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 ).
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.
Historical Examples

An act of justice now will be worth a thousand future “accountings” after the long agony of the world is over.
The Case of Edith Cavell James M. Beck


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


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

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

Related Terms

creative accounting


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    to equip or outfit, especially with military clothes, equipment, etc. v. also accoutre, 1590s, from French acoutrer, earlier acostrer (13c.) “arrange, dispose, put on (clothing),” originally “sew up,” from Vulgar Latin accosturare “to sew together, sew up,” from Latin ad- “to” (see ad-) + *consutura “a sewing together,” from Latin consutus, past participle of consuere […]

  • Accoutered

    to equip or outfit, especially with military clothes, equipment, etc. Historical Examples A man who appeared thus dressed and accoutered would either be a master or a joke in a community like Medora. Roosevelt in the Bad Lands H. Hagedorn. Some of the allied armies were as gaudily, if not so richly, accoutered as their […]

  • Accouterment

    personal clothing, accessories, etc. the equipment, excluding weapons and clothing, of a soldier. Historical Examples This accouterment was formerly completed by a gun to defend the flock against wolves, and a stove for preparing meals. Scientific American Supplement, No. 821, Sep. 26, 1891 Various Any one chancing to observe the boys as they thus set […]

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