Financial Accounting Basics Examples Explanations

accounting basics

With the cash accounting method, you would record the expense in January when the payment is made, versus December when the payment is incurred. The cash method of accounting is based on the inflows and outflows of cash.

  • In fact, I’ve only ever officially met one of my clients — the rest I work with purely over email.
  • According to this principle, parties should remain honest in all transactions.
  • Before you start proceeding with this tutorial, we assume that you have a basic understanding of commerce.
  • It includes assets being held for sale, those in the process of being made, and the materials used to make them.
  • Lizzette Matos is a certified public accountant in New York state.

For example, consider a person who invests $10,000 in a company’s stock, then sells that stock for $12,000. When an investor incurs a loss, the ROI is expressed as a negative number. When retained earnings are positive, they increase the organization’s equity. That equity may then be reinvested back into the business to fuel its future growth. We also explain relevant etymologies or histories of some words and include resources further exploring accounting terminology. Harold Averkamp has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years.

What Is Revenue? A Quick Refresher

Accountants record increases in asset and expense accounts on the debit side, and they record increases in liability, income, and equity accounts on the credit side. This left side and right side concept are generated from the basic accounting equation where debits always have to be equal to the credits to make balance in the equation. By doing your homework regarding banking, transaction management, fundraising, and other accounting topics, you’ll have your new store’s finances in order from the beginning. You’ll want one that provides advanced reports, such as inventory and expenses, so you can monitor your business’s financial health quickly. Learn the fundamentals of financial accounting basics, along with its principles, concepts and recording procedures.

accounting basics

Debits and credits increase and decrease the balance of the account. The same is true with income and expenses, where debits decrease and credits increase income, and debits increase and credits decrease expenses. Wave is a web-based accounting solution built for small businesses. With its bank reconciliation feature, you accounting basics can link your bank accounts, PayPal accounts, and other data sources to see real-time business transactions. You can also generate reports such as accounts receivable, balance sheets, sales tax reports, and accounts payable. Every business owner needs good accounting software to avoid wasting time with manual data entry.


Prepare financial statements by employing the accounting process of journal entries, T-accounts, and trial balances. The field of accounting is often thought of as a set of complex business rules and endless numbers. Accounting, at its heart, is actually a set of very simpleconcepts and principles. Once you understand the basics of accounting, you will be able to grasp just about any business or accounting concept. I see it only fitting that we start our accounting training at the beginning with the purpose of financial accounting. If you have employees or you sell products, you should be using the accrual accounting method.

What are some accounting concepts?

Introduction to accounting frequently identifies assets, liabilities, and capital as the field’s three fundamental concepts. Assets describe an individual or company’s holdings of financial value. Liabilities are debts and unpaid expenses. Capital describes the money the entity has on hand.

It makes sure that financial statements are a realistic overview of revenues and liabilities. It reminds companies not to over or understate their financial risk.

Accounting Fundamentals

It says to base your accounting on how the business runs now, not how you hope it will run in the future. Even if a company plans to make big changes in the future, that shouldn’t change its value today. Business moves fast, and many companies rely on in-progress projects and income to meet goals. But even if this applies to your business, continue to maintain accurate and timely records.

What are the 7 steps of accounting?

  • Identifying and Analysing Business Transactions.
  • Posting Transactions in Journals.
  • Posting from Journal to Ledger.
  • Recording adjusting entries.
  • Preparing the adjusted trial balance.
  • Preparing financial statements.
  • Post-Closing Trial Balance.

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