SUMMARY DISCUSSION OF THE ACCOUNTING SYSTEM AND CYCLE (Continued):
The accounting system provides three basic types of records 1) files and underlying documents, i.e., vouchers, invoices 2) a sequential diary or journal of financial events in order of occurrence 3) a classified, ledger, record of changes in each element of the financial system. There may be two types of journals and ledgers, 1) detailed or support, and 2) general (summary of detailed or support books). Functions such as posting, performed in connection with these three basic elements of the accounting system, when proceduralized to such a degree that interpretation and analysis of accounting data is minimized, can be performed by Account Clerks and Account Technicians.
The fourth and final element in the system consists of financial reports. Although the documents, the journal and the ledger have a variety of uses, the primary reason for their existence is to record the transaction data systematically for the purpose of preparing financial reports. This fourth basic element generally requires the performance of functions of an interpretative or analytical nature and would normally require professional skills and knowledge (i.e., Accountants). Account Clerks and Account Technicians may have limited reporting functions if the reports are of a highly proceduralized nature, or of such a minimal variety of incidence as to be insignificant in relation to the total job.
The accounting cycle as applied to the maintenance of the four elements of the accounting system is divided into ten basic operations. Definitions of these appear below:
Journalizing - Entering financial transaction in an accounting journal involving:
Analyzing the Transactions to Determine Their Correctness - This analysis refers to both arithmetical accuracy and to document validation.
Recording the Transaction - This may be by means of a physical entry into a journal or by means of assigning a code to a transaction for ultimate journalization. The coding of transactions finds greatest use in support of a decentralized integrated accounting system.
Posting - Placing journal entries into an appropriate account in a ledger. The ledger may be a separate book of entry or it may be a file of documents or a group of punched cards.
Page 2 of 20