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Accounting

A LEVEL (AQA)

What interests should I have if I want to take this course?

Accounting is a popular A level with many universities  offering courses and multi-national companies offering school leaver programmes in the financial sector. Therefore an interest in vocational and academic progression would be suitable for students choosing this course. The focus on the use of financial information to support businesses and stakeholder interests also has links to many other business related subjects, ensuring that this option can be complemented by an interest in Business Studies, Economics, Law or Maths.

What will I learn about?

The specification emphasises both financial accounting and the recording of past events, and management accounting as a means of planning and decision making. Students will learn to appreciate that these are not totally distinct areas of study and that there is an interrelationship between financial accounting and aspects of management accounting. Students will develop an understanding of the double entry system and accounting principles and concepts as these form the foundation of all financial accounting techniques. They will also need to demonstrate quantitative skills that are relevant to the subject. 

Students will be expected to demonstrate knowledge of the formulae used for calculations, carry out computations and use the results to inform judgements, solve problems and make decisions. It is also important that students develop their ability to write effectively so that they can report to stakeholders, make logical arguments and provide sound judgements based on an analysis of available evidence.

The A-level requires students to develop their accounting skills further in relation to both Financial and Management Accounting. Students are encouraged to keep up to date with financial news including announcements concerning the performance of leading UK businesses, and are given the opportunity to investigate their published accounts. 

The following areas will be covered as part of the course:

  • The role of the Accountant in Business
  • Types of Business Organisation
  • The Double Entry Model
  • Verification of Accounting Records
  • Accounting Concepts 
  • Preparation of Financial Statements of Sole Traders
  • Limited Company Accounts
  • Analysis and Evaluation of Financial Information
  • Budgeting
  • Marginal Costing
  • Standard Costing and Variance Analysis
  • Absorption and Activity Based Costing
  • Capital Investment Appraisal
  • Accounting for Organisations with Incomplete Records
  • Partnership Accounts
  • Accounting for Limited Companies
  • Interpretation, Analysis and Communication of Accounting Information
  • The Impact of Ethical Considerations

The course is assessed through two three-hour exams at the end of Year 13. These both include a multiple choice/short response section, structured questions and two extended response questions. They each contribute 50% of the A Level grade.

What minimum qualifications will I need to start this course?

GCSE grade 5 in Maths and 4 in English Language, and an average GCSE score of 4 & C in GCSE Business if taken.

What Teaching and Learning methods will be used?

A variety of teaching methods will be used, including working independently or with others, completing short tasks and larger projects. You must be confident with numbers and able to manipulate them. An ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing is also desirable.

What can I do when I complete my qualifications?

A level Accounting is ideal preparation for many business related courses such as Finance, Economics, Business Management and of course, Accounting. A sound knowledge of accounting is also useful in many careers. It is a subject that is attractive to prospective employers and universities and will equip you with life-long skills that will help you manage your personal finance as well as understanding and using important financial information in any field of education or work. 

A number of accounting students have also accessed School Leaver Programmes in organisations such as The National Audit Office, Proctor and Gamble, Siemens, Deloitte, KPMG and Experion in recent years. 

How can I find out more information?

For further information, contact Mr Green or Mr Snowdon in the Business & Enterprise Department.