What does overstated mean?

Definition of Overstated

When an accountant uses the term overstated, it means two things:

  • The reported amount is incorrect, and
  • The reported amount is more than the true or correct amount.

As a result of double-entry accounting or bookkeeping, another item is likely to have a reporting error.

Example of Overstated

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

Because of double-entry accounting, if the balance in the account Prepaid Insurance is overstated (too much is being reported) it is likely that the account Insurance Expense will be understated (too little is being reported).

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