What is accounting?  (Part 1)

Accounting is the process of gathering, summarizing, analyzing and communicating financial information.

It provides a picture of an organization's financial position at a particular point in time as well as its operations/trends over time through the use of financial statements.

Unlike bookkeepers who record transactions after they have occurred, accountants must understand how to record those transactions before they actually happen; this is known as accrual accounting.

This allows organizations to make informed decisions about their future based on what has (or will) actually happened rather than what people think may happen (e.g., the best estimate).

Accounting involves not only recording but also classifying and summarizing that raw data into meaningful information (...)

(...) That managers can use to decide whether or not to approve investment opportunities, start new ventures, expand/contract operations, etc.

Accounting provides information about an organization's financial situation and helps managers decide where to take the business in the future.

It demonstrates what has happened so far this year (up until the end of the quarter) (...)

(...) While also providing some idea of how it will end up at year-end based on what is known about how it has progressed thus far.

Accounting serves as a basis for making decisions that affect economic factors such as assets, liabilities, income, expenses, capital, dividends, etc.

It also assists in ensuring compliance with laws concerning finance.

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