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Difference between Manual and Computerised Accounting

Last Updated : 24 Jul, 2023
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Accounting is the process of maintaining the financial accounts of a business or organisations every financial year for the audits and the entry of data to record financial accounts monthly, quarterly, or annually, either handwritten manually or computerised using certain accounting software. Due to modern techniques, nowadays most of the accounts are done through computer software. Only a few small businesses and companies use manual accounts today. Simply put, the two ways through which an accountant can maintain the financial accounts of a company are Manual Accounting and Computerised Accounting.

Difference between Manual and Computerised Accounting


What is Manual Accounting?

The process in which the accountants prepare paper-based handwritten accounts in a register in the form of ledgers, subsidiary books, and journals to record the financial transactions is called Manual Accounting. Manual accounting is time taking process, and it is not quickly done. The chances of human error in recording the data are high in manual accounting, and it needs an employee to perform such a job. It is also cost-effective and may not require any highly expensive equipment, like computers. The data is much more secure and protected against all cyber attacks or online thefts, as it does not require the internet.

What is Computerised Accounting?

The process in which the financial accounts are systematically accounted for using specially developed computer accounting software automatically in the form of PDF, Tally, and Excel spreadsheet documents is called Computerised Accounting.  It is a very quick process, as everything is systematically automated using accounting software. It requires a computer and an operator to perform such operations. The chance of having any calculation error is very less or null, and it gives precise output as the software is designed with full automation like auto entries, organised framework, calculations, etc. It helps in maintaining the financial records and all transactional information easily and produces account statements, tax liabilities, and other financial reports, which can be used to analyze the company’s operations, etc.

Comparison Between Manual Accounting and Computerised Accounting


Manual Accounting

Computerised  Accounting

Meaning Manual accounting is the procedure where the financial accounts are recorded manually using physical registers, ledgers, and subsidiary books. Computerised Accounting is software-based operations done by specific account software which has an automatic framework.
Time Taken It is a time taking process and the records are maintained manually using paper based account books, and sometimes it is not accurate. The process of accounting is much faster, more reliable, and easy. All data is maintained systematically and accurately using the software.
Margin of Error Since the accounting is done manually, so there is a chance of human error in calculations and accuracy. The accounting through software is automated and has very less chance of error and the transactions are precisely recorded.
Reliability Although it is not much easy to store physical accounting books everywhere, as they can be misplaced or get damaged easily and cannot be sent anywhere easily as compared to Computerised accounting. It is very reliable to store information on the computer in the form of format documents like PDF, Microsoft Excel, etc. and can be sent digitally anywhere in a fraction of a second.
Safety The Books can be kept safely and cannot be stolen easily, as it does not require any internet access to get stolen by a cyber attack. There is a chance of cyber attacks to steal the data unless it is strongly secured using advanced anti-hacking software, as this process requires the internet.
Editable It is much more difficult to edit the report or make changes once entered manually, a whole page has to be re-entered if any mistake occurs.  Any changes can be performed easily as it’s easy to edit things in a computer system and doesn’t have to redo the whole work again.
Technology It is exempted from such maintenance as this process does not require a computer and the data is always available to access and use as every record is done physically and stored safely.  As a computer is a machine so technical problems, like software freezing, system not responding, data crash, etc., can be occurred once in a while if proper maintenance is not done.
Backup The physical data is safe compared to computerised accounting, but a backup is always important, like having a photocopy of the original records to prevent any unexpected data loss. Every now and then, an online backup or external backup is highly preferred to get rid of any accidental hardware crash and data loss.
Additional Device In manual accounting, all the calculations of transactions like adding, subtracting, multiplications, etc., are done physically and for some tough calculations, an additional device, like a calculator is used.   The software does all the calculations automatically and accurately and doesn’t need any additional calculating devices.
Automatic The identification of a particular transaction is manually done and can take some time to record it. In this accounting, the tracing of reports or identifying transactions is fully automatic and quick.
Accuracy In this process, the balances of accounts have to be entered manually in registers, which is a time-consuming process. So the Trial Balance is manually prepared. Since the process is based on accounting software, the preparation of the Trial Balance is produced automatically and is accurate.
Physicality The physical storage of accounting books requires a lot of physical space or dedicated racks or shelves to store the records, registers, etc. The physical space to store the documents is not required as everything is digitally stored, and a limited physical space sufficient for a computer is only needed.
Used By It is used by small businesses and old-fashioned traders as they have less number of transactions. It is mostly used by large companies and businesses where the number of transactions is more.

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