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Accounting AS & A Level at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College

Course description

Accounting is essential to sound business decision making and through this course you will gain an understanding of the purposes, concepts, techniques and systems of financial and management accounting. You will learn how to prepare and interpret income statements and balance sheets, as well as appreciate how businesses apply financial concepts in their decision-making. You will learn about the impact and applications of ICT in accounting.

Course content

In Year 1 you will study Units 1 and 2 for an AS Level. In Year 2, you will take Units 3 and 4 to complete the full A Level.

Unit 1: Introduction to Financial Accounting – Assessed by examination

This unit will introduce you to the purpose and methods of keeping and verifying accounting records. You will learn the system of double entry book-keeping and how to prepare income statements and balance sheets. You will cover areas including the preparation of accounting records from source documents, such as invoices, credit notes and bank statements.

Unit 2: Financial and Management Accounting – Assessed by examination

This unit will introduce you to different types of business ownership (sole trader, partnership and limited companies) and how their financial structure differs. You will develop your ability to prepare and analyse the accounts of sole traders and limited companies. You will be introduced to the ways in which financial accounting can provide valuable information for measuring and monitoring business performance, through the use of budgeting and ratio analysis.

Unit 3: Further Aspects of Financial Accounting – Assessed by examination

This unit will give you the opportunity to develop your understanding of financial accounting techniques, by learning about the procedures relevant to partnerships and how to prepare accounts when a business has not kept complete records. You will learn about the sources of finance available to a business, how and why limited companies publish their accounts and the importance of accounting standards.

Unit 4: Further Aspects of Management Accounting – Assessed by examination

This unit will develop your understanding of the ways in which accounting techniques can be used to aid the management of a business and contribute to effective decision-making - for example, capital investment decisions. You will learn about manufacturing accounts and cost concepts, including contribution, overhead absorption and variance analysis. You will also learn about “social accounting” issues, ethical decision-making and the influence of stakeholders.

Entry requirements

  • At least five GCSEs at grade C or above, to include English Language and Maths
  • A general interest in the business world and current affairs
  • To use your initiative and be organised in your work habits
  • You do not need to have studied GCSE Accounting to take this course


  • You will need good levels of communication and numeracy
  • You will be taking two examinations at the end of your first year
  • You will be required to develop skills in calculations, interpreting and analysing data, developing arguments and applying knowledge and methods to unfamiliar situations

Future opportunities

The most obvious career the course can lead to is accountancy, but it is also suitable for anyone wanting to pursue a career in any aspect of business. This course would also be useful for students thinking about a career in engineering or science, to help understand the financial constraints under which they may work. The course will also offer students exemptions from some aspects of the Accounting Technicians course that can be taken after A-Levels

Further information

Each unit will be supported by a range of textbooks and specially prepared study packs that will cover the key ideas and provide a variety of exercises to develop your understanding.

Accounting combines very well with Business Studies, Economics and any Mathematics course.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Richard Taunton Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 19 October 2016

Key information