A Level Accounting

 

Please note that from September 2017, Accounting will be available as a one-year A level subject only.

What is it about at sixth form level?

Accountancy is often described as “the language of business”. It is an ancient art whose history is intertwined with the development of numeracy and writing. Records of trade and debts stretch back many thousands of years, as accountants were needed even in the earliest civilisations to maintain the well-being of the people.

A level Accounting helps you to develop knowledge and understanding of the purposes of accounting and to apply this to a variety of accounting problems. It is an introduction to the principles of accounting that are applied worldwide, teaching you to understand the fundamentals, the breakdown of financial statements and the interpretation of changes to them.

Autumn Term

The emphasis during the first year is to master double- entry bookkeeping and to develop an understanding of how income statements and balance sheets are drawn up. This will enable you to consider how they can be used to analyse the performance of one business against another. In more detail, you will be studying two units. In Unit 1 (Introduction to Financial Accounting), you will be looking at: the purposes of accounting; accounting records – subsidiary books and ledger accounts; verification of accounting records; and income statements and balance sheets, including simple adjustments. In Unit 2 (Financial and Management Accounting), you will look at: types of business organisation; accounting concepts; further aspects of the preparation of the final accounts of sole traders; internal final accounts of limited companies; ratio analysis and the assessment of business performance; introduction to budgeting and budgetary control; and the impact of ICT in accounting.

Spring and Summer Terms

During the second year you will deepen your understanding. You will learn to draw up final accounts in situations where some of the information is missing and learn about partnerships and both private and public limited companies. This will involve analysing real current financial reports of PLCs. In more detail, in Unit 3 (Further Aspects of Financial Accounting) you will look at: sources of finance; incomplete records; partnership accounts; published accounts of limited companies; and stock valuation. In Unit 4 (Further Aspects of Management Accounting), you will look at: manufacturing costs; marginal, absorption and activity-based costing; standard costing and variance analysis; capital investment appraisal; further budgeting issues; and social accounting as a factor affecting decision making.

Why study it and what skills does it develop?

An Accounting A Level is an effective way to build your financial skills and can lead on to a degree level accounting course. It is also an asset if you are looking to go straight into accounting jobs or any job that requires some knowledge of accountancy.

What prior knowledge and skills are required?

No prior knowledge of business or accounting are needed. You need good numeracy skills and a logical and analytical mind.

How is the course assessed?

AS level

For the AS, you will have two exams on Units 1 and 2 respectively. In both papers, you will have four compulsory questions each carrying a variable number of marks and a variable number of sub-questions. Each paper lasts 1 hour 30 minutes and is worth 50% of the AS (25% of the A level).

A2 level

For the A2, the format is similar. You will have two exams on Units 3 and 4 respectively and in both papers, you will have four compulsory questions each carrying a variable number of marks and a variable number of sub-questions. Each paper lasts 2 hours and is worth 50% of the A2 (25% of the A level).

Reading

AS Accounting for AQA 2nd Edition
By D. Cox, M. Fardon
Published by Osborne Books, ISBN 978-1905777143

A2 Accounting for AQA
By D. Cox, M. Fardon
Published by Osborne Books, ISBN 978-1905777174

Exam Board and Specification Codes

AS: AQA 1121, A2: AQA 2121 (legacy)

Sarah Ratcliffe
Head of Department

Tiffany

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*

Progressed to
Royal Veterinary College (Veterinary Medicine)

"I have loved MPW. The class sizes are very small and it is easy to ask questions. The teaching is really interactive and they all care so much about the students. My Director of Studies helped a lot with my UCAS statement, suggesting what to include and perfecting it with me. I honestly don’t think I would have go any university offers without her help."

Oliver

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A

Progressed to
University of Bristol (Law)

"I’ve had three fantastic years at MPW: I’ve had a happy time; I’ve met some amazing people; and, most importantly, I’ve left school knowing that I have fulfilled my potential, leaving with GCSE and A Level grades that I can be proud of. I feel that the teachers and Directors of Studies all care deeply about their students' futures and performance."

Nathaniel

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*

Progressed to
University of Edinburgh (History and Politics)

"All of my teachers have been great; they are experienced, friendly and treat us all like adults rather than teenagers. I’ve also enjoyed being in a city. There is so much to do and we’ve been on a lot of theatre trips after school which is something I hadn’t been able to do before. My favourite thing about MPW has been the people I have met."

Ella

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
King's College London (Biology)

"I would like to say a big thank you to my teachers. Everyone at MPW has been so warm towards me and my teachers are so friendly and willing. They also adapt to learning styles and have been sensitive about responding to my needs; they provide extra help when I need it but also give me space to absorb new topics or information when I need that."

Chris

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A

Progressed to
University of Bath (Mechanical Engineering)

"One of my favourite things about MPW is the people I have met, who are all really nice and really fun to be with. My Director of Studies was really enthusiastic which rubbed off on me. She also helped enormously with UCAS, taking the time to clearly explain what I needed to do and supporting me."