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Financial accounting is the process of recording, summarizing, and reporting financial transactions. It is a key component of financial management and is used by businesses, governments, and individuals to track their financial performance.

The purpose of financial accounting

The purpose of financial accounting is to provide information about a company’s financial position, performance, and cash flows. This information is used by investors, creditors, and other stakeholders to make decisions about the company.

The elements of financial accounting

The elements of financial accounting are the basic building blocks of financial statements. They include:

  • Assets are things of value that a company owns.
  • Liabilities are debts that a company owes.
  • Equity is the ownership interest in a company.
  • Revenue is the income that a company earns from its operations.
  • Expenses are the costs that a company incurs in its operations.

The financial statements

Financial statements are the reports that summarize the financial information of a company. There are three main financial statements:

  • The balance sheet provides a snapshot of a company’s financial position at a specific point in time.
  • The income statement reports a company’s financial performance over a period of time.
  • The statement of cash flows reports a company’s cash inflows and outflows over a period of time.

The accounting cycle

The accounting cycle is the process of recording, summarizing, and reporting financial transactions. It consists of the following steps:

  1. Journalizing is the process of recording financial transactions in a journal.
  2. Posting is the process of transferring journal entries to ledger accounts.
  3. Preparing adjusting entries is the process of adjusting the accounts for items that have not been recorded yet.
  4. Preparing financial statements is the process of summarizing the financial information in the ledger accounts.
  5. Closing the accounts is the process of transferring the balances in the temporary accounts to the permanent accounts.

Financial accounting principles

Financial accounting is based on a set of principles that are designed to ensure that financial information is accurate, relevant, and reliable. These principles include:

  • Matching principle requires that expenses be matched with the revenues they generate.
  • Accrual principle requires that revenue be recognized when it is earned, even if it is not received in cash, and that expenses be recognized when they are incurred, even if they are not paid in cash.
  • Consistency principle requires that a company use the same accounting methods from period to period so that financial statements are comparable.
  • Full disclosure principle requires that a company disclose all relevant information in its financial statements.


Financial accounting is a complex subject, but it is essential for anyone who wants to understand the financial performance of a company. By understanding the basics of financial accounting, you can make informed decisions about your investments and your business.

Additional resources

  • Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB): The FASB is the organization that sets the accounting standards for public companies in the United States.
  • Accounting Principles Board (APB): The APB was the predecessor to the FASB and issued accounting standards from 1959 to 1973.
  • International Accounting Standards Board (IASB): The IASB is the organization that sets the accounting standards for companies in many countries outside the United States.

Tâm Tài Đức

Tâm Tài Đức is a leading accounting and finance training center in Vietnam. We offer a wide range of courses for students, professionals, and businesses. Our courses are designed to help you develop the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in the accounting and finance field.

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