Bookkeeping is the science and art of systematic recording, classifying and summarizing of financial transactions or events of a business in a set of books. A business transaction means the exchange of money or items of value between two or more persons.
Spicer and Pegler defined Bookkeeping as the systematic recording of the transactions in a manner enabling the financial relationships of a business with other persons to be clearly disclosed, and the cumulative effect of a transaction on the financial position of the business to be correctly ascertained. J. R. Baltiboi has observed that Bookkeeping is the art of recording business dealings in a set of books.
The recording of business transaction involves: analysis of transactions from the source document, recording those transactions, posting them in a ledger, and so forth. All business transactions are first entered in the journals. All these various types of entries need to be classified. This is achieved by opening different accounts on separate pages in the ledger and then posting various entries to the ledger under appropriate accounts.
A ledger account is a record of debits, credits and balances of each individual account–asset, liability, and revenue and expense items. Each account in the ledger represents a summarized record of all the transactions concerning that particular account. The importance of the ledger as the main book of accounts lies in the fact that the figures which appear in the financial statements, like balance sheets and profit and loss statements, are derived from the ledger. A ledger, together with cash and bankbooks, forms a complete set of business accounts.
Bookkeeping is the basis of the accounting process as financial accounting includes interpretations of details generated by the Bookkeeping.