Unit 10 Financial Accounting

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Balancing the books is at the heart of all business management. The overall aim of this unit is to introduce students to essential financial accounting principles and techniques which will enable them to record and prepare basic final accounts. Students will learn how to prepare accounts for sole traders and partnerships as well as limited companies.On successful completion of this unit students will be able to contribute effectively to the accounting function of an organisation, or to understand how to record and prepare basic financial accounts for their own business. They will have the knowledge and skills required to progress to a higher level of study.

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Learning outcomes

LO1 Record business transactions using double entry book-keeping, and be able to extract a trial balance

Business transactions:

  • Giving consideration to the types of business transactions (sales, purchases, receipts and payments) and the regulations which apply to financial accounting.

Double entry book-keeping:

  • Double entry recording in sales, purchases, cash disbursement and cash receipt journals before posting to the ledger accounts.
  • Manual and electronic systems will be introduced and how, why and when these are used.
  • Effectively recording debits and credits; regulations that apply to financial accounting.

Trial balance:

  • Understanding how the trial balance is produced and its role in the identification and rectification of errors; the components of a trial balance and their importance will be considered.

LO2 Prepare final accounts for sole-traders, partnerships and limited companies in accordance with appropriate principles, conventions and standards

Financial reports and financial statements:

  • What is the difference between the two?
  • How, why and when are each one produced?
  • Different types of financial statements and what they cover.
  • Adjustments required for accruals, prepayments, bad debts, etc.

Types of accounts:

  • Preparing final accounts (e.g. for sole-traders, partnerships or limited companies).

Principles and conventions:

  • Understanding accounting rules and principles.
  • Understanding the concepts and conventions of consistency and material disclosure.

LO3 Perform bank reconciliations to ensure company and bank records are correct

Bank reconciliation:

  • What is meant by bank reconciliation and why is it required? How is this achieved? Why is this necessary?
  • Who would be interested in the outcome of a reconciliation?

The process of reconciliation:

  • Ensuring that all entries relating to a particular period are correctly entered in the ledger system to support the preparation of the profit and loss account and balance sheet.
  • Using tools and techniques to check general accounts and balance sheets against liquid holdings and cash reserves.


  • Identifying variances through a bank reconciliation.
  • Dealing with negative and positive variances
  • When is a negative variance a positive and vice versa?
  • Ensuring the same entry for every debit and credit entry, and that the balance for each account is calculated and entered correctly.

LO4 Reconcile control accounts and shift recorded transactions from the suspense accounts to the right accounts

Control accounts:

  • What are they?
  • How and why are they used?
  • How do they support effective financial management?

Suspense accounts:

  • How do they differ from control accounts?
  • Why are they required?
  • How are funds in suspense accounts legally protected?

Reconciling these accounts:

  • Why is reconciliation required?
  • How is this conducted?
  • The role of debtors and creditors accounts.

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  • ATRILL, P. andMcLANEY, E. (2012) Accounting and Finance for Non-Accounting Specialists. 8th Ed. Harlow: DYSON, J. R, (2010) Accounting for Non-Accounting Students. 8th Ed. London: Prentice Hall.
  • GLAUTIER, M. (2010) Accounting Theory and Practice. Harlow: Prentice Hall.


  • Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance
  • Journal of Business Finance and Accounting
  • International Journal of Managerial and Financial Accounting

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