Financial accounting is a specific branch of accounting involving a process of recording, summarizing, and reporting the myriad of transactions resulting from business operations over a period of time. These transactions are summarized in the preparation of financial statements, including the balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement, that record the company’s operating performance over a specified period.
Work opportunities for a financial accountant can be found in both the public and private sectors. A financial accountant’s duties may differ from those of a general accountant, who works for himself or herself rather than directly for a company or organization.
Financial accounting utilizes a series of established accounting principles. The selection of accounting principles to use during the course of financial accounting depends on the regulatory and reporting requirements the business faces. For U.S. public companies, businesses are required to perform financial accounting in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The establishment of these accounting principles is to provide consistent information to investors, creditors, regulators, and tax authorities.
Financial accounting results in the determination of net income at the bottom of the income statement. Assets, liabilities and equity accounts are reported on the balance sheet. The balance sheet utilizes financial accounting to report ownership of the company’s future economic benefits.
In this introductory unit of the course, you will learn about a variety of the foundational elements of accounting that are crucial to the understanding of the material in this course.
To understand financial accounting, you will need an in-depth understanding of the four basic financial statements and the purpose they each serve. You will also need to understand how data is captured and transformed into information and how the accounting equation seeks to ensure that you are properly recording the data.
Throughout the course you will be introduced to various career fields and employment positions associated with the concepts of this course. Consider this information an exploration of the viability of accounting as an employment option and as a means of reinforcing how significant these concepts are to the success of business operations.
Completing this course should take you approximately 11 hours. Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the foundational principles and objectives of accounting;
- Apply the accounting equation to illustrate the impact of business transactions and to transform business transactions (data) into usable information; and
- Identify the foundational accounting concepts, assumptions, or principles through the analysis of specific business situations.