Financial Accounting

Financial accounting is a system that accumulates, processes and reports information about an entity's performance (i.e. profit or loss), its financial position (i.e. assets, liabilities and shareholders' equity) and changes in financial position.

Every entity, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, aims at creating maximum value for its stakeholders. The goal of maximum value addition is best achieved when there is a mechanism to monitor the management and the board of directors. Financial accounting helps in such monitoring by providing relevant, reliable and timely information to the stakeholders.

Inputs to a financial accounting system include business transactions which are supported by source documents, such as invoices, board resolutions, management memos, etc. These inputs are processed using generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The processed information is reported through standardized financial statements.

Users of the Financial Statements

The most basic objective of financial accounting is preparation of general purpose financial statements, which are financial statements meant for use by stakeholders external to the entity, who do not have any other means of getting such information, i.e. people other than the management. These stakeholders include:

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