Question 1

Define accounting and state its objectives.


Accounting is a process of identifying the events of financial nature, recording them in the journal, classifying in their respective accounts and summarising them in profit and loss account and balance sheet and communicating results to users of such information, viz. owner, government, creditor, investors, etc.

According to American Institute of Certified Accountants, 1941, “Accounting is the art of recording, classifying and summarising in a significant manner and in terms of money, transactions and events that are, in part at least, of financial character and interpreting the results thereof.”

In 1970, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants changed the definition and stated, “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.”

Objectives of Accounting:

1. Recording business transactions systematically− It is necessary to maintain systematic records of every business transaction, as it is beyond human capacities to remember such large number of transactions. Skipping the record of any one of the transactions may lead to erroneous and faulty results.

2. Determining profit earned or loss incurred− In order to determine the net result at the end of an accounting period, we need to calculate profit or loss. For this purpose trading and profit and loss account are prepared. It gives information regarding how much of goods have been purchased and sold, expenses incurred and amount earned during a year.

3. Ascertaining financial position of the firm− Ascertaining profit earned or loss incurred is not enough; proprietor also interested in knowing the financial position of his/her firm, i.e. the value of the assets, amount of liabilities owed, net increase or decrease in his/her capital. This purpose is served by preparing the balance sheet that facilitates in ascertaining the true financial position of the business.

4. Assisting management− Systematic accounting helps the management in effective decision making, efficient control on cash management policies, preparing budget and forecasting, etc.

5. Assessing the progress of the business− Accounting helps in assessing the progress of business from year to year, as accounting facilitates the comparison both inter-firm as well as intra-firm.

6. Detecting and preventing frauds and errors− It is necessary to detect and prevent fraud and errors, mismanagement and wastage of the finance. Systematic recording helps in the easy detection and rectification of frauds, errors and inefficiencies, if any.

7. Communicating accounting information to various users− The important step in the accounting process is to communicate financial and accounting information to various users including both internal and external users like owners, management, government, labour, tax authorities, etc. This assists the users to understand and interpret the accounting data in a meaningful and appropriate manner without any ambiguity.

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