In most cases, accountants use generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) when preparing financial statements in the U.S. GAAP is a set of standards and principles designed to improve the comparability and consistency of financial reporting across industries. Its standards are based on double-entry accounting, a method in which every accounting transaction is entered as both a debit and credit in two separate general ledger accounts that will roll up into the balance sheet and income statement.
Just as managerial accounting helps businesses make decisions about management, cost accounting helps businesses make decisions about costing. Essentially, cost accounting considers all of the costs related to producing a product. Analysts, managers, business owners and accountants use this information to determine what their products should cost. In cost accounting, money is cast as an economic factor in production, whereas in financial accounting, money is considered to be a measure of a company's economic performance.

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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.
The financial statements that summarize a large company's operations, financial position and cash flows over a particular period are concise and consolidated reports based on thousands of individual financial transactions. As a result, all accounting designations are the culmination of years of study and rigorous examinations combined with a minimum number of years of practical accounting experience.
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