20 Sensational Accounting Infographics

Many people make the mistake of thinking that accounting is boring. However, when you stop and think about what numbers tell us, suddenly accounting becomes quite interesting. Numbers can tell a story, whether it tells you about the success of a business, or whether it tells you where your tax dollars are being spent. Infographics can take these numbers and present them in a way that is understandable and interesting.

No matter the financial information you are viewing, an infographic can be a great way to understand it. And there are plenty of accounting infographics out there. Here are 20 extremely interesting and informative infographics related to accounting:

Government Spending

Perhaps one of the areas of most interest to most people is that of government spending. Where all the tax dollars end up is a very interesting subject. These infographics can provide you with insight into government spending.

  1. How $3.7 Trillion is Spent: The New York Times offers an interactive infographic for the 2012 budget proposal from President Barack Obama. It includes a look at different program cuts, and details “mandatory” spending. It’s an interesting look at where some of the money goes once the government gets its hands on it.
  2. Republicans vs. Obama: The Budget Battles Begin: This infographic compares the budget proposals from the GOP and from Obama. This is a few months old, but it gives you an idea of the starting point for budget negotiations earlier in the year. Of course, right now we are waiting to see if some sort of compromise can be reached before the U.S. begins defaulting on some of its debt.
  3. Wasteful US Government Earmarks in 2008: Do you want an idea of how much is wasted in earmark spending? This infographic can give you a pretty good idea. You might be surprised at some of the things that are considered “worthy” for your tax dollars. Of course, this is only 2008. Some of the waste might have changed, but overall final numbers are probably similar year to year — unless they go up, of course.
  4. Government Spending State-by-State Breakdown: A look at, from fiscal year 2009, federal government spending on each state. It’s an interesting infographic that can help you account for where money goes on a state by state basis. You might be surprised at where most of the money goes.

Taxes

Everyone knows about taxes. Accounting principles are used in figuring taxes, collecting taxes, and using taxes for various purposes. Here are some interesting infographics related to taxation.

  1. Tax Breaks vs. Budget Cuts: ¬†A look at the numbers behind the budget cuts being proposed to help reduce the deficit. Tax breaks aren’t on the table, but tax breaks are costing the country as a whole. Indeed, the one year cost of tax breaks, according to this infographic, is $42 billion, as compared to the $44 billion total cost of programs at risk. With tax breaks, programs wouldn’t need such deep cuts. It’s an interesting look at what tax breaks might be costing us.
  2. Interactive Infographic on Tax Freedom Day: If you are interested in the point at which America as a whole has paid off its tax obligations, this interactive infographic can help you chart the course of history. You can control some of the data points to focus on information of particular interest to you. It’s a fun tax accounting tool.
  3. Projected pot tax revenues: Could a pot tax help solve our budget woes? Maybe. This infographic looks at the types of revenues that could be seen if marijuana were legalized and taxes collected on it. An interesting infographic that shows some of the potential of expanding the sources of tax revenue. This infographic suggests that $700  million could be generated each year by a pot tax.
  4. Federal Tax Payments Per State: Find out how much each state pays in taxes — and how much each state gets back. Many of the states that pay the most in taxes get back less than they paid. This interesting infographic breaks it down, and also shows you how much each state gets back for a dollar. Mississippi, for instance gets $2 from the government for every $1 paid in taxes.
  5. Carbon Tax and the U.S. Federal Deficit: Could a carbon tax reduce the federal deficit? Add this to a pot tax, and nearly $1 billion could be saved. It’s an interesting infographic that looks at some of the possibilities for reducing the deficit — and considers whether or not there are some other options.

Business Information

What can you learn about business from infographics? Plenty. These business accounting infographics are informative — and some of them are also entertaining.

  1. Small Business Facts: A look at some facts related to small businesses. You can see how many fail, and some of the reasons that they fail. A great look at businesses, and accounting, and other items related to running a small business. An interesting and illustrative infographic. Before you start a small business — or abandon one — this infographic can provide you with solid insight.
  2. Startup Bubble 2.0?: Takes a look at the money numbers behind the recent tech startup IPOs. Looks at venture capital numbers, and consideres revenue. It also looks at pre-collapse comparisons, and considers the hottest Internet deals as of Quarter 1 2011. It’s a good look at the current environment, and what could be next for the market.
  3. What Are the Biggest Small Business Tax Mistakes?: Before you find yourself in trouble, consider these small business tax mistakes. As you set up your accounting system for the year, pay attention and avoid these problems. You’ll find yourself less likely to be audited, and you will feel confident if you are audited. After all, you did everything by the book.
  4. How Corporations Get Out of Paying Taxes: Accounting tricks can help big companies avoid paying what they owe in taxes. From legal loopholes, to a low tax rate, to tricks that are considered a little shady, this infographic is quite instructive and eye opening.

Economy

Study the numbers that make up our economy. How does all the money movements in the economy affect our lives? These infographics can show you.

  1. The Resurgence of the American Automotive Industry: Takes a look at how fiscal policy has helped the auto industry, which some believe is important in the grand scheme of the economy. This infographic shows how the auto industry emerged from serious problems to start a turnaround. A look at where we’re at now, and where different parts of our cars come from.
  2. How Coffee Affects the Global Economy: This is cool. See the way that coffee impacts the global economy. You probably didn’t think that what you drink each morning makes such a big difference, but it does. A great accounting of coffee, and its place in the workings of a globally connected economy.
  3. Where Did All the Money Go?: An infographic that illustrates what happened during the financial crisis and meltdown. Follow the money as it slowly disappears from the economy. An interesting account of the financial crisis. Be sure to look at the other infographics on the page for more insight on the global economic meltdown.
  4. Quantitative Easing: Awesome infographic about the concept of quantitative easing in the economy. It’s supposed to help stimulate the economy, and you can see the way it works — in theory. A great accounting of QE, and what to expect (or be disappointed about).

Personal Finance

Your personal economy is affected by the way your financial numbers add up. These infographics provide you with a way understand personal finance concepts, and get information about your situation.

  1. How Free is Your Checking?: A look at your checking — and how free it may not be. Service fees, ATM fees and balance requirements can really change the way you do your accounting within your personal economy. It’s a good idea to know what is happening with your checking account. A basic look at one of the most basic of financial concepts.
  2. 5 Steps for Filing a Back Tax Return: Do you need to file a return for back taxes? If so, it can be an accounting nightmare. This infographic takes you through the steps you can follow to properly file this return. Of course, proper filing of your back tax return doesn’t change the fact that you will owe penalties and interest.
  3. RRSP Facts and Figures: For our Canadian friends, here is a great infographic with all you wanted to know about RRSPs. An informative graphic that can help you learn more about this tax advantaged savings vehicle.