basics-of-accounting-information-processing

Financial accounting consider that financial

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Unformatted text preview: rd a broad base of external users, none of whom control the actual preparation of reports or have access to underlying details. Their ability to understand and have confidence in reports is directly dependent upon standardization of the principles and practices that are used to prepare the reports. Without such standardization, reports of different companies could be hard to understand and even harder to compare. As a result, there are well organized processes to bring consistency and structure to financial reporting. In the United States, a private sector group called the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is primarily responsible for developing the rules that form the foundation of financial reporting. With the increase in global trade, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has been steadily gaining prominence as a global accounting rule setter. Financial reports prepared under the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) promulgated by such standard setting bodies are intended to be general purpose in orientation. This means they are not prepared especially for owners, or creditors, or any other particular user group. Instead, they are intended to be equally useful for all user groups. As such, attempts are made to keep them free from bias (neutral). 1.3 Managerial Accounting In sharp contrast to financial accounting, managerial accounting information is intended to serve the specific needs of management. Business managers are charged with business planning, controlling, and decision making. As such, they may desire specialized reports, budgets, product costing data, and other details that are generally not reported on an external basis. Further, management may dictate the parameters under which such information is to be accumulated and presented. For instance, GAAP may require that certain research costs be deducted immediately in computing a business’s externally reported income; on the other hand, management may see these costs as a long-term investment and stipulate that internal decision making be based upon income numbers that exclude such costs. This is their prerogative. Hopefully, such internal reporting is being done logically and rationally, but it need not follow any particular set of guidelines. 1.4 A Quality Information System Both financial accounting and managerial accounting depend upon a strong information system to reliably capture and summarize business transaction data. Information technology has radically reshaped this mundane part of the practice of accounting during the past 30 years. The era of the “green eye-shaded” accountant has been relegated to the annals of history. Now, accounting is more of a dynamic, decision-making discipline, rather than a bookkeeping task. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 9 Basics of Accounting & Information Processing Accounting Information 1.5 Inherent Limitations Accounting data is not absolute or concrete. Considerable amounts of judgment and esti...
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