Project Accounting refers to the use of accounting system to track the financial progress of a project through frequent financial reports. Project accounting is a vital component of project management. It is a specialized branch of management accounting with a prime focus on ensuring the financial success of company projects such as the launch of a new product. Project accounting can be a source of competitive advantage for project-oriented businesses such as construction firms.
Forensic Accounting is the use of accounting, auditing and investigative techniques in cases of litigation or disputes. Forensic accountants act as expert witnesses in courts of law in civil and criminal disputes that require an assessment of the financial effects of a loss or the detection of a financial fraud. Common litigations where forensic accountants are hired include insurance claims, personal injury claims, suspected fraud and claims of professional negligence in a financial matter (e.g. business valuation).
Tax Accounting refers to accounting for the tax related matters. It is governed by the tax rules prescribed by the tax laws of a jurisdiction. Often these rules are different from the rules that govern the preparation of financial statements for public use (i.e. GAAP). Tax accountants therefore adjust the financial statements prepared under financial accounting principles to account for the differences with rules prescribed by the tax laws. Information is then used by tax professionals to estimate tax liability of a company and for tax planning purposes.
Cost accounting is a branch of management accounting and involves the application of various techniques to monitor and control costs. Its application is more suited to manufacturing concerns.
Management Accounting produces information primarily for internal use by the company’s management. The information produced is generally more detailed than that produced for external use to enable effective organization control and the fulfillment of the strategic aims and objectives of the entity. Information may be in the form budgets and forecasts, enabling an enterprise to plan effectively for its future or may include an assessment based on its past performance and results. The form and content of any report produced in the process is purely upon management’s discretion.
Financial Accounting, or financial reporting, is the process of producing information for external use usually in the form of financial statements. Financial Statements reflect an entity’s past performance and current position based on a set of standards and guidelines known as GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). GAAP refers to the standard framework of guideline for financial accounting used in any given jurisdiction. This generally includes accounting standards (e.g. International Financial Reporting Standards), accounting conventions, and rules and regulations that accountants must follow in the preparation of the financial statements.