An accounting manual is a collection of accounting instructions governing the responsibilities of persons, and the procedures, forms, and records relating to the preparation and use of accounting data. It is a handbook containing policy guidelines, procedures, and standards for accounts of a company or an individual.
The manual contains the charts (or classification) of accounts which is an important part of the accounting manual. There can be separate manuals for the constituent parts of the accounting system, for example, budget manuals or cost accounting manuals.
It is basically a step by step guide to understanding various processes that are followed in an organization and a guideline to various policy checks that are adopted by the top management for effective efficiency and managerial control before the entire process is recorded in the books of account of the organization.
The other major constituent of the manual is to provide a detailed analysis of the methods and systems as used by the organization for the purpose of bookkeeping and maintaining its daily books of accounts. This shall include step-by-step guidelines, diagrammatic presentation and an explanation to the accounting and the operating system as used in the organization and details on how to use the same. Details shall also be provided on the accounting policies as adopted by the organization and the reporting standards as required by the statutory bodies