Accounting, also known as accountancy, is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non-financial information about economic entities such as businesses and corporations.
The financial statements used in accounting are a concise summary of financial transactions over an accounting period, summarizing a company’s operations, financial position, and cash flows.
Those who practice accounting and have a good mastery of the field are known as accountants. The terms “accounting” and “financial reporting” are often used as synonyms.
Accounting can be divided into several fields including financial accounting, management accounting, tax accounting and cost accounting. Accounting information systems are designed to support accounting functions and related activities. Financial accounting focuses on the reporting of an organization’s financial information, including the preparation of financial statements, to the external users of the information, such as investors, regulators and suppliers; and management accounting focuses on the measurement, analysis and reporting of information for internal use by management. The recording of financial transactions, so that summaries of the financials may be presented in financial reports, is known as bookkeeping, of which double-entry bookkeeping is the most common system.