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Purpose, interrelated, users, stakeholders, accounting cycle

Define the purpose of accounting and identify the four basic financial statements.
Explain how they are interrelated with each other, and why they are useful to managers, investors, creditors, and employees.

extensive discussion (over 1,000 words)

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The purpose of accounting is to provide the information that is needed for sound economic decision making. The main purpose of financial accounting is to prepare financial reports that provide information about a firm's performance to external parties such as investors, creditors, and tax authorities. Managerial accounting contrasts with financial accounting in that managerial accounting is for internal decision making and does not have to follow any rules issued by standard-setting bodies. Financial accounting, on the other hand, is performed according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) guidelines. The purpose of accounting is to provide the information that is needed for sound economic decision making. The main purpose of financial accounting is to prepare financial reports that provide information about a firm's performance to external parties such as investors, creditors, and tax authorities. Managerial accounting contrasts with financial accounting in that managerial accounting is for internal decision making and does not have to follow any rules issued by standard-setting bodies. Financial accounting, on the other hand, is performed according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) guidelines.
Accrual vs. Cash Method
Many small businesses utilize an accounting system that recognizes revenue and expenses on a cash basis, meaning that neither revenue nor expenses are recognized until the cash associated with them actually is received. Larger businesses, however, use the accrual method. Under the accrual method, revenues and expenses are recorded according to when they are earned and incurred, not necessarily when the cash is received or paid. For example, under the accrual method revenue is recognized when customers are invoiced, regardless of when payment is received. Similarly, an expense is recognized when the bill is received, not when payment is made.

Under accrual accounting, even though employees may be paid in the next accounting period for work performed near the end of the present accounting period, the expense still is recorded in the current period since the current period is when the expense was incurred.

Underlying Assumptions, Principles, and Conventions

Financial accounting relies on the following underlying concepts:
Assumptions: Separate entity assumption, going-concern assumption, stable monetary unit assumption, fixed time period assumption.

Principles: ...

Solution Summary

The purpose, interrelated, users, stakeholders and accounting cycles are examined.

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