Accounting the Easy Way (Easy Way Series)


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Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. Conversely, an accountant audits the business's books to ensure accuracy and proper reporting. Read on for another quiz question. While many people use the terms bookkeeping and accounting interchangeably, the skills and responsibilities required of each are somewhat different.

Accountants make 2 or more entries for each transaction recorded by by the business. Think of these entries as an increase in 1 or more accounts and an identical decrease in 1 or more other accounts. Accountants need to make 2 or more entries for every business transaction because an increase in 1 or more accounts means a decrease in 1 or more other accounts. Assets are what the company owns.

Equity is something else. Click on another answer to find the right one Equity is sometimes thought of as the "book value" of a company or business. If the company is a large corporation, the equity may belong to stockholders; if the business is owned by a single person, then it is an Owner's Equity. Liabilities are any amount that is owed to others at the time of the balance sheet's creation. This is not equity. Equity is not the inflow of cash in exchange for goods and services earned over time.

The proper term for this is revenue. These are the rules and standards of the Financial Accounting Standards Board. This board ensures that accountants work ethically and report honestly. These expectations include reliability, verifiability, and objectivity principles; consistency; and comparability.

These are the generally accepted accounting principles GAAP. To learn accounting on your own, start by reading books on the subject and familiarizing yourself with how to create finance spreadsheets.

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Practice basic accounting skills like recording debits and credits and setting up and maintaining ledgers. Be sure to follow generally accepted accounting principles, as well as the rules and standards set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board! Lewis on April 2, Understand the difference between bookkeeping and accounting. Bookkeeping and accounting are terms often used interchangeably. However, the skills and responsibilities required of each are somewhat different. Bookkeepers generally keep records of sales and record them in the books directly.

They do the day-to-day work of making sure every dollar the business makes and spends gets recorded. An accountant, on the other hand, creates and analyzes financial statements, and can also audit the business's books to ensure accuracy and proper reporting. Bookkeepers and Accountants may works in tandem to provide a full level of service to a business. In many cases, the distinction between the two is formalized by a professional degree, state certification, or industry organization.

Become familiar with creating spreadsheets. Microsoft Excel or other spreadsheet software are invaluable to accountants, as they help you track numbers in a graph or conduct calculations to create a finance spreadsheet. Even if you know the basics , you can always brush up and learn intermediate or advanced skills for creating spreadsheets, charts, and graphs. Read books on accounting. Visit your local library to find books on accounting, or purchase a book from the bookseller of your choice. Look for entry-level books written by authors who have experience in accounting, as these books will be more likely to contain researched information.

Introduction to Accounting , by Pru Marriott, JR Edwards, and Howard J Mellett, is a widely used introductory textbook that is considered an excellent primer for both general education purposes as well as for learners who intend to specialize in accounting. A Career Approach by Cathy J.

Scott is a widely used college textbook for accounting and financial management courses. Ittelson is a best-selling introduction to financial reports, and may be a good first step for learners interested in entering the field of accounting. Take an accounting course. You can always look into courses at your local community college, or take online courses in accounting for free. Try websites like Coursera or other online education platforms to find free courses taught by distinguished professionals in the field of accounting.

Part 1 Quiz What is the difference between bookkeeping and accounting?

Accountants do the day-to-day work, while bookkeepers focus on long-term analysis. Accountants audit a business's books, while bookkeepers use them to record a business' finances. Bookkeeping and accounting are the same thing. Accountants make two or more entries for each transaction recorded by by the business. These can be thought of as an increase in one or more accounts and an identical decrease in one or more other accounts.

For example, a payment made for a sale previously made on credit would result in an increase in the cash account and a decrease in Accounts Receivable money owed to the business by customers who have purchased items on credit but not yet paid. These entries would be made for the same amount the amount of the sale. Practice recording debits and credits. When dual-entry records are made, they are done in the form of debits and credits. These represent whether or not certain accounts are increased or decreased by a transaction. Using them is relatively if you remember two things: Debit means the record goes in the left side of the t-account and credit means you should use the right side.

This refers to a standard t-account journal in which records are made on either side of the vertical portion of the "T". This is the accounting equation. Memorize this above all else.

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It works as a sort of guide to debits and credits. For the right side, the opposite is true. This means that when asset accounts, like cash, are debited, they are increased. However, when liability accounts, like accounts payable, are debited, they decrease. Set up and maintain a general ledger. The general ledger is where the dual-entry transaction are recorded.

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Each individual record the various debits and credits in the transaction is made in the relevant account within the ledger. So, for a cash bill payment, an entry would be made in the cash account and another, separate entry made in the accrued expenses account. This process is greatly simplified when you use accounting software, but can also be done by hand relatively simply. Distinguish between cash and accruals. A cash transaction is the type of trade that occurs when a customer buys a pack of gum from the store and you receive the payment on the spot, and then give them the gum in exchange.

Accruals, on the other hand, take into account things like credit, invoices, and billing, rather than direct payment at the time of business, as well intangible assets like goodwill. Part 2 Quiz True or False: Know how financial statements are created. Financial statements reflect the current financial health of the business and its financial performance over the last accounting period. The financial statements are created from the information contained within the general ledger.

At the end of the accounting period, each account is totaled up to create a trial balance.

Accounting for Non-Accountants: The Fast and Easy Way to Learn the Basics

The total debits and credits in all accounts should be equal. If they are not, the accountant must re-check the balances of each account and make adjustments or corrections where necessary. When the accounts are adjusted and correct, the accountant can enter summaries of the information contained in them into the financial statements. Learn how to create an income statement. An income statement is the most basic principle of accounting. It records a company's profit margins over a specified duration of time, ranging anywhere from one week to one year.

The income statement is determined by two factors: Revenue may include cash transactions as well as accruals. If accruals are included in the income statement, then the revenue of a given week or month takes into account the invoices and bills that were sent out during that time, even if the money will not be collected until the next income statement's period. Income statements are therefore intended to show how profitable a business was during that recorded period of time, not necessarily how much money a business took in during that time. Much like revenues, expenses are reported during the period of time in which those expenses were incurred, not necessarily when the company paid for those expenses.

In a successful business this should more or less result in a cause-and-effect relationship, where, for example, increased sales will increase the company's revenue while also resulting in business-related expenses: Create a balance sheet. Unlike an income statement, which deals with a period of time, a balance sheet can be thought of as essentially a snapshot of your business at one particular point in time.

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In other words, what you have is always determined by what you owe plus what is currently yours to keep. It may be helpful to think of assets as all of the resources a company has at its disposal: Liabilities can include loans that must be paid back, any money that is owed for supplies given on credit, and any wages owed to employees that have not yet been paid. Generate a statement of cash flows. Essentially, a cash flows statement specifies how cash has been generated and used by a business, as well as that business' investing and financing activities, over a specified period of time.

The statement of cash flows is mostly derived from a business's balance sheets and income statements for that same time period. What the company owns. The difference between the assets and the liabilities.