Users of accounting information - Generally, users of accounting information are decision-makers who will want to use the financial statements to satisfy some of their needs for information. The specific groups of users and their information needs may include the following:
The management of the reporting entity:
These are the people who manage the operations of the reporting entity and have the responsibility of preparing the financial statements. The management process involves planning, organizing, directing and controlling. The management takes decisions in these processes and accounting information will enable them to make effective decisions.
Lenders are those who provide finance to the business to be repaid after a number of years, or say banks that provides overdraft facilities to businesses. They are generally concerned with the risk inherent in the loans and overdraft extended to the business (security of their investment). Lenders need accounting information it enable them assess whether the business will be able to repay the loan or overdraft extended to them when they fall due for repayment. The information requirements will enable lenders to decide whether to hold, dispose off or increase their investments in the business concerned.
Shareholders are the owners or members of the reporting entity and are interested in assessing how effectively their business is being managed, their profitability and the amounts of returns to them as dividends and the future well-being of their business.
Employees and their trade union representatives:
Employees are the human resource or work force of the business and will require information to assess the job security as to whether the business can provide safe and stable employment, promotion over the years and other benefits.
Suppliers and other trade creditors:
They are those who provide goods and services to the business on credit and are concern with the credit worthiness of the business and its profitability as it affects the ability to meet its obligations.
They are the patrons of the business and require information to assess the security of their
supplies and thus, not in danger of being closed down in the near future. Customers are also interested in information that will enable them to assess the fairness of the pricing policy of the business.
The Government and its agencies:
The government and its agencies are interested in resource allocation and will require information to regulate its activities. Internal Revenue Service and Statistical Service need information for tax and statistics purposes.
Finance analysts and advisers and researchers:
They provide consultancy and financial counseling services to existing and prospective investors and shareholders. They therefore financial statements of the business their clients are invested in, in order to efficiently help them to make investment and de-investment.
The operations of the businesses affect the general public especially those in the communities in which the businesses are situated. For instance the local community may depend to some extent on businesses for employment and may be affected on the environmental front by the activities of the businesses. The public need information to assess the extent to which the businesses are meeting their social responsibilities to the communities.
Branches of accounting
Accounting has three main forms of branches, by way of financial accounting, cost accounting, and management accounting. These forms of accounting have been developed to serve different types of objectives. Other branches of accounting are: Tax Accounting, Public Accounting and