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Accounting A Level at Truro and Penwith College

Course description

  • Will A-Level Accounts interest me? 
  • What is profit? – is it the same as cash?  
  • How does a business know how much it is worth?
  • How can a business measure its success?  
  • How does a business price up its products?
  • How can a business control its spending and its cash? 

These are just some of the issues covered in A Level Accounts.  

What skills will I be developing?

You will be introduced to and practise double-entry book-keeping along with the production of financial statements (the income statement and balance sheet). These two topic areas are the fundamental building blocks of A Level Accounts and the majority of work done throughout the first year and to a certain extent in the second year will rely on your understanding of these aspects.

Accounts is as much about structure and the understanding of why a figure is put in a certain place rather than just having mathematical abilities. Therefore students are expected learn how to neatly produce financial statements when calculating the profit made by a business (the income statement) and also when accurately valuing a business (the balance sheet). 

Being numerate and having good powers of analysis are required as you are expected to produce and interpret your calculations. You must be able to evaluate by making recommendations on how a business might improve on its performance.  As a consequence you will need to have good written abilities so you are able to communicate your findings and recommendations.

Course content

Unit 1 Introduction to Financial Accounting. (AS Level)

  • Use and role of source documentation (invoices, credit notes, receipts, etc)
  • Double entry bookkeeping
  • Use and application of sales and purchase ledgers (including day books)
  • Stewardship by using the trial balance, control accounts and bank reconciliation.
  • Financial statements for sole traders with basic adjustments (such as accruals and prepayments, on cost depreciation, amendments of errors, etc.)


Unit 2 Financial and Management Accounting. (AS Level)

  • Financial statements for sole traders with complex adjustments (such as bad debt provision, reducing balance method depreciation, stock valuation adjustments, etc.)
  • Financial statements for Ltd companies (such as calculation of operating profit, production of statement of changes in equity, asset revaluation, bonus issues, etc.)
  • Raising of finance (debentures, loans and calculation of share issues)
  • Budgets (including the production of cash flow forecasts)
  • Ratio analysis

Unit 3 Further Aspects of Financial Accounting. (A2 Level)

  • Partnership financial statements (partner admission and retirement, Garner v Murray, etc.)
  • Published accounts of limited companies (understanding report and accounts, cash-flow statements, International Accounting Standards, non-current asset schedules, etc.)
  • Stock valuation using AVCO and FIFO methods
  • Incomplete records


Unit 4 Financial and Management Accounting. (A2 Level)

  • Marginal costing (calculation of break-even, special orders, limited resources, etc.)
  • Absorption costing (calculation of overhead absorption rate and product pricing)
  • Standard costing (labour and material variances, cost and profit reconciliation statements)
  • Manufacturing accounts (including provision for unrealised profit)
  • Investment appraisal (Discounted cash-flow and payback period calculations) 

Entry requirements

GCSE Mathematics B AND English Language C


Your achievement in this subject is dependent upon excellent attendance, punctuality and effort. You will learn in a friendly atmosphere using a variety of assessment methods:

  • You will be assessed regularly regarding your abilities to produce book-keeping records and financial statements. This is through homework and in-class formal assessment.
  • Discussions, presentations and quizzes are used to develop logical thinking and remembering of glossary terms and making recommendations to financial problem solving.
  • You will review your own performance in 1:1 sessions with your tutor
  • You will be asked to review your learning from the set topic learning objectives
  • You will undertake mock examinations on each unit in advance of your final examinations.
  • You will be formally examined on each topic area at the end of the academic year.

There is no assessed coursework for this subject. Each unit is assessed at the end of the academic year by examination.  AS units have 2 papers with a duration of one and a half hours for each paper at the end of the first year. The A2 units have 2 papers with a duration of 2 hours for each paper at the end of the second year.

Future opportunities

Many students look to undertake accounts and finance degrees after completing their A Level Accounts. Please note that some universities will require a specific grade in A Level Mathematics to go onto an Accounts / Finance degree course.

Students may also be looking to go directly into employment. Students can apply to accountancy firms when leaving college. Successful candidates will usually undertake a training programme 

Further information

The complete syllabus, topic learning objectives and scheme of work etc., will be gone through in class and are available via our Moodle learning web site along with exercises, glossary terms and other literature used to support our students.  Students are also given topic learning objectives so they understand what is required of them and to help prepare for formal assessments.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Truro and Penwith College directly.

Last updated date: 15 June 2016

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