Accounting or accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial information about economic entity
Accounting is facilitated by :Category:Accounting organizations such as standard-setters, accounting networks and associations and professional accounting body. Financial statements are usually audited by Accounting networks and associations,
and are prepared in accordance with accounting standard (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 Convergence (accounting) towards or adopt the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). [IFRS Foundation, 2012. [http://www.ifrs.org/Use+around+the+world/Use+around+the+world.htm?WBCMODE=PresentationUnpublished The move towards global standards]. Retrieved on April 27, 2012.]
The history of accounting is thousands of years old and can be traced to Ancient history civilization
[Robson, Keith. 1992. “Accounting Numbers as ‘inscription’: Action at a Distance and the Development of Accounting.” ''Accounting, Organizations and Society'' 17 (7): 685–708.]
The early development of accounting dates back to ancient Mesopotamia
, and is closely related to developments in writing
there is also evidence for early forms of bookkeeping
in ancient Iran
[Oldroyd, David & Dobie, Alisdair: ''Themes in the history of bookkeeping'', The Routledge Companion to Accounting History, London, July 2008, , Chapter 5, p. 96]
and early auditing
systems by the ancient Egyptians
By the time of the Emperor Augustus
, the Ancient Roman Government
had access to detailed financial information.
[Oldroyd, David: ''The role of accounting in public expenditure and monetary policy in the first century AD Roman Empire'', Accounting Historians Journal, Volume 22, Number 2, Birmingham, Alabama, December 1995, p.124, [http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/utils/getfile/collection/aah/id/14276/filename/14276.pdf Olemiss.edu]]
Double-entry bookkeeping was pioneered in the Jewish community of the early-medieval Middle East
[ Parker, L. M., “Medieval Traders as International Change Agents: A Comparison with Twentieth Century International Accounting Firms,” The Accounting Historians Journal, 16(2) (1989): 107-118.] [''MEDIEVAL TRADERS AS INTERNATIONAL CHANGE AGENTS: A COMMENT'', Michael Scorgie, The Accounting Historians Journal, Vol. 21, No. 1 (June 1994), pp. 137-143] and further refined in medieval Europe. With the development of Joint-stock company, accounting split into financial accounting and management accounting.
The first work on a double-entry bookkeeping system was published in Italy, by Luca Pacioli ("Father of Accounting").
[Lauwers, Luc & Willekens, Marleen: "Five Hundred Years of Bookkeeping: A Portrait of Luca Pacioli" (Tijdschrift voor Economie en Management, KU Leuven, 1994, vol:XXXIX issue 3, p.302), [https://lirias.kuleuven.be/bitstream/123456789/119065/1/TEM1994-3_289-304p.pdf KUleuven.be]] Accounting began to transition into an organized profession in the nineteenth century,
Both the words accounting and accountancy were in use in Great Britain
by the mid-1800s, and are derived from the words ''accompting'' and ''accountantship'' used in the 18th century.
[Labardin, Pierre, and Marc Nikitin. 2009. “Accounting and the Words to Tell It: An Historical Perspective.” ''Accounting, Business & Financial History'' 19 (2): 149–166.]
In Middle English
(used roughly between the 12th and the late 15th century) the verb "to account" had the form ''accounten'', which was derived from the Old French word ''aconter'',
[Baladouni, Vahé. 1984. “Etymological Observations on Some Accounting Terms.” ''The Accounting Historians Journal'' 11 (2): 101–109.]
which is in turn related to the Vulgar Latin
word ''computare'', meaning "to reckon". The base of ''computare'' is ''putare'', which "variously meant to prune, to purify, to correct an account, hence, to count or calculate, as well as to think."
The word "accountant" is derived from the French word . The word was formerly written in English as "accomptant", but in process of time the word, which was always pronounced by dropping the "p", became gradually changed both in pronunciation and in orthography to its present form.
[Pixley, Francis William: Accountancy—constructive and recording accountancy (Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd, London, 1900), p4]
Accounting and accountancy
Accounting has variously been defined as the keeping or preparation of the financial records of an entity, the analysis, verification and reporting of such records and "the Generally accepted accounting principles
and procedures of accounting"; it also refers to the Job (role)
of being an accountant
Accountancy refers to the Job (role) or profession of an accountant,
particularly in British English.
Accounting has several subfields or subject areas, including financial accounting
, management accounting
and accounting information system
[Weber, Richard P., and W. C. Stevenson. 1981. “Evaluations of Accounting Journal and Department Quality.” The Accounting Review 56 (3): 596–612.]
Financial accounting focuses on the reporting of an organization's financial information to external users of the information, such as investors, potential investors and creditors. It calculates and records business transactions and prepares financial statement
s for the external users in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles
Management accounting focuses on the measurement, analysis and reporting of information that can help managers in making decisions to fulfill the goals of an organization. In management accounting, internal measures and reports are based on cost-benefit analysis, and are not required to follow the generally accepted accounting principle (GAAP).
In 2014 CIMA created the [http://www.cgma.org/Resources/Reports/Pages/GlobalManagementAccountingPrinciples.aspx Global Management Accounting Principles (GMAPs)]. The result of research from across 20 countries in five continents, the principles aim to guide best practice in the discipline.
An audit of financial statements aims to express or disclaim an opinion on the financial statements. The auditor expresses an opinion on the fairness with which the financial statements presents the financial position, results of operations, and cash flows of an entity, in accordance with the generally acceptable accounting principle (GAAP) and "in all material respects". An auditor is also required to identify circumstances in which the generally acceptable accounting principles (GAAP) has not been consistently observed.
Tax accounting in the United States concentrates on the preparation, analysis and presentation of tax payments and tax returns. The U.S. tax system requires the use of specialised accounting principles for tax purposes which can differ from the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for financial reporting.
U.S. tax law covers four basic forms of business ownership: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability company. Corporate tax in the United States and Income tax in the United States income are taxed at different rates, both varying according to income levels and including varying marginal rates (taxed on each additional dollar of income) and average rates (set as a percentage of overall income).
Professional accounting bodies include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the other 179 members of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC),
including CPA Australia, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Professional bodies for subfields of the accounting professions also exist, for example the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). The Arthur Andersen#Demise following the Enron scandal reduced the Big Five to the Big Four (audit firms). In the United States, the requirements for joining the AICPA as a Certified Public Accountant are set by the Board of Accountancy of each U.S. state, and members agree to abide by the AICPA's Code of conduct and Bylaws. In India the Apex Accounting body constituted by parliament of India is "Institute of Chartered Accountants of India" (ICAI) was known for its rigorous training and study methodology for granting the Qualification.
Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) are accounting standards issued by national regulatory bodies. In addition, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issues the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) implemented by 147 countries.
While standards for international audit and assurance, ethics, education, and public sector accounting are all set by independent standard settings boards supported by IFAC. The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board sets international standards for auditing, assurance, and quality control; the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) sets the internationally appropriate principles- based ''Code of Ethics for Professional Accounts'' the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) sets professional accounting education standards; International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) sets accrual-based international public sector accounting standards
Organizations in individual countries may issue accounting standards unique to the countries. For example, in the United States the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issues the Statements of Financial Accounting Standards, which form the basis of US GAAP,
and in the United Kingdom the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) sets accounting standards. However, as of 2012 "all major economies" have plans to Convergence (accounting) towards or adopt the IFRS.
Education and qualifications
At least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field is required for most accountant and auditor Job (role), and some employers prefer applicants with a master's degree.
A degree in accounting may also be required for, or may be used to fulfill the requirements for, membership to professional accounting bodies. For example, the education during an accounting degree can be used to fulfill the AICPA (AICPA) 150 semester hour requirement, The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) are the most popular degrees. The PhD is the most common degree for those wishing to pursue a career in academia, while DBA programs generally focus on equipping business executives for business or public careers requiring research skills and qualifications.
Accounting research is research in the effects of economic events on the process of accounting, and the effects of reported information on economic events. It encompasses a broad range of research areas including financial accounting, management accounting, auditing and taxation.
[Oler, Derek K., Mitchell J. Oler, and Christopher J. Skousen. 2010. “Characterizing Accounting Research.” ''Accounting Horizons'' 24 (4): 635–670.]
Accounting research is carried out both by academic researchers and practicing accountants. Methodology in academic accounting research can be classified into archival research, which examines "objective data collected from Information repository"; experimental research, which examines data "the researcher gathered by Controlled experiments"; and analytical research, which is "based on the act of Scientific modelling Theory or substantiating ideas in mathematical terms". This classification is not exhaustive; other possible methodologies include the use of Case study, computer simulations and field research.
[Coyne, Joshua G., Scott L. Summers, Brady Williams, and David a. Wood. 2010. “Accounting Program Research Rankings by Topical Area and Methodology.” ''Issues in Accounting Education'' 25 (4) (November): 631–654.]
Empirical studies document that leading List_of_accounting_journals publish in total fewer research articles than comparable journals in economics and other business disciplines
Many accounting practices have been simplified with the help of accounting computer-based software. An Enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is commonly used for a large organisation and it provides a comprehensive, centralized, integrated source of information that companies can use to manage all major business processes, from purchasing to manufacturing to human resources.
Accounting information systems have reduced the cost of accumulating, storing, and reporting managerial accounting information and have made it possible to produce a more detailed account of all data that is entered into any given system.
The year 2001 witnessed a series of financial information frauds involving Enron, auditing firm Arthur Andersen, the telecommunications company WorldCom, Qwest and Jarden, among other well-known corporations. These problems highlighted the need to review the effectiveness of Standard accounting practice, auditing regulations and corporate governance principles. In some cases, management manipulated the figures shown in financial reports to indicate a better economic performance. In others, tax and regulatory incentives encouraged over-leveraging of companies and decisions to bear extraordinary and unjustified risk.
[Astrid Ayala and Giancarlo Ibárgüen Snr.: "A Market Proposal for Auditing the Financial Statements of Public Companies" (Journal of Management of Value, Universidad Francisco Marroquín, March 2006) p. 41, [https://www.webcitation.org/5liW7XCb0?url=http://www.mba.ufm.edu.gt/journalofmanagement/content/ENG_MarketProposal.pdf UFM.edu.gt]]
The Enron scandal deeply influenced the development of new regulations to improve the reliability of financial reporting, and increased public awareness about the importance of having accounting standards that show the financial reality of companies and the objectivity and independence of auditing firms.
In addition to being the largest bankruptcy reorganization in American history, the Enron scandal undoubtedly is the biggest audit failure.
[Bratton, William W. "Enron and the Dark Side of Shareholder Value" (Tulane Law Review, New Orleans, May 2002) p. 61] It involved a Accounting scandals of Enron and their auditors Arthur Andersen, which was revealed in late 2001. The scandal caused the dissolution of Arthur Andersen, which at the time was one of the five largest accounting firms in the world. After a series of revelations involving irregular accounting procedures conducted throughout the 1990s, Enron filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2001.
One consequence of these events was the passage of Sarbanes–Oxley Act in the United States 2002, as a result of the first admissions of fraudulent behavior made by Enron. The act significantly raises criminal penalties for securities fraud, for destroying, altering or fabricating records in federal investigations or any scheme or attempt to defraud shareholders.
[Aiyesha Dey, and Thomas Z. Lys: "Trends in Earnings Management and Informativeness of Earnings Announcements in the Pre- and Post-Sarbanes Oxley Periods (Kellogg School of Management, Evanston, Illinois, February, 2005) p. 5]