Corporate Accounting – Significance, Application and Standards
Corporate Accounting is one of the major parts in financial management procedures of an organization. Accounting practices are necessary for a company in order to show how an organization has been successfully operating over the course of the year and making future plans for budgets and expenditures (Das, 2011). However, it is studied that accounting is a broadest term which have several branches and areas for different business and for different purposes. In which some of them are financial accounting, cost accounting and corporate accounting (Malwitz, 2008). However, this paper is merely focusing on defining the corporate accounting by incorporating corporate accounting theories, significance, concepts, legislation, applications and standards.
Corporate accounting is a special branch of accounting which can be defined as the quantity, recording and interpretation of financial information and data of a limited company which can be either a public limited company or a joint stock company (Fyler, 2013; Ijiri, 1980). Moreover, it is found that corporate accounting is an accounting which is particularly for larger companies since smaller-scale companies, sole traders or partnerships business cannot implement corporate accounting to maintain their financial record or information.
It is because smaller-scale companies, sole traders or partnerships businesses have not much requirements and demands in order to fulfil the accounting standards and to meet with accounting principles (Ijiri, 1980). On the other hand, large scale organizations or limited companies have sufficient financial information and data that they have to show to the general public and regulatory bodies therefore they have to maintain proper financial records with the help of corporate accounting (Fyler, 2013; Ijiri, 1980; Das, 2011).
Furthermore, it is studied that corporate accounting also deals helps the limited companies or large scale organizations in term of preparing final accounts, maintaining cash flow statements, analysing and interpreting financial results of the respective company particular for any specific events such as amalgamation, absorption, and helps company in preparation of consolidated balance sheets (Paton & Littleton, 1986).
By reviewing several studies, it is identified that the corporate accounting has some basic principles and foundations on which the overall accounting practices are based. The key foundations of corporate accounting include Accounting Cycle, Double Entry Accounting, and financial statements (Bennett, 2013). In which Accounting Cycle involves the regular recording and reporting of financial data or information. The accounting cycle completed within a specific period of time as per the policies of companies. Usually, it completed in a month or year.
Corporate Accounting Cycle
The accounting cycle begins by recording all financial transactions such as cash exchanges or debits and credits by using a general ledger approach. General Ledger is a precise and clear summary of all accounts including payable and receivable (Bennett, 2013; Ijiri, 1980). The next stage of accounting cycle is the adjustment of general ledger which can be done by taking items or entries which are not the direct transactions, such as bad debt, taxes and accrued interest. Thus, it is a key area therefore accountants must ensure that revenues and expenditures are match up as per each accounting period. In case, of accountant failed to do this properly, it can lead to confusion over financial irregularities and at the end of the period it can create confusion in overall revenue and total profit for the period (Bennett, 2013; Ijiri, 1980).
The second key element of the corporate accounting is double entry accounting, which can be defined as the standard accounting concept used by limited companies or large scale organizations. The basic of double entry accounting is based on the notion that for all actions there is an equal and opposite reaction (Bennett, 2013; Ijiri, 1980). It means that when a financial gain takes place in any part of financial statement, it should be escorted by a loss somewhere else on the balance sheet.
Suppose that of if a limited purchases a product to sell, so it will show the decrease in cash in financial statement and in the same way it will show the increase in inventory of certain organization (Bennett, 2013; Ijiri, 1980). Finally, the financial statement is another key aspect of corporate accounting, which is refers to the financial reports prepared at the end of the company’s financial year.
This financial report basically includes the cash flow statements, balance sheets and income statements for the previous 12 months. The financial reports of an organization show the summary and of all financial activity including overall profits or losses incurred by respective company (Bennett, 2013; Ijiri, 1980). Furthermore, it has been examined that the financial report helps accountant of a limited company in terms of preparing tax returns, while stockbrokers and investors use the same financial reports for the comparison between respective company and international business performance.
In addition to this, it is found that the financial reports also help the managers of certain company in terms of a assessing the performance of the company as well as in making proper plan and budget for company to successfully execute its operation in upcoming year. Following is the table that represents the different accounting terms used in UK and USA (Joos & Lang, 1994):
Table 1 – Accounting Terms as Per UK and USA Standards
|United States of America||United Kingdom|
|Balance sheet/Statement of financial position||Balance sheet|
|Treasury Stock||Own Shares|
|Provisions||Accounting for loss contingencies|
|Retained Earnings||Profit and loss Reserves|
|Paid in surplus||Shares premium account|
|Management’s premium of operations||Operating review|
|Management’s discussion of financial resources and liquidity||Financial Review|
|Fiscal year||Financial year|
|Income statement/Statement of earning||Profit and loss account|
|Affiliated company||Associated company|
|Earnings per share||Net income per share|
|Scrip dividend||Stock dividend|
|Balance sheet||Balance sheet/Statement of financial position|
|Tangible fixed assets||Property, plant and equipments|
In addition to the above, it is identified that in most of the limited companies particularly in UK (United Kingdom) and USA (United States of America), for the preparation of financial reports or execute corporate accounting practices specific accounting standards are used which are only set in common law (Joos & Lang, 1994). However, in different countries, it has been studied that the corporate accounting are different from each other therefore different countries uses different accounting regulations in order to maintain financial records and for the preparation of yearly financial reports.
Furthermore, it has been examined that throughout the world there are two types of accounting standards are used which includes the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) (Young & Wiley, 2011; Everingham, et al., 2007).In which International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) provides rules for business affairs from the global perspective in which the accounts and financials of a company can be understood and compared across international boundaries (Young & Wiley, 2011; Everingham, et al., 2007). On the other hand, General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) provides rules to collect and interpret financial data for multinational competitors with the help of financial statement (Young & Wiley, 2011; Everingham, et al., 2007).
International Financial Reporting Standards
It is further examined that the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are mostly adopted by the companies operating throughout the European Union. Beside it, the organization in several countries like Australia, South Africa and Russia are also now widely followed IFRS accounting standards for the recording of financial information and analysing and interpreting financial data. In contrast, specifically in the United States limited companies are bound to utilize the GAAP accounting standards for all kinds of accounting practices (Young & Wiley, 2011; Everingham, et al., 2007).
Thus, it has been concluded that, the corporate accounting system allow companies to successfully maintain financial data as per their company policies, regulated accounting standards and accounting principles or laws determined by common law.
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