Accounting, or accountancy, is the measurement, processing and communication of financial information about economic entities. Accounting, which has been called the "language of business", measures the results of an organization's economic activities and conveys this information to a variety of users including investors, creditors, management, and regulators. Practitioners of accounting are known as accountants. The terms accounting and financial reporting are often used as synonyms.
Accounting can be divided into several fields including financial accounting, management accounting, auditing, and tax accounting. Financial accounting focuses on the reporting of an organization's financial information, including the preparation of financial statements, to external users of the information, such as investors, regulators and suppliers; and management accounting focuses on the measurement, analysis and reporting of information for internal use by management. The recording of financial transactions, so that summaries of the financials may be presented in financial reports, is known as bookkeeping, of which double-entry bookkeeping is the most common system.
Accounting is facilitated by accounting organizations such as standard-setters, accounting firms and professional bodies. Financial statements are usually audited by accounting firms, and are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). GAAP is set by various standard-setting organizations such as the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in the United States and the Financial Reporting Council in the United Kingdom. As of 2012, "all major economies" have plans to converge towards or adopt the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
What is accounting?
Accounting is the recording of financial transactions plus storing, sorting, retrieving, summarizing, and presenting the information in various reports and analyses. Accounting is also a profession consisting of individuals having the formal education to carry out these tasks.
One part of accounting focuses on presenting the information in the form of general-purpose financial statements(balance sheet, income statement, etc.) to people outside of the company. These external reports must be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles often referred to as GAAP or US GAAP. This part of accounting is referred to as financial accounting.
Accounting also entails providing a company's management with the information it needs to keep the business financially healthy. These analyses and reports are not distributed outside of the company. Some of the information will originate from the recorded transactions but some of the information will be estimates and projections based on various assumptions. Three examples of internal analyses and reports are budgets, standards for controlling operations, and estimating selling prices for quoting new jobs. This area of accounting is known as management accounting.
Another part of accounting involves compliance with government regulations pertaining to income tax reporting.
Today much of the recording, storing, and sorting aspects of accounting have been automated as a result of the advances in computer technology.
What is Accounting?
Accounting is an information science used to collect, classify, and manipulate financial data for organizations and individuals.
Accounting is instrumental within organizations as a means of determining financial stability. Accountants are responsible for determining an organization’s overall wealth, profitability, and liquidity. Without accounting, organizations would have no basis or foundation upon which daily and long-term decisions could be made. The budgets for marketing activities, profit reinvestment, research and development, and company growth all stem from the work of accountants. Accounting is one of the oldest and most respected professions in the world, and accountants can be found in every industry from entertainment to medicine.
The accounting program at Saunders College of Business prepares students for a variety of career paths. Saunders College of Business, as a college within RIT, places an emphasis on technology and innovation in every program we offer. Our accounting program graduates have more than just a deep rooted understanding of the numbers side of accounting, they are also involved in the implementation of new accounting technologies; as well as taking leadership positions within the field.