Book-Keeping and Accounting
Bookkeeping is the recording of financial transactions. Transactions include sales, purchases, income, receipts and payments by an individual or organization. Bookkeeping is usually performed by a bookkeeper. Many individuals mistakenly consider bookkeeping and accounting to be the same thing. This confusion is understandable because the accounting process includes the bookkeeping function, but is just one part of the accounting process. The accountant creates reports from the recorded financial transactions recorded by the bookkeeper and files forms with government agencies. There are some common methods of bookkeeping such as the single-entry bookkeeping system and the double-entry bookkeeping system. But while these systems may be seen as "real" bookkeeping, any process that involves the recording of financial transactions is a bookkeeping process.
The actual process of keeping your books is easy to understand when broken down into three steps.
- Keep receipts or other acceptable records of every payment to and every expenditure from your business.
- Summarize your income and expenditure records on some periodic basis (generally daily, weekly, or monthly).
- Use your summaries to create financial reports that will tell you specific information about your business, such as how much monthly profit you're making or how much your business is worth at a specific point in time.
Whether you do your accounting by hand on ledger sheets or use accounting software, these principles are exactly the same.