Accounting or accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial information about economic entities such as businesses and corporations. The modern field was established by the Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli in 1494. Accounting, which has been called the "language of business", measures the results of an organization's economic activities and conveys this information to a variety of users, including investors, creditors, management, and regulators. Practitioners of accounting are known as accountants. The terms "accounting" and "financial reporting" are often used as synonyms.
Corporate finance is the area of finance dealing with the sources of funding and the capital structure of corporations, the actions that managers take to increase the value of the firm to the shareholders, and the tools and analysis used to allocate financial resources. The primary goal of corporate finance is to maximize or increase shareholder value. Although it is in principle different from managerial finance which studies the financial management of all firms, rather than corporations alone, the main concepts in the study of corporate finance are applicable to the financial problems of all kinds of firms.
Finance is a field that deals with the study of investments. It includes the dynamics of assets and liabilities over time under conditions of different degrees of uncertainties and risks. Finance can also be defined as the science of money management. Market participants aim to price assets based on their risk level, fundamental value, and their expected rate of return. Finance can be broken into three sub-categories: public finance, corporate finance and personal finance.
It’s simply to say that managers and investors alike must understand that accounting numbers are the beginning, not the end, of business valuation.
Warren Buffett 1982 Chairman's Letter
There are only two things as complicated as insurance accounting and I have no idea what they are.
Andrew Tobias Chapter 2, By Popular Demand: A very Short Chapter On Insurance Accounting, p. 26.
Over the years, Charlie [Munger, Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman] and I have observed many accounting-based frauds of staggering size. Few of the perpetrators have been punished; many have not even been censured. It has been far safer to steal large sums with pen than small sums with a gun.
Warren Buffett 1988 Chairman's Letter