Introduction and Meaning of Accounting

Introduction and Meaning of Accounting

 Introduction to Accounting 

Over the centuries, accounting has remained confined to the financial record-keeping functions of the accountant. But, today’s rapidly changing business environment has forced the accountants to reassess their roles and functions both within the organisation and the society. The role of an accountant has now shifted from that of a mere recorder of transactions to that of the member providing relevant information to the decision-making team. Broadly speaking, accounting today is much more than just book-keeping and the preparation of financial reports. Accountants are now capable of working in exciting new growth areas such as: forensic accounting (solving crimes such as computer hacking and the theft of large amounts of money on the internet); e-commerce (designing web-based payment system); financial planning, environm­­ental accounting, etc. This realisation came due to the fact that accounting is capable of providing the kind of information that managers and other interested persons need in order to make better decisions. This aspect of accounting gradually assumed so much importance that it has now been raised to the level of an information system. As an information system, it collects data and communicates economic information about the organisation to a wide variety of users whose decisions and actions are related to its performance. 

Introduction and Meaning of Accounting

Meaning of Accounting 

In 1941, The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) had defined accounting as the art of recording, classifying, and summarising 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’.With greater economic development resulting in changing role of accounting, its scope, became broader. In 1966, the American Accounting Association (AAA) defined accounting as ‘the process of identifying, measuring and communicating economic information to permit informed judgments and decisions by users of information’. 

In 1970, the Accounting Principles Board of AICPA also emphasised that the function of accounting is to provide quantitative information, primarily financial in nature, about economic entities, that is intended to be useful in making economic decisions.

Accounting can therefore be defined as the process of identifying, measuring, recording and communicating the required information relating to the economic events of an organisation to the interested users of such information. In order to appreciate the exact nature of accounting, we must understand the following relevant aspects of the definition:

Economic Events


Identification, Measurement, Recording and Communication


Organisation


Interested Users of Information

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