated (too much being reported) it is likely that Insurance Expense will be understated (too little is being reported).

To learn more, see the Related Topics listed below: