What is Accounting? Is it a Science or an Art?

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Accounting Definition

An organized method of finding out and recording all the transactions that are being carried out in a business or any other corporate is known as Accounting. Accounting is known as the “Language of Business”. The main aim of the accounting process is to measure the outcomes of the economic events in any organization. The practitioners of the accounting system are known as the accountants.

In simple words, accounting refers to the summarization, analyzing and the reporting of the financial transactions in any company. For every business, accounting is considered to be the key element. A bookkeeper or an accountant is responsible for the same.

Also Read: 6 Principles of Accounting

Here are some of the most popular definitions:

According to the Committee of Terminology of American Institute of Certified Public Account: “Accounting is the art of recording, classifying summarizing in a significant manner and in terms of money, transaction, and events which are, in part at least of a financial character and interpreting the results thereof.” 

According to Bierman and Drebin: “Accounting may be defined as identifying, measuring, recording and communicating of financial information.”

There are different viewpoints where some consider accounting as an art and some as science. Read this article further to come to a particular conclusion for the same.

Accounting as a Science

As read above, accounting is a systematic and organized representation of all the financial data of any organization. According to the definition, accounting can be measured as science. This is because, like science, it also works on the organized and managed track in order to work on the economic status of the particular object. In the field of science, there are some of the steps that need to be followed to continue in gaining the knowledge. These include- observation, study, practice, experiments, and investigation. In a similar way, knowledge is required to be obtained in the process of accounting about the economic position by following a systematic study.

To come up to a result, a scientist needs to conclude the specific topic by following the given steps: identifying, recording, measuring, researching thoroughly. On the other hand, an accountant concludes the research report by initially, identifying, analyzing, classifying by using the specific method called the double-entry bookkeeping system of accounting.

Accounting as an Art

Art, in this case, doesn’t mean the sketching and the drawing of the different figures, but, art refers to the skills or the techniques that are used in every field to carry out the tasks in a proper manner. Art can be described as the learning of the various tools and systems that need to be used. In the case of accounting, since, it represents the financial conclusions by the implementation of the method that is applicable all over the world i.e. GAAP.

Therefore, by the above-given information, it has been concluded that accounting cannot be categorized as either art or science instead, it holds the properties of both. Hence, accounting is both an art and science. 

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