Bookkeeping and accounting are closely related and often used interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two. Bookkeeping is the process of recording and classifying financial transactions in a systematic and organized manner. This involves the recording of transactions in a company's books of accounts, such as the general ledger and the accounts payable and receivable ledger. On the other hand, accounting is the process of interpreting, classifying, analyzing, and communicating financial information. It involves the preparation of financial statements and reports that provide insight into the financial performance and position of a company. Accounting goes beyond the mechanics of bookkeeping and involves the application of accounting principles and the use of analytical skills to make business decisions. In short, bookkeeping is the foundation of accounting, and accounting is the interpretation and analysis of the financial information recorded through bookkeeping. Here is an example to illustrate the difference between bookkeeping and accounting:
Imagine that a company called ABC Inc. sells a product to a customer for $100. In the process of bookkeeping, the transaction would be recorded in the company's books of accounts, such as the general ledger, as a debit to the sales account and a credit to the accounts receivable account. This ensures that the financial transaction is accurately and systematically recorded. In the process of accounting, the transaction would be analyzed and interpreted to provide information about the company's financial performance and position. For example, the accountant might prepare an income statement that shows the revenue generated from the sale, as well as the costs associated with producing and selling the product. The accountant might also prepare a balance sheet that shows the company's assets, liabilities, and equity. So, in this example, the bookkeeper would record the transaction, while the accountant would use the information recorded by the bookkeeper to prepare financial statements and reports that provide insight into the company's financial performance and position.