What is Accounting?

Accounting can be defined as the process of maintaining financial records and estimates and using the information to take critical financial decisions. In simple words, accounting is an art of recording all transactions of business and knowing the result of carrying out the business activity.

Historical Perspective

Historians claim that accounting was introduced thousands of years ago using clay tokens to keep records of crops and livestock. Over the years, it has become a sophisticated art which is crucial for maintaining financial stability.

Modern Perspectives

In modern times, many different definitions of accounting have surfaced.

According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, ‘accounting is the art of recording, classifying, and summarizing in a significant manner and in terms of money, transactions, and events which are, in part at least, of financial character, and interpreting the results thereof.’

The American Accounting Association gives a somewhat similar definition of accounting, stating that it is ‘the process of identifying, measuring and communicating economic information to permit informed judgments and decisions by users of the information.’

It is also worth mentioning that the accountancy is a vast field which relies on bookkeeping, auditing, and accounting principles. This should clarify a very common myth that accounting and bookkeeping are same. Accounting is the field which relies on the functioning of bookkeepers.


Account as a Combination of Different Fields

Learning about accounting calls the need to have knowledge of a number of fields. The field borrows a lot from many different fields like:

  • Mathematics: Arithmetic ratio and proportion and many other topics of mathematics contribute towards learning of accounts.
  • Analysis and Forecasting: Objectives of accounting are not limited to maintain accounts and records, but it also involves estimations and projections based on assumptions.
  • Communication: Accounting also involves the art of communicating the right information in the right format to the right sets of people.
  • Computers and IT: With the growing popularity of accounting software systems, the success of accounting relies on the use of these fields as well.
  • Finance: Accounting makes use of principles of finance in many exercises.

What One Needs to Learn to Understand Accounting Fully?

In order to understand precise accounting meaning, one needs to learn about some very important aspects that are relevant to the field. This include:

  • Accounting principles
  • Basic accounting concepts
  • Accounting terminology
  • Accounting exercises and practices
  • Modern accounting trends
  • Importance and benefits of accounting for different individuals and organizations

Accounting is truly the language of modern business setups and is of utmost importance to different groups of individuals like stakeholders, managers, business owners and others. It is much more than the stereotypical image of accountants and accountancy.

Sanjay Bulaki Borad

Sanjay Bulaki Borad

Sanjay Borad is the founder & CEO of eFinanceManagement. He is passionate about keeping and making things simple and easy. Running this blog since 2009 and trying to explain "Financial Management Concepts in Layman's Terms".



4 thoughts on “What is Accounting?”

  1. Last two years, my topic of interest is the need for a new Accounting definition due to improving the role and signification of Accounting in all areas of society. I am in the process of writing a scientific paper on this problem.
    Thank You for this approach.
    Desa K.


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