Completing the Accounting Cycle

This chapter will explain the steps required to complete the accounting cycle. This includes understanding the full accounting information cycle, and what is used to create the financial statements that will be provided to required and interested stakeholders. The accounting cycle happens every month for most companies, and requires distinct steps and cutoffs in order to create useful, consistent financial reports that managers can use to make decisions that improve the performance of the company. On a quartery and annual basis, financial statements are created for outside stakeholders as well.

The accounting cycle summarized

In Chapter 1, you learned that when an event is a measurable business transaction, you need adequate proof of this transaction. Then, you analyze the transaction's effects on the accounting equation, Assets = Liabilities + Stockholders' equity. In Chapters 2 and 3, you performed other steps in the accounting cycle. Chapter 2 presented the eight steps in the accounting cycle as a preview of the content of Chapters 2 through 4. As a review, study the diagram of the eight steps in the accounting cycle in Exhibit 19. Remember that the first three steps occur during the accounting period and the last five occur at the end. The next section explains how to use the work sheet to facilitate the completion of the accounting cycle.