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Home Introduction to Accounting Bookkeeping versus Accounting versus Accountancy

Bookkeeping Versus Accounting Versus Accountancy:

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Bookkeeping Versus Accounting:

A great deal of efforts goes into gathering and processing information about a concern before the facts end up in an accounting report. Much of the work required is clerical in nature and can be performed by office workers, machine and computers. The functions of  Bookkeeping is to properly record the financial transactions in the books of account. But the function of accounting is more extensive. It has many other functions to do except recording transactions, e.g. classification, summarization and interpretation of transactions. Thus we see the Bookkeeping is confined to recording aspect of accounting. It is a small and simplest part of accounting. Both represent two different phases of the main subject "accountancy". Bookkeeping is the first stage, while accounting is the final stage, that is why, it is said that accounting starts where bookkeeping ends. The function of bookkeeping ends with the recording of transactions in the books of accounts. But the function of accounting is to classify the recorded transactions, summarize them, interpret them, and collect and communicate necessary information to the management and other interested persons. Management performs its function on the basis of this information, e.g. laying down rules and regulations, taking so many vital decisions etc. Thus we may say that the function of bookkeeping is primarily of clerical in nature, while that of accounting is concerned with organizational and administrative matters. It is more important and responsible.

Apparently the functions of bookkeeping seem to be less important than accounting, but its necessity can hardly be denied. Just an article cannot be produced without raw material, similarly accounting function cannot be done without obtaining necessary data from bookkeeping. Again, If there is any defect in raw material the article produced out of it will also be defective. Similarly, if there be any error or mistake in bookkeeping, the accounting job will also be wrong and create anomalous situation. Thus we can conclude that bookkeeper performs the routine, repetitive tasks of collecting and processing financial information. Accountants are responsible for designing the systems within which bookkeepers work; supervising the day to day work of bookkeepers; recording unusual and complex transactions, preparing, analyzing and interpreting accounting reports; auditing the records; and performing a variety of other complex accounting activities.

Accounting Versus Accountancy:

The two words accounting and accountancy are often used to mean the same thing. But it is not correct. Accountancy is the main subject accounting is one of its branches. The word "accountancy" is far extensive; i.e. the scope of accountancy is far a wide and extensive compared to accounting. It covers the entire body of theory and practice, e.g. bookkeeping, accounting, costing, auditing, taxation etc.

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More study material from this topic:

Need and importance of accounting
Accounting as a business language
Bookkeeping versus accounting
Branches of accounting
Objects of accounting
Important accounting terms and concepts
Accounting principles
Accounting concepts
Accounting conventions
Questions and answers



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