Financial accounting focuses on the reporting of an organization's financial information to external users of the information, such as investors, potential investors and creditors. It calculates and records business transactions and prepares financial statements for the external users in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).[7] GAAP, in turn, arises from the wide agreement between accounting theory and practice, and change over time to meet the needs of decision-makers.[1]
One consequence of these events was the passage of Sarbanes–Oxley Act in the United States 2002, as a result of the first admissions of fraudulent behavior made by Enron. The act significantly raises criminal penalties for securities fraud, for destroying, altering or fabricating records in federal investigations or any scheme or attempt to defraud shareholders.[75]
Managerial accounting (also called management accounting) identifies financial information that helps managers run a company’s operations efficiently. Managerial accountants may analyze specific products, costs, or projects, and then provide this information to a company’s managers to enable them to make more informed judgements. Reports that managerial accountants provide to managers include cost analysis, constraint analysis, capital budgeting, trend forecasting, inventory analysis, and other types of product or project analysis, according to the industry in which the company operates. Managerial accounting is largely an internal system.
If you use accounting software, it likely performs many of these steps automatically. Once income and expense items are identified and entered into the software, the system updates the accounts and general ledger. Users can run reports directly from the system. A quarterly or annual audit of the entire general ledger can reveal any accounts of out balance that must be corrected through adjusted entries.

Interest on mortgages taken out after Dec. 15, 2017 of up to $750,000, or $375,000 if you're married filing jointly, or $375,000 if you're married and filing separately, provided that the funds are used to "purchase, construct, or make substantial improvements" to your primary or secondary residence. The maximum amount for mortgages originated on or before December 15, 2017 is $1,000,000, or $500,000 for married filing separately.
The cost principle states that assets must be recorded on the date they are acquired, and at the amount for which they were acquired (regardless of whether they change in value over time). For example, the hospital records the value of the purchased medical equipment at the precise value it paid for them on May 1, despite the fact that such equipment depreciates over time.

TurboTax CD/Download products: Price includes tax preparation and printing of federal tax returns and free federal e-file of up to 5 federal tax returns. Additional fees apply for e-filing state returns. E-file fees do not apply to New York state returns. Savings and price comparison based on anticipated price increase. Prices subject to change without notice.


The earned income tax credit gives sizable reductions in taxes to workers with low- or mid-level incomes. The credit amount varies by family size and income, with maximums of $6,660 for those with three or more children, $5,920 for those with two children, $3,584 for those with one child, or $538 for those with no children. The income limits below indicate which taxpayers are eligible for at least some of the earned income credit, but bear in mind that the top credit amount phases out gradually over a large portion of the income range.
Meanwhile, the Lifetime Learning tax credit offers additional educational tax breaks even beyond traditional college. A 20% credit on up to $10,000 in eligible expenses every year is available to taxpayers making less than $59,000 if they're single or $118,000 if they're filing jointly, with reduced credits available up to $69,000 in income for singles and $138,000 for joint filers. This credit is available for graduate school, vocational training, and certain other nontraditional educational expenses.
Empirical studies document that leading accounting journals publish in total fewer research articles than comparable journals in economics and other business disciplines,[68] and consequently, accounting scholars[69] are relatively less successful in academic publishing than their business school peers.[70] Due to different publication rates between accounting and other business disciplines, a recent study based on academic author rankings concludes that the competitive value of a single publication in a top-ranked journal is highest in accounting and lowest in marketing.[71]
Tax planning is the analysis of a financial situation or plan from a tax perspective. The purpose of tax planning is to ensure tax efficiency. Through tax planning, all elements of the financial plan work together in the most tax-efficient manner possible. Tax planning is an essential part of an individual investor's financial plan. Reduction of tax liability and maximizing the ability to contribute to retirement plans are crucial for success.
A doctorate is required in order to pursue a career in accounting academia, for example to work as a university professor in accounting.[57][58] The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) are the most popular degrees. The PhD is the most common degree for those wishing to pursue a career in academia, while DBA programs generally focus on equipping business executives for business or public careers requiring research skills and qualifications.[57]
Two different tax credits give those paying educational costs some relief. The American Opportunity tax credit pays 100% of eligible tuition and required fees up to $2,000, and another 25% of the next $2,000, making for a total maximum credit of $2,500 per year. It's available for four years of undergraduate education, and taxpayers can claim the full credit if they make up to $80,000 for singles or $160,000 for joint filers. Reduced amounts are available for incomes up to $90,000 for singles or $180,000 for joint filers.
The only changes to the income tax brackets for 2020 reflected the usual yearly inflation adjustments to the income amounts for each bracket. Apart from that, you can expect the same basic structure as 2019, with the same seven tax rates applying to the various brackets. The actual income amounts of the brackets depend on your tax filing status. Accordingly, you'll see five sets of 2019 tax brackets below.
The cost principle states that assets must be recorded on the date they are acquired, and at the amount for which they were acquired (regardless of whether they change in value over time). For example, the hospital records the value of the purchased medical equipment at the precise value it paid for them on May 1, despite the fact that such equipment depreciates over time.
Some employers offer different alternatives for workers. For instance, the SIMPLE IRA is easier to administer than a 401(k), making it a popular choice among small businesses. Yet employees can still set aside substantial amounts in a SIMPLE IRA -- up to $13,500 if you're younger than 50 or $16,500 if your 50 or older in 2020. Those numbers are up $500 from last year.
The only changes to the income tax brackets for 2020 reflected the usual yearly inflation adjustments to the income amounts for each bracket. Apart from that, you can expect the same basic structure as 2019, with the same seven tax rates applying to the various brackets. The actual income amounts of the brackets depend on your tax filing status. Accordingly, you'll see five sets of 2019 tax brackets below.
Both the words accounting and accountancy were in use in Great Britain by the mid-1800s, and are derived from the words accompting and accountantship used in the 18th century.[26] In Middle English (used roughly between the 12th and the late 15th century) the verb "to account" had the form accounten, which was derived from the Old French word aconter,[27] which is in turn related to the Vulgar Latin word computare, meaning "to reckon". The base of computare is putare, which "variously meant to prune, to purify, to correct an account, hence, to count or calculate, as well as to think".[27]
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