Kinds of Accounts, Rules08/01/2022 1 By indiafreenotes
There are several types of accounting that range from auditing to the preparation of tax returns. Accountants tend to specialize in one of these fields, which leads to the different career tracks noted below:
Public accounting. This field investigates the financial statements and supporting accounting systems of client companies, to provide assurance that the financial statements assembled by clients fairly present their financial results and financial position. This field requires excellent knowledge of the relevant accounting framework, as well as an inquiring personality that can delve into client systems as needed. The career track here is to progress through various audit staff positions to become an audit partner.
Financial accounting. This field is concerned with the aggregation of financial information into external reports. Financial accounting requires detailed knowledge of the accounting framework used by the reader of a company’s financial statements, such as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Or, if a company is publicly-held, it requires a knowledge of the standards issued by the government entity responsible for public company reporting in a specific country (such as the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States). There are several career tracks involved in financial accounting. There is a specialty in external reporting, which usually involves a detailed knowledge of accounting standards. There is also the controller track, which requires a combined knowledge of financial and management accounting.
Government accounting. This field uses a unique accounting framework to create and manage funds, from which cash is disbursed to pay for a number of expenditures related to the provision of services by a government entity. Government accounting requires such a different skill set that accountant tend to specialize within this area for their entire careers.
Management accounting. This field is concerned with the process of accumulating accounting information for internal operational reporting. It includes such areas as cost accounting and target costing. A career track in this area can eventually lead to the controller position, or can diverge into a number of specialty positions, such as cost accountant, billing clerk, payables clerk, and payroll clerk.
Forensic accounting. This field involves the reconstruction of financial information when a complete set of financial records is not available. This skill set can be used to reconstruct the records of a destroyed business, to reconstruct fraudulent records, to convert cash-basis accounting records to the accrual basis, and so forth. This career tends to attract auditors. It is usually a consulting position, since few businesses require the services of a full-time forensic accountant. Those in this field are more likely to be involved in the insurance industry, legal support, or within a specialty practice of an audit firm.
Tax accounting. This field is concerned with the proper compliance with tax regulations, tax filings, and tax planning to reduce a company’s tax burden in the future. There are multiple tax specialties, tracking toward the tax manager position.
Internal auditing. This field is concerned with the examination of a company’s systems and transactions to spot control weaknesses, fraud, waste, and mismanagement, and the reporting of these findings to management. The career track progresses from various internal auditor positions to the manager of internal audit. There are specialties available, such as the information systems auditor and the environmental auditor.
The system of debit and credit is right at the foundation of double entry system of book keeping. It is very useful, however at the same time it is very difficult to use in reality. Understanding the system of debits and credits may require a sophisticated employee. However, no company can afford such ruinous waste of cash for record keeping. It is generally done by clerical staff and people who work at the store. Therefore, golden rules of accounting were devised.
Golden rules convert complex bookkeeping rules into a set of principles which can be easily studied and applied. Here is how the system is applied:
Debit The Receiver, Credit the Giver
This principle is used in the case of personal accounts. When a person gives something to the organization, it becomes an inflow and therefore the person must be credit in the books of accounts. The converse of this is also true, which is why the receiver needs to be debited.
Debit What Comes In, Credit What Goes Out
This principle is applied in case of real accounts. Real accounts involve machinery, land and building etc. They have a debit balance by default. Thus, when you debit what comes in, you are adding to the existing account balance. This is exactly what needs to be done. Similarly, when you credit what goes out, you are reducing the account balance when a tangible asset goes out of the organization.
Debit All Expenses and Losses, Credit All Incomes and Gains
This rule is applied when the account in question is a nominal account. The capital of the company is a liability. Therefore, it has a default credit balance. When you credit all incomes and gains, you increase the capital and by debiting expenses and losses, you decrease the capital. This is exactly what needs to be done for the system to stay in balance.
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