Accounting generally refers to keeping and preparing financial records for an entity. It is a broad term that can also refer to management, auditing or taxes.
In terms of financial accounting, there are several different kinds. The cash basis method is the simplest form, and basically refers to recording a transaction when it happens. Accrual and hybrid methods are other options for businesses. A business can handle some accounting tasks on its own and trust an outside accountant to handle the bulk of the work.
Accounting Basics: What Do Small Business Owners Need to Know?