- 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).
- a detailed report of the financial state or transactions of a person or entity: an accounting of the estate.
- the rendering or submission of such a report.
Origin of accounting
- an oral or written description of particular events or situations; narrative: an account of the meetings; an account of the trip.
- an explanatory statement of conduct, as to a superior.
- a statement of reasons, causes, etc., explaining some event.
- reason; basis: On this account I'm refusing your offer.
- importance; worth; value; consequence: things of no account.
- estimation; judgment: In his account it was an excellent piece of work.
- an amount of money deposited with a bank, as in a checking or savings account: My account is now with Third National.
- Also called charge account. an accommodation or service extended by a business to a customer or client permitting the charging of goods or services, the returning for credit of unsatisfactory merchandise, etc.: Do you have an account at this store? My account with the restaurant is past due.
- a statement of financial transactions.
- a formal record of the debits and credits relating to the person, business, etc., named at the head of the ledger account.
- a balance of a specified period's receipts and expenditures.
- a business relation in which credit is used.
- any customer or client, especially one carried on a regular credit basis.
- Also called advertising account.the business assigned to an advertising agency by a client: The toothpaste account was awarded to a new agency last year.
- to give an explanation (usually followed by for): to account for the accident.
- to answer concerning one's conduct, duties, etc. (usually followed by for): to account for the missing typewriters.
- to provide a report on money received, kept, and spent.
- to cause (usually followed by for): The humidity accounts for our discomfort. His reckless driving accounted for the accident.
- to regard; consider as: I account myself well paid.
- to assign or impute (usually followed by to): the many virtues accounted to him.
- call to account,
- to hold accountable; blame; reprimand: Call them to account for having endangered their lives.
- ask for an explanation of.
- give a good/bad account of, to do something or conduct oneself in a good (bad, etc.) manner: She gave a good account of herself in the tennis tournament.
- hold to account, to hold responsible; hold accountable or culpable: If any of the silver is missing, I'm going to hold you to account.
- on account, as an installment or a partial payment: I can't pay the balance, but here's $10 on account.
- on account of,
- by reason of; because of.
- for the sake of: She saw it through on account of me.
- on all accounts, in any case; under any circumstances.Also at all accounts.
- on no account, under no circumstances; absolutely not: On no account should you buy that painting without having it appraised.
- take account of,
- to make allowance for; consider: One must take account of the difficult circumstances. Taking account of the high overhead, the price is not excessive.
- to notice or observe.
- turn to account, to derive profit or use from; turn to advantage: She has turned her misfortunes to account.
Origin of account
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for accounting
Brat has also worked as an economist in the Army and for the accounting firm Arthur Andersen.Who Is David Brat?
June 11, 2014
Combined they sold about 27,000 units, accounting for about 45 percent of the total hybrid market.Hybrid Cars Are Niche No More
The Daily Beast
June 6, 2014
Nu Nu Yin, 30, left her accounting job in August to open Fantastic Inle Travel & Tours with her lover.A Little Too Off the Beaten Path in Burma
June 2, 2014
What does it say that a VA hospital with this many complaints has not only avoided an accounting—but actually received awards?Exclusive: Texas VA Run Like a ‘Crime Syndicate,’ Whistleblower Says
May 28, 2014
If there's no accounting for taste, there's no accounting for tastelessness, certainly.Our Dumb Puritan Laws: Sex Bans and Illegal Adultery
April 20, 2014
It was not an accounting for what is, but for what it seemed possible to him might be.
In other words, there is no accounting, thus far in the theory, for variation.
And accounting him well warned by now, I read with confidence.The Strolling Saint
It is not so much the getting the forage as the amount of accounting that is involved.War Letters of a Public-School Boy
Our forefathers had their own ways of accounting for each of these calamities.On the Advisableness of Improving Natural Knowledge
Thomas H. Huxley
- 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
- a verbal or written report, description, or narration of some occurrence, event, etc
- an explanation of conduct, esp one made to someone in authority
- ground; basis; consideration (often in the phrases on this (that, every, no, etc) account, on account of)
- importance, consequence, or valueof little account
- assessment; judgment
- profit or advantageto turn an idea to account
- part or behalf (only in the phrase on one's or someone's account)
- a business relationship between a bank, department store, stockbroker, etc, and a depositor, customer, or client permitting the latter certain banking or credit services
- the sum of money deposited at a bank
- the amount of credit available to the holder of an account
- a record of these
- a statement of monetary transactions with the resulting balance
- (on the London Stock Exchange) the period, ordinarily of a fortnight's duration, in which transactions formerly took place and at the end of which settlements were made
- accounting a chronological list of debits and credits relating to a specified asset, liability, expense, or income of a business and forming part of the ledger
- a regular client or customer, esp a firm that purchases commodities on credit
- an area of business assigned to anotherthey transferred their publicity account to a new agent
- call to account or bring to account
- to insist on explanation
- to rebuke; reprimand
- to hold responsible
- give a bad account of oneself to perform badlyhe gave a bad account of himself in the examination
- give a good account of oneself to perform well
- on account
- on credit
- Also: to accountas partial payment
- on account of (preposition) because of; by reason of
- take account of or take into account to take into consideration; allow for
- settle accounts with or square accounts with
- to pay or receive a balance due
- to get revenge on (someone)
- See bank account, credit account
- (tr) to consider or reckonhe accounts himself poor
Word Origin and History for accounting
"reckoning of numbers," late 14c., verbal noun from account (v.). Phrase no accounting for tastes (1823) translates Latin de gustibus non est disputandum.
c.1300, "reckoning of money received and paid," from Old French acont "account, reckoning, terminal payment," from a "to" (see ad-) + cont "counting, reckoning of money to be paid," from Late Latin computus "a calculation," from Latin computare "calculate" (see compute).
Meaning "sum of (one's) money in a bank" is from 1833. Sense of "narration" is first attested 1610s. Plural accounts used as a collective or singular in phrases such as to give accounts (of something), is from mid-13c. Phrase by all accounts is attested from 1798.
c.1300, "to count, enumerate," from Old French aconter "to count, render account" (Modern French conter), from a "to" (see ad-) + conter "to count, tell" (see count (v.)). Meaning "to reckon for money given or received, render a reckoning," is from late 14c.; sense of "to explain" (c.1710) is from notion of "answer for money held in trust." Transferred sense of "value" is from late 14c. Related: Accounted; accounting.
The system of recording and auditing business transactions. (See audit.)
Idioms and Phrases with accounting
In addition to the idiom beginning with account
- account for
- all present and accounted for
- by all accounts
- call to account
- give a good account
- no accounting for tastes
- on account of
- on no account
- on one's own account
- take account of
- take into account
- turn to good account