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Bookkeeping is a process of recording and organizing all the business transactions that have occurred in the course of the business. Bookkeeping is an integral part of accounting and largely focuses on recording day-to-day financial transaction of the business.
All the financial transactions such as sales earned revenue, payment of taxes, earned interest, payroll and other operational expenses, loans investments etc. are recorded in books of accounts.
The way the bookkeeping is managed determines the accuracy of the overall accounting process that is been followed by the business. Thus, bookkeeping ensures that the record of financial transactions are up-to-date and more importantly, accurate
Just like to prepare a report, you need a source of data, bookkeeping is a source that gets summarized into the financial statements or any other accounting report that you see. With bookkeeping tracks and records all the financial transactions, it becomes the starting point of accounting. No bookkeeping = No accounting.
Thus, it becomes important for businesses, small or big to have bookkeeping in place.
The following are the importance of bookkeeping:
With the definition of bookkeeping, it’s clear that the bookkeeping task involves all that is required to track, record and organize all the financial transaction that has occurred in the business.
The person is responsible for managing bookkeeping usually entrusted with the responsibility of tracking all the transaction related to business. The following are the bookkeeping tasks examples:
Are accounting and bookkeeping different? Read ‘Bookkeeping and Accounting’
The accounting period that a business entity chooses for its business becomes part of its bookkeeping system and is used to open and close the financial books. The accounting period affects all aspects of the company’s finances, including taxes and analysis of your financial history.
In most of the countries, the accounting period is the financial year which starts from 1st April and ends on 31st March of every year. In some countries like the Middle East (UAE, Saudi, Bahrain etc) the calendar year is used as an accounting period i.e. 1st January to 31st December.
Business entities choose from two types of bookkeeping systems, although some entities use a combination of both.
The single-entry system of bookkeeping requires recording one entry for each financial activity or transaction. The single-entry bookkeeping system is a basic system that a company might use to record daily receipts or generate a daily or weekly report of cash flow.
The double-entry system of bookkeeping requires a double entry for each financial transaction. The double entry system provides checks and balances by recording corresponding credit entry for each debit entry. The double-entry system of bookkeeping is not cash-based. Transactions are entered when a debt is incurred or revenue is earned.
Read 'Types and Methods of Bookkeeping System' to know more.
The cash-based system of accounting records financial transactions when payment is made or received. This system recognizes revenue or income in the accounting period in which it is received and expenses in the period in which they are paid.
The accrual basis method, which is favoured under the generally accepted principals of accounting, record income in the accounting period in which it is earned and records expenses in the period incurred.
To ensure the all the transactions are recorded and organized systematically, bookkeeping principles are applied. The following are the bookkeeping principle
Read 'Principles of Bookkeeping' to know more.
Entries in bookkeeping are recorded in the archaic method of journal entry. Here, the respective individual or accountant manually enters the account numbers and performs individual action of debits and credits for each transaction. This approach is time-consuming and subject to error, and so is usually reserved for adjustments and special entries.
All Financial transactions undertaken by a business entity are posted in ledgers using the information from receipts and other documentation. Ledgers summarize the transactions recorded. Most bookkeeping software automates the posting of transaction details to respective ledgers and reports.
Most entities post financial transactions daily, while others post in batches or outsource the posting activity to accounting professionals. Posting entries regularly helps in generating on-time financial statements or reports.
Financial transactions documentation is an important element of a company’s bookkeeping system. It requires maintaining files of receipts and other documents. The duration period for maintaining documentation records depends on your company policy and legal or tax requirements.
A business entity can create more comprehensive bookkeeping system when it includes accounts for each area of financial transactions. Financial accounts are grouped or categorized based on the nature of accounts or impact on the financial statements. This usually includes balance sheet accounts and income statement accounts.
Balance sheet accounts are assets, liabilities, and stockholder or owner equity. Income statement accounts are operating and non - operating revenues, expenses, gains and losses.
A bookkeeper is primarily responsible to record and track a company's financial transactions which include, purchases, sales and expenses. These transactions are first recorded as general ledger, which are later used while preparing a balance sheet.
Accounting is a broad subject. It calls for a greater understanding of records obtained from bookkeeping and an ability to analyze and interpret the information provided by bookkeeping records.
Bookkeeping is the recording phase while accounting is concerned with the summarizing phase of an accounting system. Bookkeeping provides necessary data for accounting and accounting starts where bookkeeping ends.
Take a look at the difference between Bookkeeping and Accounting
No. Bookkeeping is a rather simple and straight forward process which can be easily learnt while you're on-the-job.
The single-entry and double-entry bookkeeping systems are the two methods commonly used. While each has its own advantage and disadvantage, the business has to choose the one which is most suitable for their business.
More on types of Bookkeeping system
Read More on Bookkeeping
Bookkeeping Principles, Types of Bookkeeping System, Elements of Bookkeeping, Bookkeeping Vs. Accounting, Difference between Accountant & Bookkeeper, Basic Accounting Assumptions Basis Bookkeeping
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