Fundamentals of Accounting: Every individual performs some kind of economic activity. A salaried person gets salary and spends to buy provisions and clothing, for children’s education, construction of house, etc. A sports club formed by a group of individuals, a business run by an individual or a group of individuals, a local authority like Calcutta Municipal Corporation, Delhi Development Authority, Governments, either Central or State, all are carrying some kind of economic activities.
Not necessarily all the economic activities are run for any individual benefit; such economic activities may create social benefit i.e. benefit for the public, at large. Anyway such economic activities are performed through ‘transactions and events’. Transaction is used to mean ‘a business, performance of an act, an agreement’ while event is used to mean ‘a happening, as a consequence of transaction(s), a result.
Fundamentals of Accounting
In today’s business world, accounting is considered as ‘the universal language of business’, because it is the vehicle for reporting financial information about a business entity to users such as shareholders and managers. A proper accounting system is essential to any business, whether big or small, in order to manage its daily functions and run it successfully. The main obligation of any business is to maximize profits, minimize losses and at the same time maintain its position as a responsible entity within the society.
So, in the current business world, everybody should have the knowledge of accounting discipline irrespective of the job one is doing. Due to the rapid advancement in business activities due to industrialisation and globalization, the need for people having knowledge of accounts have increased manifold. It is impossible to survive in today’s advanced business environment without adequate knowledge of basic accountancy. Especially all business students should have some background in accounting to understand and interpret and present the results of business.
Introduction to Financial Accounting
Business is an economic activity undertaken with the motive of earning profits and to maximize the wealth for the owners. Business cannot run in isolation. Largely, the business activity is carried out by people coming together with a purpose to serve a common cause. This team is often referred to as an organization, which could be in different forms such as sole proprietorship, partnership, body corporate etc. The rules of business are based on general principles of trade, social values, and statutory framework encompassing national or international boundaries. While these variables could be different for different businesses, different countries etc., the basic purpose is to add value to a product or service to satisfy customer demand.
The business activities require resources (which are limited & have multiple uses) primarily in terms of material, labour, machineries, factories and other services. The success of business depends on how efficiently and effectively these resources are managed. Therefore, there is a need to ensure the businessman tracks the use of these resources. The resources are not free and thus one must be careful to keep an eye on cost of acquiring them as well. As the basic purpose of business is to make profit, one must keep an ongoing track of the activities undertaken in course of business. Two basic questions would have to be answered:
- (a) What is the result of business operations? This will be answered by finding out whether it has made profit or loss.
- (b) What is the position of the resources acquired and used for business purpose? How are these resources financed? Where the funds come from?
The answers to these questions are to be found continuously and the best way to find them is to record all the business activities. Recording of business activities has to be done in a scientific manner so that they reveal correct outcome. The science of book-keeping and accounting provides an effective solution. It is a branch of social science. This study material aims at giving a platform to the students to understand basic principles and concepts, which can be applied to accurately measure performance of business. After studying the various chapters included herein, the student should be able to apply the principles, rules, conventions and practices to different business situations like trading, manufacturing or service.