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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Business accounting basics

Accounting involves the taking of financial information and organizing it in ways that are representative of fiscal scenarios at given points in time. In other words, accounting re-configures financial data into things like spreadsheets, account records, financial statements, financial reports, forecasts analysis etc. This enables business owners, managers, financial analysts, government agencies, shareholders, clients etc. to be more aware of events as represented through accounting.

Small-business accounting
Business bookkeeping organizes and optimizes financial management
Accounting is regulated by federal acts of legislation and generally accepted accounting principles GAAP. Specific titles within legislative Acts govern how particular aspects of the practice of accounting is carried out. For example, public corporations may be required to produce financial statements every three months and those financial statements should generally conform to standardized accounting principles, be audited and accurate.

The field of accounting is quite broad and spans a number of areas such as managerial accounting, tax accounting, financial accounting, cost accounting etc. The profession can involve significant training, has varying levels of expertise, and requires considerable accuracy, diligence and passion for numbers and organizing of numerical information. Important aspects of accounting education, compliance and regulation can be summarized categorically in the following sections.

Accounting classes

Business schools and professional training programs offer accounting classes at various levels. These classes can help prepare the individual for a career in accounting by equipping them with the necessary know how, and skills. Accounting classes can also be taken through online programs.

Accounting courses

Accounting courses are a series of individual classes that focus on a specific topic or course of curriculum. Courses in accounting are taught by instructors and/or professors and are sometimes part of an accounting program. Completion of an accounting course may allow an accounting student to receive educational credit.

Business accounting

In the field of business, certain types of accounting methods and techniques are utilized. Business accounting involves invoicing of clients, maintaining of client and creditor account records, preparation of account statements and paying of bills. Other aspects of business accounting involve tax reporting, cost analysis, account research and financial organization.

Accounting education

To become familiar with the practice of accounting, and education is often necessary. Accounting education may include a series of workshops, a single class, a course or a program and is aimed at the task of learning and achieving knowledge of aspects of accounting.

Online accounting

Accounting classes can be taken online through online schools. Accounting can also be practiced online through educational accounting simulations or real life online applications. Online accounting makes use of the internet to learn, practice and engage in accounting via world wide web resources.

Accounting training

New jobs and careers in accounting may require one to retrain despite an existing knowledge of accounting. For example, a company may use a different accounting software and/or accounting record-keeping system making the need to train necessary. Accounting training may be provided by colleagues or professional trainers.

CPA review

Certified Public Accountants (CPA's) must pass an accounting examination to achieve licensure. CPA review helps examinees prepare for the CPA exam with greater confidence and knowledge. CPA review may also involve study of previous CPA exams and specific content requirements recommended by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Nonprofit accounting

When a business is non-profit it is not allowed to retain earnings as profit. This can have a considerable impact on the financial accounting and record-keeping practices of a non-profit organization. Additionally, non-profit businesses are subject to different accounting practices than for profit companies.

Sarbanes-Oxley compliance

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is a U.S. legislated system of accounting that institutes stronger accountability toward accurate financial reporting by public companies. It also aims to reduce accounting fraud through stronger audit mechanisms, penalties, and greater executive affiliation with the accounting process.

Financial reporting

Companies that pay taxes, have shareholders, boards of directors and managers utilize financial reporting as a means of analyzing, organizing and complying with accounting regulations. Financial reporting helps a company and its owners measure financial performance and allow tax authorities to assess corporate observance of tax law.

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