Accounting manual

Accounting manual
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Accounting manual is a handbook that contains accounting policies and procedures. The accounting manual is usually internal document prepared by specialists and used by company accountants and other staff.

Purpose of accounting manual[edit]

The main purposes of accounting manual are:

  • handbook for new employees,
  • reference used to solve problems,
  • source of interpretation.

The accounting manual can include additional information related to used accounting controls and indices.

Table of contents of example accounting manual[edit]

The accounting manual template can include:

  1. Principles of accounting
  2. Budgeting procedure
  3. Accounting guidelines
  4. General ledger accounts
  5. Revenue accounts
  6. Expenditure accounts
  7. General journal entries
  8. Financial reports
  9. Other procedures
  10. Regulations and reference materials
  11. Responsibility assignment matrix
  12. Glossary

Terms and interpretations[edit]

The accounting manual handbook should contain important terms and explanations, which are necessary to maintain quality of work. Words and abbreviations may be different for various companies, also same terms might have alternative meaning.

Usage of individual abbreviations in your firm will result in better understanding of problems between colleagues, overall improvement of the quality of work, and helps to avoid of understanding of third persons.

Examples of abbreviation[edit]

There are common and well-known abbreviations used in many companies like:

(Manual of accounting – Interim financial reporting, 2018)

But there are also more advanced words, which are not so understandable as others, for example:

(Manual of accounting – Interim financial reporting, 2018)

Those are only examples, terms above aren't universal, so they can mean something else in other environment. You should firstly meet with glossary in your manual of accounting.

Accounting guidelines[edit]

Accounting guidelines tells about important rules, and sticking them leads to success in fulfilling our duties. Guidelines may tell about different things, like place of bookkeeping, dates of tax calls or relationships with contractor (time for payment). Guidelines are helpful especially for new employees, it helps them to implement and to refuse doubts.

examples of accounting principles:

  • Consistency - Accountant should be consistent in his job, applying same procedures, practices, and accounting principles, for example if company is changing payment time from 14 to 7 days, then starts to charge default interest, it should be disclosed, and every contractor have to get information about changes in payment methods, or payment time.

(Harold Averkamp,2018)

  • Monetary Unit Assumption- Every economic activity is measured in monetary unit- currency, it should be always same currency, even if we got invoice in foreign currency, accountant should convert amount into primary unit. As a result, accountants ignore effect of inflation, it is assumed that your currency doesn't lose power.

(Harold Averkamp,2018)

Chapter about Accounting guidelines may also contain FAQ standing for frequently asked questions. FAQ answers on common problems, which are mostly basics or easy questions with unobvious answers, or answers are different for various companies. For example:

Q: What are sales rebates?
Up to 100 Pieces - no rebate
between 100-250 pieces - 3% rebate
250+ pieces - 10% rebate on all sales


Author: Michał Rogóż