What is the Accounting Process?

Accounting Process

The word “Accounting” brings along with itself thousands of years of history and can be traced back to ancient times. There are proofs which suggest that accounting might be more than 7000 years old. Now, let’s just quickly get back to modern times and try to understand what really accounting and the accounting process is all about.


Definition of Accounting:  Accounting is a set of concepts and techniques that are used to identify, measure, record, classify, summarize and report financial information of an economic unit to the users of the accounting information.

The economic unit is considered as a separate legal entity. Accounting information is widely used by various types of parties for several different reasons. Few of them are;

Who uses it Type of User  Main Purpose
Business Managers Internal For trends, budgeting and detecting performance bottlenecks
Owners Internal To interpret the profit and loss associated with the business
Employees Internal To check the financial health and keep a check on recent developments of  the business
Investors External They provide risk capital, to keep a track of ROI and associated risk
Lenders External Banks, NBFCs etc. they are mainly concerned with the financial stability of a  business to provide loans, overdraft, etc.
Government External Legal purposes of tax calculations, collect state and a country-level data
Research Agencies External To analyze financial health and accordingly provide ratings to the business
Creditors External To analyze the liquidity of a business and deciding a credit limit



Process Flow of an Accounting Transaction

Accounting Process Chart


Example of Accounting Process: Let’s suppose there is a printer that was bought from HP for 5000 which was ultimately shown in the financial statements as an expense to the business.

Now, a purchasing manager looked into the expense at the year-end and recommended (the owners) a few cheaper alternatives to be considered for all future purchases.

Let us understand the ideal accounting process in this case

Process stepExplanation of the steps
IdentifyThe transaction "identified" was the purchase of a printer.
MeasureThe cost of the printer was "measured" as 5000.
RecordThe transaction was "recorded" in books systematically as 5000.
ClassifyThe transaction was then moved to the ledger and "classified" with similar transactions.
SummarizeHere the ledger balance was "summarized" and converted into trial balance and financial statements accordingly.
AnalyzePurchase manager "analyzed" the financial statements at year-end.
InterpretThe analysis leads to the "interpretation" that the printer was costly and cheaper alternatives were available.
CommunicateThis was "communicated" to the owners as a recommendation for future purchases of this kind.


Short Quiz for Self-Evaluation



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