Bookkeeping Foundations BBS103

Study Bookkeeping - become a bookkeeper or use it as a pathway to career advancement.

There are always jobs for bookkeepers. Bookkeeping may provide a pathway to extend your career into many other aspects of accounting, finance and business administration or starting a small business. The choice is yours.

Every business needs at least one person to do their accounts. Bookkeeping can provide a long and enjoyable career with options to branch out into other areas. This comprehensive course covers everything from keeping a ledger & cash control, to the balance sheet and profit and loss statements. It provides an extremely solid foundation and is suitable for:

  • Business owners.
  • Administration or accounts employees.
  • Anyone seeking a career as a bookkeeper.

This course will provide you with the knowledge to:

  • Do the bookkeeping for your own business.
  • Seek work as a bookkeeper with other businesses.

Course Structure and Content

There are 13 lessons in this course:
Lesson 1.  Introduction – Nature, Scope and Function of Bookkeeping

  • What is bookkeeping?
  • Difference between accountants and bookkeepers.
  • History of bookkeeping.
  • Bookkeeping Terminology.
  • Understanding language.
  • Why do we need bookkeeping.
  • Bookkeeping as a management tool.
  • Business structures.
  • Business structures vary internationally.
  • Financial information.
  • Accounting conventions and doctrines.
  • Accounting standards.
  • Australian accounting standards.
  • UK accounting standards.
  • International cooperation on standards.

Lesson 2.  The Balance Sheet

  • What is a balance sheet.
  • Assets and liabilities.
  • Components of a balance sheet.
  • What items do not appear on the balance sheet.
  • Example of a Balance Sheet.
  • Tracking business performance.
  • T format balance sheet.
  • Balance sheet allocations.
  • What is working capital.

Lesson 3.  Analysing and Designing Accounting Systems

  • What is an accounting system.
  • Understanding the flow of information in bookkeeping.
  • Other business documents -statements, order forms, quotations.
  • Steps in the bookkeeping process.
  • Designing the System.
  • Analysing business needs.
  • Designing the accounting system.
  • Designing the chart of accounts.
  • Writing a chart of accounts.
  • Designing the type of journals needed.

Lesson 4.  The Double Entry Recording Process

  • Ledgers.
  • Opening up the general ledger.
  • Ledger accounts/ sub ledger.
  • The general ledger.
  • Entries resulting from transactions.
    Recording transactions.
  • Different types of accounts.
  • A trial balance.
  • Ledger accounts and double entry bookkeeping.
  • Recording entries.
  • Rules to follow.
  • Analysis chart.
  • Footing ledger accounts.
  • Balancing ledger accounts.
  • The trial balance.
  • Accounting for drawings.
  • Revision of definitions and processes.

Lesson 5.  The Cash Receipts and Cash Payments Journal

  • Recording cash transactions in journals.
  • Multi column receipts journal.
  • Cash payments journal.
  • Multi column cash payment journal.
  • What discounts are allowed.
  • Accounting discounts allowed and received.

Lesson 6.  The Credit Fees and Purchases Journal

  • Credit sales and credit purchases.
  • Credit sales journal.
  • Debtors subsidiary journal and control account.
  • Using a debtors schedule.
  • The credit purchases journal.
  • Creating a creditors Subsidiary Ledger and schedule.
  • The cash payments journal and creditors control account.

Lesson 7.  The General Journal

  • Recording non standard transactions.
  • Designing the general journal.
  • Posting to a general journal.
  • General journal entries and ledgers.
  • Anomalies.
  • Recording credit purchases of non current assets.
  • Recording owners contributions or withdrawals.
  • Recording debts that are written off.
  • Recording contra entries.
  • Recording purchase returns.
  • Other uses for a journal.

 Lesson 8.  Closing the Ledger

  • Closing at the end of the accounting period.
  • Preparing for the new accounting period.
  • Transferring balance day closing entries.
  • Profit and loss account.
  • Determining gross profit.
  • Simple profit and loss account.
  • Balance sheet.
  • Businesses making a loss rather than profit.
  • Owner withdrawing revenue.
  • The end results.

Lesson 9.  The Profit and Loss Statement

  • Introduction.
  • The balance sheet and how it relates to Profit and Loss Statement.
  • Using net profit figure to evaluate business performance.
  • What is profitability?
  • Gross Profit.
  • Net Profit.
  • Cash flow margin.
  • Return on assets margin.
  • Gearing ratio and how it relates to cash flow.
  • Return on owners equity margin.
  • Informative profit and loss presentation.
  • Segmentation.
  • Functional classification- Grouping expenses.
  • Showing extraordinary expenses and revenue.
  • Accounting for unused materials or stock.
  • Why do we need to calculate the cost of materials used.

Lesson 10.  Depreciation on Non-current Assets

  • Intangible assets.
  • Depreciation methods.
  • Depreciation calculation methods.
  • Calculating depreciation with the straight line method.
  • What if there is no residual value.
  • How to enter depreciation into the books.
  • Declining balance method of depreciation.
  • Calculating percentage rate of depreciation.
  • Production units method of depreciation.
  • What about intangible assets.
  • Keeping track of assets and depreciation.
  • Asset register.
  • End of Useful life for assets.
  • Loss disposal of asset account.

Lesson 11.  Profit Determination and Balance Day Adjustments

  • Cash and accrual accounting.
  • Cash accounting.
  • Accruals accounting.
  • Balance day adjustments to final accounts.
  • How to record prepaid expenses.
  • Showing in the general ledger.
  • What about if we actually owe unpaid expenses on balance day.
  • Receiving income in advance.
  • Other balance day adjustments – stock, bad debts, depreciation, discounts.
  • A more comprehensive treatment of trial balance.
  • Partnerships.
  • Companies.
  • Clubs and non profit organisations.
  • Using a ten column worksheet or spreadsheet.

Lesson 12.  Cash Control: Bank Reconciliation and Petty Cash

  • Ways of handling money.
  • Outgoing monies (payments).
  • Methods of controlling cash.
  • Recording cash transactions.
  • The cash book.
  • Bank transactions and the cash book.
  • Bank reconciliation statements.
  • The cash cycle – cash flow and liquidity.
  • Account receivable turnover ratio.
  • Operating cash flow ratio.
  • Inventory turnover ratio.
  • Professional journals.

Lesson 13.  Cash Control: Budgeting

  • Introduction.
  • Budget types.
  • The cash budget.
  • Factoring in safety margins.
  • Variable costs.
  • Budget reviews.
  • Taxes and budgets.
  • GST or VAT taxes.
  • Tax input credits.
  • Taxable supplies.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Course Duration - 100 hours of self paced learning.

Course Aims

  • Outline the uses of financial information; accounting standards and conventions and the basic functions of bookkeeping for service businesses.
  • Describe the use of balance sheets and their function.
  • Outline setting procedures for a bookkeeping system; steps in its use; the flow of information and use of other business documents.
  • Formulate procedures for the setting up of a double entry bookkeeping system
  • Outline the functions and specific uses of ‘special journals’.
  • Outline methods used to set up credit sales journal and credit purchases journals
  • Outline the setting up procedures for a general journal and its use
  • Describe methods used to close ledger accounts at the end of an accounting period.
  • Describe profit and loss statement preparation methods.
  • Outline the use of appropriate methods for the depreciation of non-current assets.
  • Outline the fundamentals of cash and accrual accounting; the ‘matching process’; the necessity for balance day adjustments.
  • Describe the cash cycle; the importance of cash control and its various methods including petty cash systems and bank reconciliation processes.
  • Outline the role of budgets and their importance to business.

What is the Difference Between an Accountant and a Bookkeeper?

The difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper may differ from place to place around the world, depending upon the context in which the terminology is used. It is interesting to reflect upon differences in different definitions outlined below:

Definitions from the Collins Australian Dictionary:

‘Accountant’ - a person concerned with maintenance and auditing of business accounts.
‘Bookkeeping’ - the skill or occupation of systematically recording business transactions.

Definitions from the Oxford dictionary:
‘Accountant’ person whose job is to keep or inspect financial accounts.
‘Bookkeeping’ the activity or occupation of keeping records of the financial affairs of a business:

Definitions from the Cambridge Dictionary:
‘Accountant’ - someone who keeps or examines the records of money received, paid and owed by a company or person.
‘Bookkeeping’ - the job or activity of keeping an exact record of the money that has been spent or received by a business or other organization.

Definitions from Meriam Webster Dictionary:
‘Accountant’ - one that gives an account or is accountable
One who is skilled in the practice of accounting or who is in charge of public or private accounts.
‘Bookkeeper’ - a person who records the accounts or transactions of a business.


Working as a Bookkeeper

A bookkeeper or an accounts clerk is the person who records all the financial transactions of a business. This includes income, expenditure and cash.

In large organisations a bookkeeper brings the books to trial balance stage; then an Accountant would complete the Profit & Loss Statement and the Balance Sheet.

In smaller organizations a bookkeeper will often do all those things.

Tasks a bookkeeper may perform include:

  • Recording cash payments and expenses.
  • Recording credit sales and purchases.
  • Daily or weekly banking
  • Calculating recording the payroll
  • Accounts payable (including paying suppliers and responsibility for petty cash)
  • Accounts receivable (including invoicing clients and chasing up overdue amounts)
  • Bank reconciliations
  • All accounts to trial balance
  • Balance day adjustments such as calculating and entering depreciation.
  • Preparing some tax statements such as the BAS & payroll tax
  • General journal entries
  • Liaising with customers, suppliers, managers, sales and marketing and all other departments in the organisation
  • Chasing up paperwork and authorisations from managers
  • Can sometimes include monthly financial reporting under the supervision of an accountant.
  • Using accounting software for entering data and producing many different reports.
  • Checking for errors and balancing the books.


Opportunities for Bookkeepers

There are many opportunities for Bookkeepers as every business needs one or more. With increasing and stricter business, accounting and taxation laws, the demand for bookkeepers is becoming stronger.
Bookkeepers can either work full-time or part-time for a business, or they can start up their own bookkeeping business and work as a contractor to several businesses. Bookkeepers may also choose to do further studies and become qualified accountants.

Self employed bookkeepers can earn good money. If you open up your own bookkeeping business, there is a potential to earn average to high salaries.

Bookkeepers employed in medium or larger organisations may have job security, but they are likely to earn a lower rate of pay. That however can vary depending on the company, how long you have been with them and how happy they are with you.

The great thing about being a bookkeeper is that there are often a lot of jobs available, so you are unlikely to be out of work.

Bookkeepers who do further studies can increase their range of services, and potential to earn above average salaries, as a financial advisor, financial planner, finance company agent through to chartered accountant.

Risks and challenges
Book keeping will only suit a certain type of person, but for the right person there are very little risks for a book keeper. The main challenge would be if you are self-employed. Initially it may take time to build up your client base, but once you have clients to work with the work can be regular and fairly reliable.

How to become a Book keeper
To put it simply, in most countries, to become a book keeper you need to learn how to do book keeping. That is to say that you need to learn the skills of book keeping, but there is generally not a specific qualification that you require (although there may be to be a BAS agent). Make sure that you check the requirements in your country.

There are many different book keeping courses available, so make sure you do your research to ensure you do the best course for you. You will need to learn about relevant taxation and other government laws for your area. You will also need to develop computer knowledge – both general knowledge, for example in excel, as well as specific book keeping computer packages such as Quickbooks.


Studying with ACS

  • When you enrol, we send you an email that explains it all.
  • You are given a short orientation video to watch, where our principal introduces you to how the course works, and how you can access all sorts of support services
  • You are given access to your course online.
  • You work through lessons one by one. Each lesson has at least four parts:
    • An aim -which tells you what you should be achieving in the lesson.
    • Reading - notes written and regularly revised by our academic staff.
    • Set Task(s) -These are practicals, research or other experiential learning tasks that strengthen and add to what you have been reading.
    • Assignment - By answering questions, submitting them to a tutor, then getting feedback from the tutor, you confirm that you are on the right track, but more than that, you are guided to consider what you have been studying in different ways, broadening your perspective and reinforcing what you are learning about.
    • Other - Your work in a course rarely stops at just the above four parts. Different courses and different students will need further learning experiences. Your set task or assignment may lead to other things, interacting with tutors or people in industry, reviewing additional reference materials or something else. We treat every student as an individual and supplement their learning needs as the occasion requires.
  • You are given access to and encouraged to use a range of supplementary services including an online student room, including online library; student bookshop, newsletters, social media etc.
  • You are provided with a "student manual" which you can refer to if and when needed. It provides a quick solution to most problems that might occur (some people never need to use this; but if you are studying late at night and have a problem, the manual provides a first port of call that can often get you moving again).


When can I start?

You can enrol and start Bookkeeping Foundations at any time.

If you have any questions and would like to know more -

Contact us today, by

Phone: (International) +61 7 5562 1088 or (in Australia) 07 5562 1088

Email: [email protected]



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