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Quick Books® 2010 All-in-One For Dummies® by Stephen L. Nelson

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Chapter 1. Principles of Accounting

In This Chapter

  • Figuring out the purpose of accounting

  • Reviewing the common financial statements

  • Understanding the philosophy of accounting

  • Discovering income tax accounting and reporting

Any discussion of how to use QuickBooks to better manage your business begins with a discussion of the basics of accounting. For this reason, in this chapter and the next two, I attempt to provide the same information that you would receive in an introductory college accounting course. Of course, I tailor the entire discussion to QuickBooks and the small business environment. What you'll read about here and in the next chapters of this book pretty much describes how accounting works in a small-business setting using QuickBooks.

If you've had some experience with accounting, if you know how to read an income statement and balance sheet, or if you know how to construct a journal entry, you don't need to read this chapter or the next. However, if you're new to accounting and business bookkeeping, take the time to carefully read this chapter. The chapter starts by giving a high-level overview of the purpose of accounting. Then I review the common financial statements that any accounting system worth its salt produces. I also discuss some of the important principles of accounting and the philosophy of accounting. Finally, I talk a little bit about income tax law and tax accounting.

The Purpose of Accounting

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