12 Branches of Accounting: What They Are and What They Do

Branches of Accounting

Financial Accounting involves preparation of accounting records for a particular period of time. The main purpose of this accounting is to ascertain the true profit and loss of the business as well as financial position of the firm. Its aim is to provide the financial information regarding the business to the different users on time. Auditing is a branch of accounting where an external certified public accountant known as an Auditor inspects and certifies the accounts of the business for their accuracy and consistency. Sometimes internal auditing is also practiced where an employee of the same company or external personnel audits the accounts regularly and aids the management keep accurate records for audit purposes. As the company expands its global business in the international markets, the need for international accounting rises. This branch of accounting helps in understanding the laws and regulations of the foreign countries which are required to run the business there without any barrier and legal issue.

Is profit an asset or liability?

For instance, the investments via which profit or income is generated are typically put under the category of assets, whereas, the losses incurred or expenses paid or to be paid are considered to be a liability.

This branch of accounting offers management to improve business administration. It helps in the making of critical decisions and the management of different business activities. Cost accounting was developed as a result of the limitations of financial accounting. It is a branch of accounting that is concerned with the ascertainment of past, present and future costs of products or services. Cost accounting also relates to the determination of costs of products and services. Although the management uses financial information contained in financial statements prepared by financial accounting, it also requires detailed information which can be provided by cost accounting.


Generally, all employees owners, creditors, and government are recipients of the enterprise income. Generally, Financial accounting is used in accounting work and works to show those accounting figures on a certain date of business. The materials and information provided on this website are for reference purposes only. An organizational chart visually outlines the internal structure of a company. A bureaucracy is an administrative, government, or social system with a hierarchical structure and complex rules and regulations.

  • The information provided by financial accounting is crucial but not ad- equate for the smooth, orderly and efficient functioning of a business.
  • Venetian banks maintained a form of it as early as the 14th century.
  • In the same very manner, a stock reserve of opening stock is also supposed to be credited to the head office’s profit and loss account.
  • The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants developed a set of accounting principles, known as Global Management Accounting Principles that relate directly to this discipline.
  • Broadly, tax planning means trying to minimize tax liability within legal boundaries.
  • For example, when recording customer remittances, the bookkeeper debits the cash account and credits the sales revenue account.

Thus, through accounting, each and every one of the economic operations carried out by an entity is recorded, in order to be able to obtain all this information in an orderly and grouped manner. Accounting is a very broad and dynamic field that is constantly adapting to the specific needs of its users. Over the last few decades, we have seen the emergence of new types and specialisations. If you plan to study accounting, then you should be aware of its main variants. Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts.


The branch account is left with a zero balance until the accounting process begins all over again with the next accounting period or cycle. In branch accounting, each branch is treated as an individual profit or cost center. In that account, it records such items as inventory, accounts receivable, wages, equipment, expenses such as rent and insurance, and petty cash. Financial accounting is a branch of accounting that is primarily concerned with the generation of financial information for internal and external stakeholders but primarily for external ones. The external user groups include creditors, lenders, investors, employees, customers, tax authorities, regulatory agencies and so on.

Branches of Accounting

To calculate the marginal cost, a business determines the point at which increasing production or service raises the average cost of the item being produced. Understanding a product’s marginal cost can help a company assess its profitability so that management can make informed decisions. Cost accounting records, analyzes and reports all of a company’s costs related to the production of a product. The financial statements used in financial accounting provide valuable information to creditors and investors regarding a company’s performance. This type of accounting comes into play with non-profit organizations for ensuring the correct and accurate funds allocations. It is used for ensuring NPO funds go where they should go via the separation and distribution of funds as per laws governing NPOs or company policies.

What Are the Two Types of Accounting?

In practice, there are many accounting certifications that focus on specific branches, such as the CMA, https://accounting-services.net/ CPA, CIA, CISA, etc. But they are also well versed in International Financial Reporting Standards .

Is a balance sheet?

A balance sheet is a financial statement that reports a company's assets, liabilities, and shareholder equity. The balance sheet is one of the three core financial statements that are used to evaluate a business. It provides a snapshot of a company's finances (what it owns and owes) as of the date of publication.

The ledgers of a firm of Venetian merchants, dating from around 1410, also show a form of it to try to account for overseas and home accounts. Luca Pacioli’s Summa de Arithmetica , the first accounting textbook, devotes a chapter to it.

Standard cost accounting

Management accounting, also known as managerial accounting, is based on the conceptualization of accounting as a tool by which managerial effectiveness is enhanced. Standard costing, budgetary control, and marginal costing are some of the dynamic techniques of cost accounting that are widely used nowadays. In order to ascertain the profit or loss made by each department, it will be advisable to prepare separately trading and profit & loss account of each department at the end of the accounting year. Inflation Accounting information is based on historical cost but due to changes in the price level, the purchasing power of money is declining. Due to inflation and declining purchasing power of money, prices of commodities changes accounting for price level changed. Revenue is registered when it is paid, not when money is received, in accrual accounting. Revenue is registered in the books even though the client has not yet paid.

Branches of Accounting

Financial accounting deals with recording, classifying and summarising business transactions that have already occurred and are historical in nature. Traditionally, financial accounting focussed on creating information on an organisation’s income and financial position based on events occurred during a period of time. However, in recent times, providing information on cash flows and earnings per share is also a part Branches of Accounting of pub- lished financial statements. Not-for-profit accounting fulfills the accounting needs of not-for-profit organizations (also known as non-trading concerns). The basic accounting principles and concepts used while applying not-for-profit accounting are the same as used in regular or general purpose financial accounting. Management accounting and financial accounting are not to be confused with each other.

Branches of Accounting: What They Are and What They Do

The process of recording financial transactions that take place in a business is known as accounting. This process includes summarising, analyzing, and reporting various financial transactions. With the help of these transactions, the financial performance of a company can be calculated. External and internal auditing are the two forms of auditing. In external auditing, an independent third party examines a company’s financial statements to ensure that they are correctly presented and follow GAAP. The field of cost accounting is concerned with the recording and analysis of production costs.

  • Government accounting, also known as public accounting, handles any state and federal fund allocation and disbursement.
  • But it does follow standard accounting practices taught in accounting school.
  • An accountant of this branch works under the state or federal government and manages the funds for their various welfare programs which can be related to housing, education, or healthcare.
  • If you plan to study accounting, then you should be aware of its main variants.
  • Under this accounting, a proper analysis of costs and preparation of reports is done at regular time intervals.
  • For this purpose, cost accounting considers all the factors of manufacturing so that the cost of a project or venture can be determined accurately.

With the help of this account, management can control the production cost and prices. Creditors, financial institutions, banks, etc., use this type of accounts.

Larger companies, especially manufacturers, will use many more reports. AIS concerns itself with everything to do with accounting systems and processes. This involves their construction, installment, application, and observation. As well as the management of bookkeeping and accounting employees. Further, taxation authorities can calculate the tax based on these records only.

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