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Exam board : AQA
This course gives students an insight into the role of an accountant and the world of accounting and finance.
Accounting is an increasingly popular choice in post-16 education. It provides an academic qualification for higher education and a career opportunity for those wishing to train as accountants or enter the world of finance. The course complements either business or economics at A level. Students are advised to study one or two, but not three, out of accounting, business studies and economics, as universities increasingly prefer width rather than a narrowing of studies.
Who is it for?
This course is suitable for anyone intending to progress to higher education; anyone who is intending to work in an accounting environment; anyone who is interested in accounting and/or finance and anyone interested in a business related career. We have an unprecedented number of students who have obtained a professional apprenticeship in accountancy upon leaving school at the end of this course.
In addition to the general entrance requirements for advanced level study and given the numeric nature of this course, it is essential that students have a grade 5 at GCSE level in maths. A grade 5 in English language is preferred. It is not advisable to take accounting with both business and economics as they are in the same 'family' of subjects.
The specification was introduced in 2017 and is a full A Level course with 2x three hour exams at the end of the second year. You will learn the fundamentals of record keeping, and the purposes, techniques and consequences of effective financial accounting. You will also consider how financial accounting helps in successful business operations and decision making. You will study business ownership, control, profitability, performance and budgeting. The course develops your understanding of financial accounting techniques, and how they aid business management and decision making. You will look at costing, capital investment, budgeting, partnership accounts, and sources of finance, as well as considering social accounting issues.
The course encourages the acquisition of a range of transferable skills. These include data skills, presenting arguments, making judgments and recommendations, problem solving and planning work. These are important skills and can be applied to all further career paths.
The course will have regular assessed tests to ensure full and thorough knowledge of each new topic. In addition, class work and homework assignments will be marked and feedback given.
The exam board is AQA and will be examined in June.
Main teaching methods
The main teaching methods used in accounting are through methodical calculations, industry accepted financial recording and statements, discussions on investment issues etc. Note taking - students MUST provide themselves with A4 lined paper, an A4 folder to keep their notes, a 30cm ruler and a simple calculator. Specialist accountancy paper would be useful.
‘Introducing Accounting’ by Ian Harrison will be provided, as well as a school provided reference resource, giving information on topics within the course.
No single textbook is really sufficient in itself. Students will be encouraged to use libraries to consult other textbooks. This does not mean that whole textbooks need to be read, rather they are to be consulted as supplementary reading in special topics and provide additional calculation practice.
The following reading list may be useful at this stage and will be added to over the course:
D Cox & M Fardon, AS/A2 Accounting for AQA, Osborne Books
I Harrison, AQA Accounting Revision Guides, Philip Allan Updates
I Harrison, Complete A-Z Accounting, Hodder & Staughton
Holiday work before September
It is strongly recommended that students begin to look at exam papers and subject specification to have an understanding of the content, depth, topics, layouts and standards of presentation of financial records (see the AQA website) and also look at some company financial reports on Google.
This subject would be useful to students who are interested in a career in management, accountancy or the financial services. The course exempts candidates from having to complete the Foundation stage of some professional accounting qualifications, and provides an excellent start to a degree in business, finance or accounting.
For further information, contact:
Ms M Withers, Head of Business Education