Learn how to balance your books and develop the skills to manage finances in personal and business environments.

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Get practical financial skills to help you balance the books

Discover how money flows in personal and business environments and develop the skills to manage your finances with this online accounting and bookkeeping course from the Open University.

You’ll master common terms, basic maths and gain the ability to put your knowledge into practice. After this course you’ll be able to perfectly balance your books and understand how concepts of profit and loss lead to revenue or debt.

Develop ideas through conversation

This course is not facilitated. Learners are encouraged to support one another, share personal experiences, and see new perspectives.

What topics will you cover?

Week 1 - financial accounting and reporting

  • The reasons and objectives of management and financial accounting, including stewardship, control and accountability
  • Key terminology including income and expenses, assets and liabilities, profit and loss statements and the balance sheet

Week 2 - essential numerical skills

  • Intermediate numerical skills including BODMAS, ratios, percentages, fractions and negative numbers
  • The test of reasonableness and the table of equivalencies
  • Manipulating equations and formulas

Week 3 - double-entry and the balance sheet

  • Business entity and the dual aspect concepts
  • The relationship between the accounting equation and double-entry bookkeeping
  • Recording transactions in the appropriate ledger accounts using the double-entry bookkeeping system
  • Simple balance sheets in a vertical format
  • Balancing off accounts at the end of an accounting period
  • Preparing a trial balance
  • T accounts, debits and credits
  • Double-entry and the profit and loss account
  • The effect of profit on the accounting equation

Week 4 - accounting

  • Income and expense accounts
  • Accounting for closing stock
  • The account equation and double-entry rules
  • Trial balance nominal ledger accounts

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe and define bookkeeping and accounting
  • Explain the general purposes and functions of accounting
  • Explain the differences between management and financial accounting
  • Describe the main elements of financial accounting information – assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses
  • Identify the main financial statements and their purposes
  • Apply the essential numerical skills required for bookkeeping and accounting
  • Explain the relationship between the accounting equation and double-entry bookkeeping
  • Record transactions in the appropriate ledger accounts using the double-entry bookkeeping system
  • Balance off ledger accounts at the end of an accounting period
  • Produce a trial balance, balance sheet and a profit and loss account
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