Mastering the Art of Preparing Financial Statements: A Step-by-Step Guide

What Is An Accounting Cycle?

The accounting cycle is the basic eight-step process for completing a company’s bookkeeping tasks. It provides a clear guide to the recording, analysis, and final reporting of a company’s financial statement and analysis of financial statements.

Billing cycles are used extensively throughout the financial statement and analysis of financial statements. Therefore, maintaining organization and overall efficiency throughout the duration of the process is a key factor. Your billing cycle period depends on your reporting needs. Most companies try to analyze their performance on a monthly basis, but some focus on quarterly or annual results.

Either way, most accountants have a day-to-day view of a company’s finances. Overall, determining the duration of each billing cycle is important as it establishes specific start and end dates. After a billing cycle completes, a new cycle begins, and the 8-step billing process begins again.

Understanding The Eight-Step Accounting Cycle

The eight-step accounting cycle begins with the individual recording of each company’s transactions and ends with a comprehensive report on the company’s activities during the specified cycle period of the company’s financial statement and analysis of financial statements.

Many businesses use accounting software to automate their accounting cycles. This allows accountants to schedule days in the cycle and receive automatic reporting for business financial reporting and financial statement analysis.

Depending on the system of each company, it is possible to use more or less automation techniques.  Accounting typically requires some level of technical assistance, but accountant intervention may be required at various points in the accounting cycle. Individual companies typically need to modify the eight-step accounting cycle in specific ways to suit their business model, financial statement, and analysis of financial statements. Changes between accrual and cash accounting usually cause big problems.

Companies can also choose between single-entry and double-entry bookkeeping. Double-entry bookkeeping is necessary for a company to

Prepare All Three Of His Main Financial Statements:

  1. Income statement
  2. balance sheet
  3. cash flow statement

Eight Steps In Preparing Financial Statements Are

Step 1: Transaction Identification

The first step in the financial statements is identifying transactions. Businesses perform many transactions throughout their accounting cycle. Each individual must be properly recorded in the company’s books and records.

Record keeping is essential to record all types of transactions. Many businesses use book-linked POS technology to record sales transactions. Besides sales, there are also expenses that can have many variations.

Step 2: Record Transactions In A Journal

The second step in the financial statement and analysis of financial statements is creating journal entries for each transaction. POS technology helps combine steps 1 and 2, but businesses should also keep an eye on their spending. Your choice of accrual accounting or cash accounting determines when transactions are officially recorded. Note that accrual accounting requires reconciliation of income and expenses, so both must be posted at the time of sale.

Cash accounting involves recording transactions when cash is received or paid. Double-entry bookkeeping makes two entries for each transaction and maintains a carefully crafted balance sheet with income and cash flow statements.

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) require publicly traded companies to use the accrual basis of accounting for their financial statements, with rare exceptions.

In double-entry bookkeeping, each transaction has equal debits and credits, as is common in business-to-business transactions. Personal accounting is like keeping a checkbook. I have a balance report, but I don’t want multiple entries. 

Step 3: Publication

Once a transaction has been recorded as a journal entry, it must be recorded in the general ledger account. The ledger provides a breakdown of all accounting activities by account. This allows accountants to monitor the financial statement and analysis of financial statements and the status of each account. One of the most commonly mentioned accounts in the ledger is the cash account, which indicates the amount of cash available.

The general ledger was once the golden rule for recording transactions, but today, with almost all accounting done electronically and all transactions recorded automatically, the general ledger has become less important.

Step 4: Prepare Adjustment Postings At The End Of The Period

After completing the required corrections, enter the corrections. Customize your entries so that your financial statement and analysis of financial statements contain only information relevant to the specific period of interest.

There are four main types of customization.

  1. Deferrals
  2. Allowances
  3. tax adjustments
  4. missing transaction adjustments.


  1. Deferred money is money spent in advance of the resulting income (e.g., purchase of office supplies for future use) or cash received in advance of delivery of services or goods (e.g., advance payments from customers). In other words, deferral removes transactions that do not belong to the financial statement and analysis of financial statements.
  2. Accounts payable relate to income not paid immediately and expenses not paid immediately. Remember the unpaid invoice you sent your customer two weeks ago or the invoice from a supplier that you haven’t delivered? Setting accruals ensures that future payments and expenses are taken into account in the financial statement and analysis of financial statements you create.
  3. Missing Transaction Reconciliation helps you track financial transactions you forgot on your books, such as business purchases on personal loans. I will add it here.
  4. Tax adjustments help account for things like depreciation and other tax deductions. For example, you spent a lot of money on a new device, but you may be able to write off some of that expense this year. Tax adjustments are made once a year, so your CPA may be able to help you with this.

Step 5:Worksheet

Analyzing the worksheet and identifying matching entries is his fifth step in the financial statement and analysis of financial statements. A worksheet is created and used to verify that debits and credits are equal. If there are differences, adjustments should be made. In addition to identifying errors, accrual accounting may also require corrective postings to reconcile income/expenses.

Step 6: Reconcile The Journal

In the sixth step, accountants make adjustments. Adjustments are recorded as journal entries as needed.

Step 7: Financial Report

After the company has made all correction postings, the seventh step is to prepare the annual financial statements. Although for most companies, these statements include income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.

Step 8:Please Close The Book

Finally, in the eighth step, the company completes the accounting cycle by closing the books at the end of the day on the specified cut-off date. The final report includes a report analyzing performance during the reporting period. 

Once complete, your analysis of financial statements will begin with a new reporting period. Commencement is usually a good time to submit your thesis, plan for your next reporting period, and review your calendar for upcoming events and tasks.

What Is The Difference Between An Accounting Cycle And A Budget Cycle?

The main difference between accounting and budgeting cycles is that accounting cycles record and evaluate transactions after they occur. However, a budget cycle is an estimate of income and expenses for a specific period of time in the future that has not yet been developed. Budget cycles leverage previous financial reports to forecast income and expenses.

What Steps Are Listed In The Order In The Accounting Cycle?

The steps in the accounting cycle are identifying the transaction, recording the transaction in a journal, posting the transaction, creating an unreconciled balance sheet, analyzing the spreadsheet, reconciling journal differences, generating financial statements, and closing the books.

What Is The Most Reason For The Bookkeeping Cycle?

The primary purpose of the accounting cycle is to ensure the accuracy and relevance of financial statements. Although most of the accounting is done electronically, it is still important to ensure everything is correct, as errors can increase over time.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Financial Statements?

The benefits of accounting include helping with tax, decision-making, business valuation, and providing information to key stakeholders such as investors and law enforcement. Disadvantages include biased information, the possibility of speculation and manipulation to some extent, and fluctuations in the value of cash, the unit used to measure performance.


The 8-step accounting process makes bookkeeping easy for accountants and busy entrepreneurs. Moreover, this helps eliminate guesswork when dealing with accounting activities. It also helps ensure consistency, accuracy, and efficient financial performance analysis

Scroll to Top