Unit 8 Reading Activity

Listen to the audio recording while you read the text. When you understand everything, please continue to the next activity.

Financial Statements

If you walked into any accounts office twenty years ago, you would have seen piles of financial statements and reports in every corner. However, now, there is an increasing trend towards the paperless office.

Accounting teams, much like other office workers, are using electronic copies to replace the traditional hard copies of everything from tax returns to financial statements. But how has this electronic revolution changed the accountant’s working day?

As you can imagine, accounting especially for larger corporations generates a lot of paperwork. The actual accounts are only a small portion of the accounting records. To start with each transaction has to be meticulously recorded which before computerized programmes meant a large number of ledgers. These books were the basis for the accounts so it was essential that they were accurately maintained. Each accounting function would operate a different set of ledgers which would then be reconciled in the process of generating the final accounts.

In each set of accounts, for each company the accounting firm had to prepare the workings, otherwise known as T-accounts, the trial balance summarizing these accounts, the bank reconciliations showing the cash in hand, a draft set of accounts and of course the approved set of accounts, with accompanying notes to the accounts and this was just the beginning.