Meaning of Accounting – Accounting is the language of business. According to American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) – Accounting is the art of “Accounting is 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 a financial character, and interpreting the result thereof”. Accounting is the process of recording and summarizing financial information in a useful way.
As per this definition, accounting is simply an art of record keeping. The process of accounting starts by first identifying the events and transactions which are of financial character and then be recorded in the books of account. This recording is done in Journal or subsidiary books, also known as primary books. Every good record keeping system includes suitable classification of transactions and events as well as their summarisation for ready reference. After the transactions and events are recorded, they are transferred to secondary books i.e. Ledger. In ledger transactions and events are classified in terms of income, expense, assets and liabilities according to their characteristics and summarised in profit & loss account and balance sheet.
According to American Accounting Association (Widely Accepted Definition)
“The process of identifying, measuring and communicating economic information to permit informed judgements and decisions by the users of accounts.”
In 1970, the Accounting Principles Board (APB) of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) enumerated the functions of accounting as follows:
“The function of accounting is to provide quantitative information, primarily of financial nature, about economic entities, that is needed to be useful in making economic decisions.”
Thus, accounting may be defined as the process of recording, classifying, summarising, analysing and interpreting the financial transactions and communicating the results thereof to the persons interested in such information.