Business itself consists of the production of goods and commodities, and of their transportation and exchange. To study these things is to study business itself. We cannot study any one of these processes without gradually working off into other sciences. But there are certain features of business, which taken together, we may call the functions of business. In a rough way, these functions may be divided into four parts called production, marketing, financing and accounting.
Production includes the study of the organization and management of the processes required to transform raw material into useful commodities and simple energy into useful services. Marketing includes the study of all the means whereby goods are exchanged and transported from one owner to another.
Financing, in a sense, is not a true function of business, since it merely facilitates production and marketing; and the same may be said of accounting. Financing, however, may be defined as that function of business which facilitates production and marketing through the use of funds.
And accounting may be said to be that function of business which analyzes the other functions and properly records the results of the analysis to the end that those other functions may be intelligently carried on.
There may be elements of the science of business which are generally recognized as parts of the science of business but which cannot easily be fitted into any one of these four functions. We shall find little difficulty, however, if we stick close to our definitions as given above.