Bookkeeping is the recording of financial transactions. Transactions include sales, purchases, income, and payments by an individual or organization. Bookkeeping is usually performed by a bookkeeper. Bookkeeping should not be confused with accounting. The accounting process is usually performed by an accountant. The accountant creates reports from the recorded financial transactions recorded by the bookkeeper. There are some common methods of bookkeeping such as the Single-entry bookkeeping system and the Double-entry bookkeeping system. But while these systems may be seen as "real" bookkeeping, any process that involves the recording of financial transactions is a bookkeeping process.
A bookkeeper (or book-keeper), also known as an accounting clerk or accounting technician, is a person who records the day-to-day financial transactions of an organization. A bookkeeper is usually responsible for writing the "daybooks." The daybooks consist of purchase, sales, receipts, and payments. The bookkeeper is responsible for ensuring all transactions are recorded in the correct daybook, suppliers ledger, customer ledger, and general ledger. The bookkeeper brings the books to the trial balance stage. An accountant may prepare the income statement and balance sheet using the trial balance and ledgers prepared by the bookkeeper.
Two common bookkeeping systems used by businesses and other organizations are the single-entry bookkeeping system and the double-entry bookkeeping system. Single-entry bookkeeping uses only income and expense accounts, recorded primarily in a revenue and expense journal. Single-entry bookkeeping is adequate for many small businesses. Double-entry bookkeeping requires posting (recording) each transaction twice, using debits and credits.
The primary bookkeeping record in single-entry bookkeeping is the cash book, which is similar to a checking account register but allocates the income and expenses to various income and expense accounts. Separate account records are maintained for petty cash, accounts payable and receivable, and other relevant transactions such as inventory and travel expenses. These days, single entry bookkeeping can be done with DIY bookkeeping software to speed up manual calculations.
Notes and references
- Williams, Jan R.; Susan F. Haka, Mark S. Bettner, Joseph V. Carcello (2008). Financial & Managerial Accounting. McGraw-Hill Irwin. p. 26. Template:Citation/identifier.
- Pinson, Linda; Jerry Jinnett (1993). Keeping the Books, Second Edition. Upstart Publishing Company, Inc.. p. 10. Template:Citation/identifier.