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Book Keeping Essay

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Book keeping it also referred as the keeping of book. Book keeping is the process of keeping full, accurate, up-to-date business records. Proper methods can help businesses effectively manage cash flow, stay abreast of profit and losses, and develop plans for the future based on financial trends. Furthermore, keeping accurate book is required by both federal and local tax agencies.

The book keeping process involves making a record of the monies received by a business as well as the monies paid out.

It encompasses money a company owes to vendors, employees, tax agencies, contractors, and any other individual or entity. Likewise, accurate records of amounts owed to a company by outside individuals and organizations are also recorded in a company’s books.

Though necessary and beneficial to business owners, the task can be very time consuming. With no exceptions, every monetary amount that is paid or received must be recorded. Additionally, accuracy is of the utmost importance, making keeping the books in a rushed manner a very bad idea.

As business owners are often lacking in time, many choose to hire professional bookkeepers to keep company records well maintained.

Of the many reasons for keeping accurate records, business and income taxes are among the most important. In the United States, for example, the Internal Revenue Service requires business owners to keep financial records that are complete and up-to-date. State and city tax agencies may require businesses to maintain accurate records as well. In fact, a business owner who fails to keep acceptable financial records may be liable for significant monetary fines or other penalties.

A company’s books are used to determine the amount of taxes the company must pay, and they are also used in preparing tax returns. Sometimes, a tax agency may decide to investigate the information reported on a return or other type of tax-related document. In such cases, business owners are
required to present accurate records for the tax agency’s inspection. Failure to do so could lead to hefty fines, penalties, or in severe cases, imprisonment.

Although hiring bookkeeping professionals may be a good idea for many companies, not all business owners can afford to do so. This is particularity true of smaller, home-based, or start-up businesses. Fortunately, there are many computer programs designed to make the task of keeping the books manageable and less time consuming. Many programs handle all of the calculations for the user, taking the worry out of keeping accurate figures. Available even to those on tight budgets, this software makes record keeping easy.

(N. Madison, 2013, Wise Geek.)[online]


The accounting cycle is often described as a process that includes the following steps: identifying, collecting and analyzing documents and transactions, recording the transactions in journals, posting the journalized amounts to accounts in the general and subsidiary ledgers, preparing an unadjusted trial balance, perhaps preparing a worksheet, determining and recording adjusting entries, preparing an adjusted trial balance, preparing the financial statements, recording and posting closing entries, preparing a post-closing trial balance, and perhaps recording reversing entries.

Cycle and steps seem to be a carryover from the days of manual bookkeeping and accounting when transactions were first written into journals. In a separate step the amounts in the journal were posted to accounts. At the end of each month, the remaining steps had to take place in order to get the monthly, manually-prepared financial statements.

Today, most companies use accounting software that processes many of these steps simultaneously. The speed and accuracy of the software reduces the accountant’s need for a worksheet containing the unadjusted trial balance, adjusting entries, and the adjusted trial balance. The accountant can enter the adjusting entries into the software and can obtain the complete financial statements by simply selecting the reports from a menu. After reviewing the financial statements, the accountant can make additional adjustments and almost immediately obtain the revised reports. The software will also prepare, record, and post the closing entries.

(Harold,A.2013,Accounting Coach.)[online].

Source documents are documents, such as cash slips, invoices, etc. that form the source of (and serve as proof for) a transaction. In other words, they are the first documents that exist relating to a transaction. Invoices, cash slips, receipts, check counterfoils, bank deposit slips ,credit notes ,debit notes ,voucher , purchase orders and even internet payment confirmations are all source documents.

For example:

Credit Notes



Purchase orders

Book of prime entry is book used in recording transaction. Books of prime entry are also known as books of original entry or subsidiary books. Types of books of prime entry:

Books of prime entry are also known as either ‘journals’ or ‘daybooks’. The term ‘day book’ is, perhaps, more commonly used, as it more clearly indicates the nature of these books of prime entry – entries are made to them every day.

The commonly used books of prime entry are:
Sale Day Book /Sale Journals
–Sale journals is to record credit sales.

Purchases Day Book/Purchases Journals
–Purchases journals is to record credit purchases.

Sales Return Day Book/Return In Journals
–Return in journals is to record returns from customers.

Purchases Return Day Book/Return Out Journals
–Return out journals is to record returns to suppliers.

General journal/The journal
–The journal is to record other transactions.

The cashbook is a combined account of the cash account and the bank account. It is the only one of the six daybooks that is both an account and a daybook at the same time. Apart from the cashbook, all the other double-entry accounts are kept in one of the three ledgers.

Example for 3 Column Cash Book

The ledger is a collective term for the accounts of a business. (A ledger of accounts is like a school of fish). The accounts are in the shape of a ‘T’ and thus are often referred to as ‘T-accounts’. In this step we take all the debits and credits (journals) relating to one account – let’s say ‘bank’ – and draw up an account for bank that shows all the transactions relating to it.

The different types of ledgers most businesses use are:
Sale Ledgers
–Sale ledgers is to record customers account balance.
Purchases Ledgers
–Purchases ledgers is to record suppliers account balance. General Ledgers
–General ledgers is to record miscellaneous account.


The petty cash book is used to record the changes to the petty cash fund – both money put into the fund and money taken out. The fund is commenced with a petty cash advance cheque and topped up with a reimbursement cheque at the end of each petty cash period.The petty cash book is prepared from the petty cash vouchers, as well as the details from the advance and reimbursement cheque butts.

The petty cash book is prepared from:
–advance (and/or reimbursement) cheque butt/s
–completed and authorised petty cash vouchers.
The totals can be checked by cross-adding related column totals.The total of the vouchers (Cash Payments column total) added to the balance left in the petty cash fund (Balance column) should always equal the imprest amount.


A sheet displaying all the accounts of a business, drawn up as a trial (test) of whether the total of all the debit balances equal the total of all the credit balances (A balance is the amount of an item at a point in time. For example, The balance in the bank account on the 1st of January was $5,000.). The trial balance is prepared as a final check just before the financial statements are drawn up. The trial balance is our penultimate step in the accounting cycle. Example for Trial Balance:


Final accounts are all of the financial statement for a business or company at the end of the fiscal or calendar year, on whichever the business calendar the company operates. The statements for the final accounts show the gross profit and net income of the company. A number of accounts are included, such as the profit and loss statement for the business, the balance sheet, and the trading account. The profit and loss statement tracks all of the income that comes into the company, as well as the expenses that the company pays out.

The profit and loss statement covers a specific period — typically the fiscal year, but it can also cover the calendar year. It shows how revenue becomes net income, and whether or not the company made money for the year. While the company tracks these figures throughout the year, the final accounts include the statement for the cumulative fiscal or calendar year. The balance sheet is another one of the business financial statements that are prepared as part of the final accounts process when the year closes out. The balance sheet provides a quick look at how the company is doing at that specific moment in time, at the end of the year. In addition to assets and liabilities, a balance sheet also includes information on shareholder equity.

Trading accounts cover profits and losses incurred from trading securities. Many companies invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other types of investment funds. The final accounts for the trading account show the amount of gain or loss from these investments at the end of the year that the company runs on. Final accounts and the statements that make up these accounts typically help companies to prepare their various tax returns. If the company accountant prepares the tax statements, then the accountant prepares these statements for his or her own use. If the company hires an outside accountant or accounting firm, then the statements for the final accounts are handed over to the third party, so they have the information they need to prepare the company’s tax returns and any of tax paperwork that is required. (Kristie,L and Wilborn,C.2013,Wise Geek)[online]


A financial statement that measures a company’s financial performance over a specific accounting period. Financial performance is assessed by giving a summary of how the business incurs its revenues and expenses through both operating and non-operating activities. It also shows the net profit or loss incurred over a specific accounting period, typically over a fiscal quarter or year. Also known as the “profit and loss statement” or “statement of revenue and expense.”

Example for Income Statements:


A statement of financial position, also known as a balance sheet, is a financial document that provides an overview of an entity’s finances at a given point in time. These statements are commonly used by companies large and small, but they can also be applied to personal finances, for people who want to generate a document that they can use to review their financial situation for the purpose of making budgeting decisions or financial plans. Many accounting software programs have mechanisms to automatically create one. There are two main areas on a statement of financial position. One covers the assets, everything owned by the person or company, including real estate, cash in hand, contents of bank accounts, and so forth. The other side includes the liabilities, funds owed. A statement usually breaks these sections up into several categories for ease of reference, so that people can quickly look up a topic of particular interest, such as accounts payable or overdue loans.

The liabilities also include the ownership equity or the shareholder equity in the business. The assets should equal the liabilities once the ownership or shareholder equity has been factored in, and if they do not, it is a sign that the financial statement is out of balance. This is in accordance with the accounting equation, which states that assets = liabilities + ownership or shareholder equity. Incidentally, this explains the term “balance sheet,” which reflects the idea that the two sections of the sheet should be equal or balanced.

Commonly, a statement of financial position will be generated at the end of every month. Looking up past months can provide information about how a company’s finances are progressing, and these documents can also be compared with statements from the same month in prior years. Using this document, decisions can be made about the next steps to take. If, for example, a company has a lot of assets, it may be a sign that it can comfortably expand because it has the available capital to do so.

Companies that are publicly traded must provide public disclosures about their financial health, including statements of financial position. These are provided to shareholders by request and are also commonly published to make them readily accessible to prospective investors. If a company has a website, they might be found on a section of the website that includes documents that the company is required to disclose by law. (Smitch,S. and Wallace,O.2013,Wise Geek)[online]

Example for Statement of Financial Position:


Book keeping is important to proper accounting records because proper methods can help businesses effectively manage cash flow, stay abreast of profit and losses, and develop plans for the future based on financial trends. Furthermore to complete the financial account, accounting cycle are used. The accounting cycle included source of document, books of prime entry, ledgers, trial balance and the final accounts.

1. Anon.2013,Book of Prime Entry and Ledgers.[online].Available from World Wide Web: http://principlesofaccounting2.com/topics/books-of-prime-entry-and-ledgers/ [Accessed 05/07/2013] 2. Anon.2013,The Accounting Cycle.[online].Available from World Wide Web: http://www.accounting-basics-for-students.com/accounting-cycle.html [Accessed 05/07/2013] 3. Anon.2013,Income Statement.[online].Available from World Wide Web: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/incomestatement.asp [Accessed 05/07/2013] 4. Beanne,O.2013,The Complete Accounting Cycle.[online].Available from World Wide Web: http://youraccountingcoach.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-complete-accounting-cycle.html. [Accessed 25/01/2013]

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