In every financial accounting textbook, the authors explain in detail about "Users and Uses of Financial Accounting." Information such as cash flow statements, income statements, and balance sheets are important documents that are kept to ensure that the company is recording everything correctly. The users of this accounting information are divided into two categories, internal and external users.
The internal users of accounting information are the managers who organize, operate and plan daily business routine. They are directly affiliated with the company and use administrative accounting, which includes in-depth reports used to determine financial strengths and weaknesses. For example, internal users would include management, finance, marketing, and human resources. An example of a human resource manager would be that he or she has to ensure the rights of their employees by using wage information along with other data. Important questions arise with internal users. A question for a marketing manager would include, "What price for an Apple I Pad will maximize the company's net income?"
External users are groups of individuals that are outside organizations, and they use accounting to make financial decisions. An example of an external user would include a creditor, who uses accounting to evaluate the risks of granting credit. Taxing authorities, investors, and customers are also external users. External users would receive limited financial information from a company such as financial statements. These statements are the backbone of financial accounting and they give the external users enough information to inform them of the company's economic position. Assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses are of great importance to users of accounting information. For business purposes, it is customary to arrange this information in the format of four different financial statements; Balance sheet, income statement, retained earnings statement, and statement of cash flows.
The purpose of the income statement is to report the success or failure of the company's operations for a period of time. The income statement lists the company's revenues followed by it expenses. A key point to recall when preparing an income statement is that amounts received from issuing stock are not revenues, and amounts paid out as dividends are not expenses. Therefore they are not reported on the income statement. Retained earnings statement shows the amounts and causes of changes in retained earnings during the period. The time period is equivalent to the time covered on the income statement. Financial statement users can evaluate dividend payment practices by monitoring the retained earnings statement. Some investors seek companies that have a history of paying high dividends, while others seek companies that reinvest earnings to increase the company's growth.
The balance sheet is based on this equation: Assets = Liabilities + Stockholders Equity. This equation is referred to as the basis accounting equation. The balance sheet reports the company's assets, liabilities and owners equity. It is a financial window to the company at a specific point in time. Claims are divided into two categories: claims of creditors, which are called liabilities and claims of owners, which are …