Accounting is the measuring, and disclosure or provision of assurance about information that helps managers and other decision makers make resource allocation decisions. How to become an Accountant.
Accountants in the US are called Certified Public Accountants and in the UK and Canada are called Chartered Accountants.
Chartered Accountants in Canada are expected to know all US CPA knowledge as well as a Canadian Accounting body of knowledge. In order to become an Accountant an undergraduate degree is required and then a period of articling is required which can take as long as 5 years with gruelling exams and an exhausting series of finals.
In her notes compiled in 1979, Professor Linda Plunkett of the College of Charleston S.C., calls accounting the “oldest profession”; in fact, since prehistoric times families had to account for food and clothing to face the cold seasons.
Later, as man began to trade, they established the concept of value and developed a monetary system. Evidence of accounting records can be found in the Babylonian Empire (4500 B.C.), in pharaohs’ Egypt and in the Code of Hammurabi (2250 B.C.).
Eventually, with the advent of taxation, record keeping became a necessity for governments to sustain social orders. Perhaps the most significant benefits to contemporary accounting has been the introduction of computer programs to assist in the accounting function.
Computer programs were introduced in business and government organizations in the 1950s, and the most important applications of computers have been in the areas of record keeping, balancing , and transaction recording.
Accounting uses various bases of measurement, mainly the cash basis, the accrual basis (or historical cost) and variations of these; all of these functions are greatly assisted by the use of various accounting software programs.
Accounting is tied to the invention and dissemination of the double entry bookkeeping process.
Different Accounting Software Solutions available today:
ACCPAC web-based accounting, launched the ACCPAC Online web site in 1999 which allows end users to run ACCPAC from a simple browser for a small monthly rental fee.
Intuit’s QuickBooks for the Web represents a new product from scratch. Microsoft Small Business Manager is a new player on the block which is a scaled down version of Great Plains Accounting Software.
Netledger centralized net computing renamed Oracle Small Business Manager Peachtree. This product was the older Peachtree Office Accounting product and is also a web-based solution. In 2000, Peachtree added a web-based module to its’ flagship Peachtree Complete Accounting product called Peachtree Web Accounting.
SAP mySAP – web-based accounting featuring a limited number of SAP modules.
So it appears that there are 2 different types of Accounting Software:
Web Based Accounting: which is one application on a Web Server running everybody’s application.
There are of course advantages and disadvantages to this type of application, immediately coming to mind is confidentiality and the security of the Servers being used as well as possible breakdowns.
Advantages are of course in being able to use unlimited Server Resources.
And then there is PC Based accounting which everybody has tried and is Bill Gates favorite.
In-house control of everything but subject to limited resources.