Accounting procedures occur in a cycle, meaning the events are performed routinely during a business' fiscal period. Fiscal period is the interval of time for which financial change is measured. The normal fiscal period is equivalent to a calendar year but does not necessarily run from January through December. The fiscal period of a business begins on the first day of operation. This date then remains the first day of this business' fiscal period. The measurement of business activity over a specific period of time is necessary to determine growth and profitability.
The accounting procedures are divided into eight steps. Some accounting activities occur daily, while others occur monthly or even yearly. The focus of this course is to provide an understanding of these eight steps.
There are numerous accounting jobs. Some are entry-level positions and may be learned through on-the-job training or through some degree of schooling. Other advanced accounting careers require extensive post-secondary education.
An individual with an entry-level accounting position is often referred to as an a ccounting clerk or a bookkeeper . Duties are generally routine procedures but are essential to the successful operation of a business.
The controller (also spelled comptroller ) is usually a chartered accountant who understands the entire accounting system. They audit accounts and supervise the financial affairs of the business. Audit is the examination of the financial documents of a business to ensure accuracy and to make any necessary adjustments. Some companies hire a public accountant to audit their books. A public accountant serves the general public for a fee, in the same way a lawyer does. The controller would report directly to the Vice-President of Finance or, in a smaller company, directly to the owner.
The government may also audit a business. Routinely, governments randomly select businesses and verify that proper accounting and tax procedures are being maintained.