[ uh-koun-ting ]
See synonyms for accounting on
  1. the theory and system of setting up, maintaining, and auditing the books of a firm; art of analyzing the financial position and operating results of a business house from a study of its sales, purchases, overhead, etc. (distinguished from bookkeeping).

  2. a detailed report of the financial state or transactions of a person or entity: an accounting of the estate.

  1. the rendering or submission of such a report.

Origin of accounting

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English; account + -ing1

Words that may be confused with accounting

Words Nearby accounting Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use accounting in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for accounting


/ (əˈkaʊntɪŋ) /

    • the skill or practice of maintaining and auditing accounts and preparing reports on the assets, liabilities, etc, of a business

    • (as modifier): an accounting period; accounting entity

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for accounting


The system of recording and auditing business transactions. (See audit.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.