What is an 'Accounting Manual'

An accounting manual contains pertinent accounting rules and other information for a business or organization. An accounting manual is internally developed and contains information specific to the organization for which it was developed. It may list the positions or departments within the organization, a list of accounts, special instructions for maintaining ledgers or records of transactions or other rules that need to be followed by the accounting staff. It often may contain budgetary information or samples of forms that need to be completed and maintained on site for recording purposes or sent externally reporting purposes. Essentially, an accounting manual is an outline of all important accounting information and procedures for a business.

BREAKING DOWN 'Accounting Manual'

An accounting manual contains an outline of all of the pertinent accounting rules, procedures, and guidelines for an organization. It is developed internally by the organization and can be used as a reference tool, to cross train associates or to train newly hired personnel. Accounting manuals differ in size and content from one organization to another depending on the type and size of the organization.

Example of an Accounting Manual

For example, XYZ corporation manufactures and sells widgets. XYZ corporation has an accounting department that keeps track of all of the facts and figures that goes along with maintaining a manufacturing facility, warehousing an inventory, and managing a selling and distribution operation. All of the appropriate corporate accounts for these areas of business including guidelines for maintaining them and the necessary forms to be completed are all found in the XYZ corporation accounting manual. The accounting manual was developed internally by the XYZ corporation senior accounting staff and is used as a reference point for established employees and a training tool for new employees.

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