What is BookKeeping?
Bookkeeping is the day to day recording of the company’s financial transactions such as purchase, sales, receipts and payments and forms an initial part of the accounting process. People often misunderstand that bookkeeping and accounting are same, however, bookkeeping is only the recording of transactions whereas accounting is about interpreting, classifying, analyzing, reporting and summarizing of financial data. Bookkeeping can be prepared in two ways – Single entry and Double-entry system, however, the double-entry system of bookkeeping is popular and recognized in most of the countries.
Components of Bookkeeping in Accounting
Following are components of bookkeeping in Accounting
#1 – Cash vs Accrual Method
In Cash basis of beekeeping, income and expenses are recorded only when cash is received, and expenses are paid from bank respectively. Cash method fails to consider the matching and periodicity concept which says that the expenses of one period should be recognized in the same period. Accrual method, on the other hand, takes income and expenses into account as soon as it becomes due. It means that once income is earned, it is recognized in the books as receivable and once we have billed for expenses, we recognize it in the books. The accrual method is widely accepted used for bookkeeping across the globe.
#2 – Chart of Accounts
Chart of accounts is a detailed worksheet which contains guideline and framework that what kind of expense should go to which general ledger account. It helps a bookkeeper to pick up the correct expense code while posting any journal entry. Chart of accounts are kept up to date and reviewed periodically to include any changes in the organization.
#3 – Journals
Journal entries record the financial impact of any transaction of a business entity and this is the first step of recording any transaction. Before posting a journal entry we must understand the golden rules and fact that every business transaction is recorded in two different accounts, a debit, and a credit. The journals are posted based on golden rules which are following –
- For Real Accounts: Debit what comes in Credit what goes out.
- For Personal Accounts: Debit the receiver Credit the giver.
- For Nominal Accounts: Debit all expenses & losses and Credit all income & gains.
- Real Accounts: Real accounts are the balance sheet accounts of which include assets (Cash, Furniture, Building, etc.) and liabilities (accounts payable, notes payable, etc.).
- Personal Accounts: All the accounts related to individuals, firm, companies, etc fall under Personal counts. It includes debtors, creditors, banks, outstanding and prepaid items, etc.
- Nominal Accounts: The accounts related gains, losses, expenses or incomes fall under Nominal accounts. Eg. – Purchase, sales, bills paid, interest received, bank charges, etc.
#4 – Ledgers
A ledger is the primary books of accounts which shows the debit and credit transactions related to one account for a particular period in a summarized format. It also shows the opening balance and closing balances of that account after taking into consideration all the debit and credit transaction for a given period. Once the financial period is over, the ledger balances are transferred to trial balance which is used for preparing further financial statements.
#5 – Day Books
Daybooks are used to record the credit transaction separately. A sales day book records all the credit sales and in the same way, purchase daybook records all the credit sales. Purchase return and sales return books are also prepared to keep track of all the returns from credit purchase and sales.
#6 – Cash Book
Cashbook is also one of the primary books of accounts which are maintained by almost all businesses and person. Cashbook shows us opening balance which is cash in hand available at the start of the financial period, all the cash/bank related transactions involving cash/bank during the financial period and closing balance which is cash in hand available after the financial period is over.
#7 – Financial Statements
Once journals are posted, ledgers, daybooks and cash book are prepared, these balances are transferred to trial balance which is a summary of all account showing their net balances. Trial balance is further used to prepare profit & loss account and balance sheet. Profit & Loss shows the net result of whether the business made any profit or not. the balance sheet is the statement showing a summary of all assets and liabilities.
Advantages of Bookkeeping
Following are the advantages of bookkeeping in accounting.
- Simplified process and easy steps for recording transactions.
- Makes usage and comparison of financial statements easier.
- The primary books and data input in the bookkeeping system are used higher management for decision making and critical analysis.
- Bookkeeping accounting system provides all the payroll details and deductions made.
- The tracking of expenses and budget is easier in a good bookkeeping system.
- Easier to extract data for audits.
Disadvantages of Bookkeeping
Following are the disadvantages of bookkeeping in accounting.
- A separate bookkeeper is needed which costs time and money.
- If the wrong data feeds into primary books of accounts, it leads to error in the preparation of trial balance and final accounts.
Points to Note about Changes in Bookkeeping
Bookkeeping is the first stage and a very important part of the accounting process of any organization. When implemented carefully, a good bookkeeping system will help in accurately preparing financial statements on time, which will lead to timely tax filings and smooth audit facilitation. Also, the data extracted from bookkeeping entries helps in preparing complex reports, which helps management in decision making. It also helps in creditors and debtors management and updated ledger balances of all accounts, so we can conclude that a good bookkeeping system enables a business to run smoothly and helps with all sorts of data input for further analysis.
This has been a guide to what is bookkeeping and its definition. Here we discuss components of bookkeeping in accounting along with advantages and disadvantages. You can learn more about financing from the following articles –