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Accounting for Non-Accountants : The Fast and Easy Way to Learn the Basics
Accounting for Non-Accountants is the perfect accounting guide for anyone who has never taken an accounting class, and has no idea what a balance sheet, income statement, or statement of cash flow is.
Dr. Wayne Label covers it all, in a style that's easy to understand and apply. This guide will help you get your accounting system up and running and your business needs satisfied.
Topics covered include:
-- Income Statements
-- Statements of Cash Flow
-- Balance Sheets
-- Assets & Liabilities
-- Double-Entry Bookkeeping
-- Debits & Credits
-- Audits & Auditors
-- And everything else beginners need to know
For entrepreneurs or anyone who needs to brush up on accounting fast, this book is an essential resource for the businessperson's shelf.
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June 30, 2006
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Excerpt from Accounting for Non-Accountants by Wayne Label
The Basics of Accounting
What Is Accounting?
The purpose of accounting is to provide information that will help you make correct financial decisions. Your accountant's job is to give you the information you need to run your business as efficiently as possible while maximizing profits and keeping costs low.
Finding an Accountant: Hiring a professional and ethical accountant to aid in your business operations can be critical to the success of your company. Meet with a few accountants before making a final choice so that you know your options and can select one whose experience and work style will be best suited to your needs and the needs of your business. Local chapters of your state societies of CPAs offer referral services that can help with this.
Accounting plays a role in businesses of all sizes. Your kids' lemonade stand, a one-person business, and a multinational corporation all use the same basic accounting principles. Accounting is legislated; it affects your taxes; even the president plays a role in how accounting affects you. The list goes on and on.
Accounting is the language of business. It is the process of recording, classifying, and summarizing economic events through certain documents or financial statements. Like any other language, accounting has its own terms and rules. To understand how to interpret and use the information accounting provides, you must first understand this language. Understanding the basic concepts of accounting is essential to success in
TYPES OF INFORMATION PROVIDED BY ACCOUNTANTS
� Information prepared exclusively by people within a company (managers, employees, or owners) for their own use.
� Financial information required by various government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
� General information about companies provided to people outside the firm such as investors, creditors, and labor unions.
Accounting and Bookkeeping
Bookkeeping procedures and bookkeepers record and keep track of the business transactions that are later used to generate financial statements. Most bookkeeping procedures have been systematized, and, in many cases, can be handled by computer programs. Bookkeeping is a very important part of the accounting process, but it is just the beginning. There is currently no certification required to become a bookkeeper in the United States.
Accounting is the process of preparing and analyzing financial statements based on the transactions recorded through the bookkeeping process. Accountants are usually professionals who have completed at least a bachelor's degree in accounting, and often have passed a professional examination, like the Certified Public Accountant Examination, the Certified Management Accountant Examination, or the Certified Fraud Auditor Examination.
Accounting goes beyond bookkeeping and the recording of economic information to include the summarizing and reporting of this information in a way that is meant to drive decision making within a business.
Who Uses Accounting Information?
In the world of business, accounting plays an important role to aid in making critical decisions. The more complex the decision, the more detailed the information must be. Individuals and companies need different kinds of information to make their business decisions.
Let's start with you as an individual. Why would you be interested in accounting? Accounting knowledge can help you with investing in the stock market, applying for a home loan, evaluating a potential job, balancing a checkbook, and starting a personal savings plan, among other things.
Managers within a business also use accounting information daily to
make decisions, although most of these managers are not accountants.
AREAS IN WHICH MANAGERS USE ACCOUNTING INFORMATION
� Marketing (Which line of goods should the company emphasize?)
� Production (Should the company produce its goods in the United States or open a new plant in Mexico?)
� Research and Development (How much money should be set aside for new product development?)
� Sales (Should the company expand the advertising budget and take money away from some other part of the marketing budget?)