accounting

noun
ac·​count·​ing | \ ə-ˈkau̇n-tiŋ How to pronounce accounting (audio) \

Definition of accounting

1 : the system of recording and summarizing business and financial transactions and analyzing, verifying, and reporting the results also : the principles and procedures of this system studied accounting as a freshman
2a : work done in accounting or by accountants
b : an instance of applied accounting or of the settling or presenting of accounts
3 : account sense 2 They were required to provide a detailed accounting of their actions.

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Examples of accounting in a Sentence

what accounting can you give for your bizarre actions on the night in question?

Recent Examples on the Web

Fraud, Cedar Road At 2:15 p.m. June 7, the accounting department at Menorah Park, 27100 Cedar Road, received word from Huntington Bank that the bank had received a counterfeit check made payable to Menorah Park in the amount of $3,400. cleveland.com, "Man arrested for beating woman while in parked car: Beachwood Police Blotter," 11 June 2019 The son went to school to learn accounting, where he was riveted by math. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Whose Crusade Is it Anyway?," 11 June 2019 The company’s signature product, Rent Manager property management software, integrates accounting, contact management, work orders, marketing solutions and more. Jessica Levy, Cincinnati.com, "For local employment opportunities, top tech professionals choose LCS," 7 June 2019 The accounting matter is an important one to park advocates who have been sounding the alarm bell over millions, perhaps even hundreds of millions, in dire Balboa Park maintenance needs, with bathrooms and roofs highest on their priority list. Jennifer Van Grove, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Timken Museum lease agreement sets precedent for Balboa Park institutions," 4 June 2019 Expedited regulatory approval is necessary, and accounting changes may be necessary to ensure that leasing of private wireless spectrum may be included in the rate base. Rachelle Chong, The Mercury News, "Opinion: Don’t let PG&E leave communities in the dark," 4 June 2019 The acquisition is the ninth for Wipfli in the last three years, as the accounting industry continues to consolidate. Paul Gores, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee's Wipfli LLP acquires Arizona consulting firm TopLine Strategies," 4 June 2019 Scientists have warned since at least 2010 that leaving out degradation could undermine the integrity of carbon accounting. Lisa Song, ProPublica, "These 4 Arguments Can’t Overcome the Facts About Carbon Offsets for Forest Preservation," 31 May 2019 Eastern and southern Africa remain the regions most affected by the HIV epidemic - accounting for 45% of the world’s HIV infections. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Prince Harry Is Taking His Daddy Role Very Seriously at the Sentebale Polo Match," 24 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accounting.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of accounting

circa 1676, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

History and Etymology for accounting

Middle English acountynge "reckoning, calculation," from gerund of accounten "to account entry 2"

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Statistics for accounting

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for accounting

The first known use of accounting was circa 1676

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More Definitions for accounting

accounting

noun

Financial Definition of accounting

What It Is

Accounting is the process of systematically recording, measuring, and communicating information about financial transactions.

How It Works

At the heart of accounting is the double-entry bookkeeping method. This involves making at least two recording entries for every transaction: a debit in one account and a credit in another account. The method helps prevent errors because the sum of the debits should equal the sum of the credits. The three major financial statements produced by accounting are the income statement, the balance sheet, and the cash flow statement.

Accounting can be done on a cash basis (cash accounting) or on an accrual basis (accrual accounting). Cash accounting records cash inflows and outflows in the period in which they occur. Accrual accounting records income and expenses in the period to which they are attributable rather than when cash payments come and go. For example, a check written in April for March's utilities would appear as a March expense under the accrual method and as an April expense under the cash method.

There are two general kinds of accounting. Financial accounting is the recording and communication of economic information in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and is primarily for external users. Managerial accounting is the recording and communication of economic information that may or may not be in accordance with GAAP and is for internal users. Other accounting specialty areas exist, such as tax accounting, oil and gas accounting, or forensic accounting.

There are two kinds of users of accounting information: internal users and external users. Internal users are usually company managers who use accounting information to decide how to plan and control operations on a daily and long-term basis. External users are existing or potential investors, creditors, analysts, financial advisers, regulatory authorities, unions, and the general public. They use accounting information to make a myriad of decisions about whether to buy, hold, sell, lend, continue a relationship, or make an agreement.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the IRS, and other regulatory bodies set accounting standards and requirements for accounting frequency and presentation.

Why It Matters

The definition of accounting on InvestingAnswers.Accounting is tremendously important because it is the language of business, and it is at the root of making informed business decisions. Without accounting, managers would not know which products were successful, which business decisions were the right ones, and whether the company was earning money. It would not know how much to pay in taxes, whether to lease or buy an asset, or whether to merge with another company. In short, accounting doesn't just count the beans, it measures a company's success at meeting its goals and it helps investors understand how efficiently their economic resources are being used. This is why companies must be proficient in accounting in order to make good decisions.

Accounting can be controversial, in that accounting rules and methods are sometimes subject to interpretation or can appear to distort a company's true performance. This is another important reason that effective leaders and managers must thoroughly understand the accounting impact of their decisions.

Source: Investing Answers

accounting

noun

English Language Learners Definition of accounting

: the skill, system, or job of keeping the financial records of a business or person

accounting

noun
ac·​count·​ing | \ ə-ˈkau̇n-tiŋ How to pronounce accounting (audio) \

Kids Definition of accounting

: the work of keeping a person's or a business's financial records

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accounting

noun
ac·​count·​ing

Legal Definition of accounting

1 : an often court-ordered presentment or examination of accounts a complete accounting would be necessary to determine the nature of the expendituresCase & Comment
2 : the settlement by judicial action of the assets of a partnership (as upon dissolution)

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Comments on accounting

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