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What Is Accounting ?
Accounting is defined as the process of identifying, measuring, recording and communicating the required information related to the economic events of an organization to the interested users. It is also referred to as the language of business. At the end of each financial year, businessmen would like to know whether they have earned profits or incurred losses during the year. They would want to know how much the amount owed to them and amount they owe etc. It becomes important to keep a systematic record of each and every transaction of business during the year to attain such information related to the business. The businessman can know his purchases, sales, expenses of the year if he keeps a complete systematic record.
The financial position of the business can also be ascertained with this recorded information, for example the proportion of assets, an amount of capital at the end of the year, amount to be received, amount to be paid. They prove to be very helpful in the assessment of sales tax, income tax as they are accepted as a proof in the eyes of law and courts.
Advantages and Disadvantages Of Accounting -
- Tells Profit and Loss : The net profit earned or loss incurred during the year is given at the end of each year by the profit and loss account. Thus, the information regarding the net results of all the business transactions is provided by accounting.
- Tells Financial Position : The financial position of the business is disclosed by the Balance Sheet prepared at the end of the accounting year. The position and values of assets and liabilities of the business also gets highlighted.
- Comparative Study : Using accounting the owners can compare the current year results with the results of previous years thus helps in keeping a complete systematic record. While taking the managerial decisions, such comparisons prove to be of great importance.
- Does Not Bring The Whole Picture : Financial accounting is concerned with the activities of monetary value. It only includes the quantitative aspects excluding the qualitative aspects. The non- monetary activities like labour relations, quality of goods etc cannot be ignored.
- Does Not Indicate Realizable Value :The amount of cash realized by the sale of assets is not shown by the Balance Sheet. This is because the assets are meant for use and not meant to be sold.
- Accounting Based on Historical Costs : Accounts are prepared on the basis of original (historical) costs. The effect of the changes in price level is not shown in the financial statements. The value of assets is not helpful in estimating the financial position of the business because many assets remain undervalued.
System of Accounting
Double Entry System: It dictates that every transaction has two- fold effect on the business i.e. debit and credit. A transaction is recorded once on the credit side and again on the debit side. Both these aspects are recorded. This is a complete accounting system which is followed by every enterprise.
- Complete Record of Transactions : It shows the correct income or loss, hence is a complete and systematic record of assets and liabilities. Both sides of the transactions are recorded.
- Check on the Accuracy : Accuracy of the accounts can be established with the use of this system by preparing the trial balance.
- Scientific System : This is the only scientific system of Double Entry as compared to the other systems of Book Keeping. The objectives of accounting is also fulfilled.
- Expensive : The maintenance of the books needs a trained and effective staff to work. Such staff demands high salary which makes this system costly.
- Does Not Suit Small Business : This system of bookkeeping is less suitable for small scale business where only a few transactions take place.
- Knowledge of Bookkeeping : The maintenance of the books require sound knowledge of the principles of accounting and the procedure of maintaining them. Not everybody can maintain this system of accounting.
- Single Entry System : It is known as incomplete double entry system. Only personal accounts and cash book are maintained instead of maintaining all the accounts. For some transactions both the aspects are recorded whereas for some, only one aspect is recorded. This system of accounting is is incomplete and unsystematic, hence not reliable.
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