What Is Footing in Accounting?

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Accounting and bookkeeping terminology is often unique to the field. It is important, as an accountant or bookkeeper, to understand what certain terms mean so that you can perform the correct function. It is also important as a manager or investor to know what functions correspond to certain words, so that you know what to ask of your employees and to understand when reviewing financial statements and reports.

Footing

Footing information simply means to add together all of the data in a particular column. In general, accountants must foot many different columns of data in order to find a total for a particular period of time or of a certain piece of information. It is also important when verifying that data or information is correct.

Example

If you have a table that categorizes information by month, you can foot the data for each month to receive a total. For example, if you are a distributor with five different goods that you sell to different retailers, your accountant or bookkeeper likely makes a table with each of the different goods separated into rows and the months separated into columns. By footing each column, you determine the total number of all goods, rather than each separate good, for the month

Crossfooting

Crossfooting is a good tool for checking to ensure that information is recorded correctly and that the totals you received while footing are accurate. In order to perform a crossfoot, you add the values of your footing totals together to receive a grand total. You should also total each row and add the corresponding column together. If the values match, then you have correctly footed your columns.

Example

Using the same example as above, imagine that the totals for columns January through June are: 120, 145, 132, 115, and 118, respectively. Now, imagine that you add together each of the rows and produce the following numbers; 140, 112, 131, 121, 126. If you add together both sets of numbers, you receive the total of 630 for both. Crossfooting verifies the accuracy of your footing.

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