ou likely have a general concept of accounting. Information about the transactions and events of a business is captured and summarized into reports that are used by persons interested in the entity. But, you likely do not realize the complexity of accomplishing this task. It involves a talented blending of technical knowledge and measurement artistry that can only be fully appreciated via extensive study of the subject. The best analogy is to say that you probably know what a surgeon does, but you no doubt appreciate that considerable knowledge and skill is needed to successfully treat a patient. If you were studying to be a surgeon, you would likely begin with some basic anatomy class. In this chapter, you will begin your study of accounting by looking at the overall structure of accounting and the basic anatomy of reporting.

Be advised that a true understanding of accounting does not come easily. It only comes with determination and hard work. If you persevere, you will be surprised at how much you discover about accounting. This knowledge is very valuable to business success.