Man is a social being. He cannot live without society. Because all individuals have got their own limitations, they are to depend on society as a whole for their necessary goods and services. So, exchange of goods and services among them is imperative.
This exchange brings financial changes among the participants and everyone may have curiosity to know the effects of financial changes and results Accountancy is able to answer these sorts of queries.
The history and evolution of Accountancy is as ancient and diversified as the history of evolution of human civilization, the beginning of the evolution of human civilization and the beginning of the evolution of Accountancy is, so to say, twins.
Accountancy made its beginning since the ancient period of time. But when, where and how the process of accounting practices exactly started is hot very much clear.
In the ancient period of time, when people happened to live in forests, jungles and caves and hunted animals for their livelihood, they used to inscribe the records of their daily hunting on the walls of the caves.
With the passage of time human beings gradually started their social lives and started keeping their accounts by marking ticks on walls, making rope-knots and using various symbols.
With the gradual-increased demand of human needs and desires the necessity of Accountancy was felt sharply.
At one stage Luca Pacioli – the father of Accountancy brought a revolutionary change in the field of accountancy by writing a book on Mathematics- “Summa de Arithmetica Geometria Proportioniet Proportionlita” – containing a chapter – “De Computes it Scriptures”- in which Double Entry System of book keeping was explained.
The Double Entry System is a recognized and generally accepted system all over the world and till date this system is being used widely with its basic principles unchanged. On the basis of these basic principles the accountants of modem age have established a scientific accounting system.
But, Accountancy has not yet attained its perfection. It is a lively and changing subject and its development is continuous.
Accountancy is an applied discipline. The system in which financial transactions of an organization for a particular period are recorded to know the operating results and the financial position of that concern to analyze and communicate the same to interested users is called Accountancy.
Determining and analyzing the effects and results of the financial events of an organization are the main functions of Accountancy.
Accountancy is an integral of two terms – accounts and science. In its literal meaning account means ‘counting’. In an organization account means recording of transactions in a brief statement regarding persons, institutions, assets, liabilities, incomes and expenditures under a classified appropriate title.
From the financial point of view an account means a statement of events measurable in terms of money or money’s worth.
On the other hand, science means a disciplined knowledge of a particular matter.
Therefore, Accountancy generally means systematic recording of transactions of an organization or a person and determining and analyzing the results and financial position of the same.
Renowned accountants and institutes have given various definitions of Accountancy. Some quotable definitions are mentioned below;
According to A. W. Johnson;
Accounting may be defined as the collection, compilation and systematic recording of business transactions in terms of money, the preparation of financial reports, the analysis and interpretation of these reports and the use of these reports for the information and guidance of management.
According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants [AICPA];
Accounting is the art of recording, classifying and summarizing in a significant manner and in terms of money, transactions and events, which are, in part at least, of a financial character and interpreting the result thereof.
According to the American Accounting Association [AAA];
Accounting refers to the process of identifying, measuring and communicating economic information to permit informed judgments and decisions by users of the information.
According to Weygandt, Kieso and Kimmel;
Accounting is an information system that identifies records and communicates the economic events of an organization to interested users.
In the light of the above discussion and definitions of Accounting, a comprehensive and meaningful definition of Accounting can be given as such;
Accounting is a discipline, well- equipped with techniques and methods through which all types of transactions measurable in terms of money or money’s worth, can be recorded, classified and summarized in a proper and systematic way.
It helps to present and explain income, expenditure, profit-loss and assets-liabilities of a particular period and helps the management and investors to be provided with necessary information and statements.
So we can say that;
- Accounting is an art and science of tracking monetary events.
- Accounting systematically records business transactions in terms of money.
- Accounting process prepares financial reports and investigates it for making decision making easier.
- Accounting is a continuous process for giving the interested users information.
So we can say; accounting is defined as information system which maintains the process of identifying and measures the quantitative financial activities and communicate these financial reports to the decision makers or to the interested users of any organization.
Accounting is just a tool to measure the financial position of any entity involving on economic activity. Accounting is an aid to management. It is a system that keeps record of financial events and analyzes them for presenting reports of the financial result and position of an economic entity.
This process gives the management body the information necessary for taking decision. This information is needed for the interested parties; inside or outside of the organization.
The information that accounting gives is very important to run it, that why accounting is also known as “BUSINESS LANGUAGE”.
Accounting may be defined as the collection, compilation and systematic recording of business transactions in terms of money, the preparation of financial reports, the analysis and interpretation of these reports for the information and guidance of management.”
Accounting is an information system that recognizes, registers and communicates the monetary events of an economic entity. It refers to the process of identifying, measuring and communication economic information to permit informed judgment and decisions by users of the information.
In this changing world human life is also changing. With the change of everything trade and commerce is also changing and developing largely. Accounting is also changing with the changes, modifications and complexities of business.
With the development of technology the implication of Accounting has achieved a new shape, one example, is to keep accounts mechanically.
Recently with the extensive use of computer accounting tasks have created a new arena. So, it is clear the definition of Accounting will get a new shape in days ahead.