In order to answer the question, "What is Accounting?" I'd like to start with what is not. Accounting is not a math class or at least it's not an advanced math class. It's more like a basic kind of a math class because it's basically just addition and subtraction.
At some point, many students feel like it's really a foreign language class because accounting is commonly referred to as the language of business.
For most beginning students, business is like a foreign environment.
So by learning accounting we can better understand business and the environment in which it operates.
I like to think of it with this example: Imagine you are traveling in a foreign country where you don't speak the language, would it be easy for you to get around, order meals, and arrange hotel and travel accommodations? I think you could see that that could be quite challenging. However, if you had some proficiency in the foreign language your trip would likely be more enjoyable.
Well, so in order to understand accounting you need to become familiar with the accounting language.
So, how do students study for language classes? With practice and immersion.
So how should students study for accounting classes? With practice and immersion.
And when we combine simple math and new terms foreign to beginning students we start to understand financial transactions.
Accounting tracks the financial transactions of a business, records the financial transactions in an information system, and reports those results to interested groups.