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.

Nearby words

  1. account receivable,
  2. accountability,
  3. accountable,
  4. accountancy,
  5. accountant,
  6. accounting machine,
  7. accounting period,
  8. accouplement,
  9. accouter,
  10. accouterment

Origin of accounting

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at account, -ing1

Can be confusedaccounting bookkeeping finance(s) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for accountings

  • An act of justice now will be worth a thousand future "accountings" after the long agony of the world is over.

British Dictionary definitions for accountings



  1. the skill or practice of maintaining and auditing accounts and preparing reports on the assets, liabilities, etc, of a business
  2. (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

Word Origin and History for accountings



"reckoning of numbers," late 14c., verbal noun from account (v.). Phrase no accounting for tastes (1823) translates Latin de gustibus non est disputandum.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for accountings


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.