We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is an Accounting Manual?

By Kenneth W. Michael Wills
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At SmartCapitalMind, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Business organizations usually create an accounting manual, which specifies all accounting policies, guidelines, procedures and standards for a company’s accounts. Included in the accounting manual is the classification of accounts, an outline of accounting rules to follow, and rules specific to the organization. Depending on the type of business entity, accounting manuals vary from company to company, but in general serve the same purpose at each company, even using similar outlines. That purpose is to ensure accuracy and consistency in accounting methods utilized by every individual within the firm handling accounting related tasks and procedures. The manual typically includes several different sections to cover all aspects of the accounting function.

Usually the accounting manual will begin by outlining the purpose of the document, explaining the scope of the documentation, and articulating the responsibilities required of those reading the manual. This will typically include a list of exceptions to the rules found within the manual, in addition to explaining management’s role and responsibility in ensuring adherence to the manual. These sections most often serve as the introduction to the manual.

Organization of the accounting and finance departments are usually covered thereafter, providing employees and contractors with a clear understanding of the various roles included in the company’s structure. Responsibilities of each department are outlined and specified in this section as well. The next few sections will usually explain management accounting procedures, methods and policies as related to reporting.

Focusing on the central aspects of accounting usually follows the sections on management accounting and reporting. Including the planning process, responsibilities associated, communications required and authorized authorities, the next few sections deal specifically with the framework on accounting policy and procedure within the organization. Other topics covered will often include systems used in the accounting process, internal controls, audit procedures, security, documentation, cost accounting and transactions.

Rounding out the accounting manual, the last several sections will usually cover a diverse range of accounting procedures. Often covered are administrative accounting procedures, cash accounting, asset and inventory accounting, revenue accounting and purchase accounting. Final sections will usually include specifications for resource management, provisioning of accounting resources, accounting infrastructure, and the expected work environment. Additionally, many accounting manuals will also have a section dedicated to human resources, detailing human capital requirements and expectations for filling various roles within the accounting function. Coverage of the human resources aspect is considered vital to many organizations for assuring that the accounting function is properly staffed with qualified individuals.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.