Financial Accounting

07/07/2020 3 By indiafreenotes

Financial Accounting is concerned with providing information to external users. It refers to the preparation of general purpose reports for use by persons outside a business enterprise, such as shareholders (existing and potential), creditors, financial analysts, labour unions, government authori­ties, and the like. Financial accounting is oriented towards the preparation of financial statements which summarise the results of operations for selected periods of time and show the financial position of the business at particular dates.


Maintain Business Record

Financial accounting records each and every transaction of business organization. It systematically maintains a proper book of accounts of all monetary transactions. Unlike human memory which has a limited capacity to remember things, financial accounting can record large amounts of transactions.

Prevention and Detection of Fraud

Avoidance and detection of frauds or errors is important role played by financial accounting. It records all financial data fairly which is used by management for analysis purposes. This data acts as proof and reduces the chances of any frauds or errors.

Present true Financial Position

Financial accounting reveals and interprets the true financial position of organizations. It records each financial aspect and supplies it from time to time to the internal management team. Managers get the real ideas of all financial resources of the organization regularly through data supplied by financial accounting. It helps them in making proper decisions for managing the overall financial position.

Helps in preparing Financial Statements

Preparation of financial statements is a must for knowing the true profit or loss and real worth of the organization. Financial accounting supplies all relevant accounting data for the preparation of financial statements like profit and loss account and balance sheet.

Comparison of Result

Financial accounting helps in comparing the performance of business organizations. It systematically records and stores financial data for many accounting years. This way comparison of present data with previous year’s data can be easily done.

Acts as legal Evidence

Financial accounting serves as legal evidence of all data and helps in settling of all business disputes. It prepares and maintains systematic books of accounts of all financial transactions which can be used for avoiding any confusion or misunderstanding.

Assists the Management

Managers depends on financial accounting for various data for taking managerial decisions. It provides the full information’s regarding all cash flows in an organization. They can easily anticipate any surplus or deficit of funds in an organization and take decisions accordingly.

Limitations of Financial Accounting

  1. Supplies Insufficient Information

Financial accounting provides the information about the financial activities as a whole and not individual-wise, i.e., it does not record information relating to product-wise, department-wise etc.

  1. Controlling Cost not Possible

In financial accounting control of cost is not possible since the costs are known at the end of the financial year or a specified period of time whether the expense or cost has already been incurred, i.e., nothing can be done to control either the account of expense or the cost. In other words, if it is even found that a particular cost is more, it is not possible to control it.

But the same is possible only when the cost accounting system is being introduced.

  1. Historic in Nature

Since the financial accounting records all transactions relating to a particular period, it is rather historic in nature. In short, present financial information relating to a past period and not for the future although all financial decisions are taken on the basis of past financial data.

  1. Recording Actual Cost

The financial accounting records the actual cost only, the historical cost of the assets. The value of assets may be changed, but record only the cost of acquisitions of such assets. In other words, financial accounting does not record the price fluctuations or change in price level. As a result it does not present the correct information.

  1. Difficulty in Price Fixation

We know that the total cost of a product can be obtained only when all expenses relating to a product have been incurred. That is why it is not possible to ascertain the price of the product in advance for the purpose of estimated selling price. As total cost (i.e., fixed cost, variable cost, direct cost and indirect cost of a product) depends on many factors, all such factors cannot be supplied by financial accounting.

  1. Technical Subject

Since financial accounting is a technical subject, it is not possible for a common man to understand it. Without the proper knowledge of principles and conventions of accounting it is not possible to analyse the financial data to take any financial decision. Naturally, it has got little value to a person who is not conversant with the subject.

  1. Unanimity about Accounting Principles

Although there is IASC (International Accounting Standard Committee), the accountants differ in their opinion on the application of accounting principles in the same matter.

For example, some accountants prefer to use FIFO method for valuing inventory whereas others prefer to use LIFO or some other method; or, some accountants prefer to use Straight-line Method of depreciation but others prefer to use Diminishing Balance Method etc.

  1. Not Possible to Evaluate Accounting Principles

Whether the existing accounting principle is sound/correct or not, that cannot be evaluated, i.e., actual performance cannot be compared with the budgeted figure as we can do in case of Standard Costing/Budgetary Control. In other words, the actual result cannot be compared with the budget.

Financial accounting presents only the result of the business through profit and financial positions, i.e., the rate of profitability. But the profit may be affected by many of outside factors which are not recorded by financial accounting.

  1. Supply Quantitative Information

Financial accounting supplies quantitative information only through absolute figures which do not present always the required information although they are needful to the users. But relative financial information are more important and informative.

  1. May be Manipulated

Financial accounting may be manipulated, i.e., it may be presented as per desire of the management. For example, profit sometimes may be reduced in order to evade tax and to avoid bonus to the employees. On the contrary, more profit may be shown in order to raise fresh equity shares or to pay more dividend to attract the shareholders and others.