Below is the preface excerpt from Australian Practical Accounting Guide, where author Stephen J. Marsden introduces the role of accounting in business.
Accounting has often been described as the ‘‘language of business’’
Every business, regardless of whether it is a listed public company, a non-profit organisation or a small corner shop, butcher or newsagent, requires accurate and timely financial information so that the owners or directors of these businesses can make informed business decisions.
These decisions have financial consequences that impact on a wide range of stakeholders, from the business owners (or shareholders), customers, suppliers, employees, lenders, creditors and government regulators. As a result, many people with little knowledge of accounting must interpret financial data. Thus, accounting plays a significant role in society and, in a broad sense, everyone is affected by accounting information.
For this reason, a basic understanding of accounting principles is vital not only for those who studied an accounting degree at university or completing their professional studies, but also for those who have perhaps only completed one accountancy unit in their entire course. Accountants are required for all types of businesses and the financial statements produced by accountants are used by both internal and external users to make and evaluate important business decisions.
The importance of GST
Most other introductory accounting textbooks which span hundreds of pages only tend to devote a handful of pages to the GST. The GST was introduced in Australia on 1 July 2000 and applies to 2.6 million Australian businesses that are currently registered for the GST. The Guide deals with the impact of the GST on businesses in each chapter.
This book is not only designed to assist accountancy students gain an appreciation of key accounting concepts and principles, but is also aimed at those students who do not necessarily require a detailed or in-depth understanding of accounting and wish to go on to become a qualified accountant.
A deliberate attempt has been made to write the book in simple-to-understand terms. The book is practical in nature and contains numerous worked examples, diagrams, checklists and flowcharts for easy reference. Each chapter also concludes with a list of commonly asked accounting and taxation questions pertinent to each topic.
What distinguishes this book from many other introductory accounting textbooks on the market is that this book can also be used as a handbook for practising bookkeepers and accountants.
Many of the worked examples contained in the book are ‘‘real’’ clients of mine (although their names have been changed to protect their identity). The reason for doing this is to give the reader a real-world insight into typical day-to-day accounting issues encountered by Australian businesses. It is also designed to provide the reader with a greater understanding of the issues faced by accountants when dealing with their clients on a day-to-day basis.
As a final comment, regardless of whether you are a practising bookkeeper or accountant, or whether you are embarking on an accountancy career or simply a student studying an accounting unit as part of your course, I hope you find this book useful, interesting and informative.
The Australian Practical Accounting Guide is available now on the CCH Bookshop. Get your copy today!
About the author
Stephen has worked as a senior accountant and management consultant with Touche Ross & Co and KPMG in Brisbane within their management and consultancy and international business services divisions.
He is now employed as a full-time lecturer in the School of Accountancy at QUT teaching a range of undergraduate and postgraduate financial accounting and law subjects.
Stephen has also been heavily involved in the establishment of the new Accountancy Capstone unit. He is a regular presenter for both the Institute of Chartered Accountants and CPA Australia in their professional modules and the author of several accounting books and refereed journal articles, including the Australian Master Bookkeepers Guide.
He has provided consultancy services to several Queensland Government departments, chartered accountancy firms, and listed Australian companies on a range of taxation and IFRS Issues.