Beginner’s guide to Bookkeeping and Accounting Process

In an organization, financial transactions are recorded timely and accurately in the books of accounts. With that recorded information, the accountant analyze, review and prepare various reports. The entire process is known as accounting of which bookkeeping is a very important part.

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Bookkeeping is generally defined as the process of accumulating, classifying, recording and organizing financial information to facilitate day-to-day transaction of an entity for preparing financial statements. Accounting is concerned with collecting, analyzing and communicating financial information to various stakeholders.

Bookkeeping is the record-keeping part of the accounting process which provides the raw materials you need to develop reports such as financial statements . The person responsible for the whole process is known as bookkeeper. A bookkeeper compiles and record information. An accountant analyzes that information and present it in a useful format to stakeholders.

Information for preparation of financial statement comes from the bookkeeping system. Every stakeholders in an organization interested to know following three important things:

  • How much money came in?
  • Where did the money go?
  • How much money is left?

To get answers to above questions, companies prepare financial statements by using the system known as accounting. The  basic  financial  statements of a company includes  the Balance Sheet, the  Income Statement or profit and loss account,  the Statement of Cash Flows, and the Statement  of Retained Earnings. These questions are answered by two reports known as financial statements, Income statement and Balance sheet.

The profit and loss account measures financial performance over the year. The balance sheet states the financial position as at the year-end.

In addition to above two reports, company also prepare statement of cash flow to know how cash moves in and out of the company. This statement of cash flows shows how much cash the business started the period with, what additions and subtractions were made during the period, and how much cash left over at the end of the period.

The Statement of Retained Earnings shows how the balance in Retained Earnings has changed during the period of time for which the financial statements are being prepared.

To reflect company’s financial condition, every business needs to have a reliable bookkeeping system which can provide financial information timely and accurately.

Accountants by using these information, prepare financial statements, income tax return and other reports for various stakeholders.

Accounting goes beyond bookkeeping to prepare various reports and financial statements based on the transactions recorded through the bookkeeping process.

To produce these important financial statements, it is essential for an entity to record every financial transaction timely and accurately. Big and mid sized companies have systematize their process. In  many cases, its handled by computer programs.

We have two systems of bookkeeping: single entry and double entry. You can use single-entry or double-entry based on your business size and complexity. If your business size is big and complex, double-entry system will be best suit you.

Information in accounting system provides has two faces, external and internal. The system followed to provide information to external parties is known as financial accounting. Similarly the accounting system followed to provide information to internal parties within the organization is known as management accounting

is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He lives in Bhubaneswar, India. He writes about personal finance, income tax, goods and services tax (GST), company law and other topics on finance. Follow him on facebook or instagram or twitter.