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  3. obligation

Binding agreement that will result in outlays immediately or in the future. Amount representing orders placed, contracts awarded, services received, and similar transactions during an accounting period that will require payment during the same, or a future, period. Includes payments for which obligations previously have not been recorded and adjustments for differences between obligations previously recorded and actual payments to liquidate those obligations. The amount of obligations incurred is segregated into undelivered orders and accrued expenditures—paid or unpaid. For purposes of matching a disbursement to its proper obligation, the term obligation refers to each separate obligation amount identified by a separate line of accounting.