Bookkeeping is the recording of financial transactions, and is part of the process of accounting in business. Transactions include purchases, sales, receipts, and payments by an individual person or an organization/corporation. There are several standard methods of bookkeeping, including the single-entry and double-entry bookkeeping systems. While these may be viewed as “real” bookkeeping, any process for recording financial transactions is a bookkeeping process.
Bookkeeping is the work of a bookkeeper (or book-keeper), who records the day-to-day financial transactions of a business. They usually write the daybooks (which contain records of sales, purchases, receipts, and payments), and document each financial transaction, whether cash or credit, into the correct daybook—that is, petty cash book, suppliers ledger, customer ledger, etc.—and the general ledger. Thereafter, an accountant can create financial reports from the information recorded by the bookkeeper.
Bookkeeping refers mainly to the record-keeping aspects of financial accounting, and involves preparing source documents for all transactions, operations, and other events of a business.
The bookkeeper brings the books to the trial balance stage: an accountant may prepare the income statement and balance sheet using the trial balance and ledgers prepared by the bookkeeper.
The origin of book-keeping is lost in obscurity, but recent researches indicate that methods of keeping accounts have existed from the remotest times of human life in cities. Babylonian records written with styli on small slabs of clay have been found dating to 2600 BCE. The term “waste book” was used in colonial America, referring to the documenting of daily transactions of receipts and expenditures. Records were made in chronological order, and for temporary use only. Daily records were then transferred to a daybook or account ledger to balance the accounts and to create a permanent journal; then the waste book could be discarded, hence the name.