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Financial accounting

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This is the course for you if you want a route into the accountancy profession or need to gain fundamental accounting skills for a management or other role. You will gain an understanding of how financial statements are prepared and develop the skills to prepare financial statements. You will explore differences in financial accounting for different businesses, building an understanding of the frameworks underpinning accounting and audit practice. We strongly recommend that you study this course before Management accounting (B292), but both courses can be studied independently.

Modules at Level 2 assume that you are suitably prepared for study at this level. If you want to take a single module to satisfy your career development needs or pursue particular interests, you don’t need to start at Level 1 but you do need to have adequately prepared yourself for OU study in some other way. Check with our Student Registration & Enquiry Service to make sure that you are sufficiently prepared.

Register for the course


Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Mar 2015
£915.00
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Registration opens on 24/04/14

11 Apr 2015 Sep 2015
£915.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 24/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in April 2018.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Mar 2015
£915.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 24/04/14

11 Apr 2015 Sep 2015
£915.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 24/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in April 2018.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Mar 2015
£1460.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 24/04/14

11 Apr 2015 Sep 2015
£1460.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 24/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in April 2018.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Mar 2015
£915.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 24/04/14

11 Apr 2015 Sep 2015
£915.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 24/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in April 2018.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Mar 2015
£915.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 24/04/14

11 Apr 2015 Sep 2015
£915.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 24/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in April 2018.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Mar 2015
£1340.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 24/04/14

11 Apr 2015 Sep 2015
£1340.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 24/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in April 2018.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Mar 2015
£1316.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 24/04/14

11 Apr 2015 Sep 2015
£1316.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 24/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in April 2018.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Mar 2015
£1316.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 24/04/14

11 Apr 2015 Sep 2015
£1316.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 24/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in April 2018.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Mar 2015
£915.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 24/04/14

11 Apr 2015 Sep 2015
£915.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 24/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in April 2018.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Mar 2015
£1316.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 24/04/14

See below for information about part time tuition fee loans available for study towards a qualification.

11 Apr 2015 Sep 2015
£1316.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 24/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in April 2018.

*Fees may vary by country.

What you will study

Financial accounting will help you develop an understanding of the role and importance of accounting in the various types of business and other organisations. It covers the accounting regulatory framework in the UK and EU; accounting in the context of international financial and capital markets; and the qualitative characteristics of financial accounting information, accounting concepts and principles. This course uses the terminology of The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

You will learn how to:

  • prepare financial statements based on application of accounting concepts, regulations and principles
  • identify, classify, measure and summarise the elements of financial statements applying accounting principles and concepts
  • explain and interpret the purpose, form and content of the three main financial statements; income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement
  • use simple mathematics for the purpose of calculations in bookkeeping, accounting and preparing/analysing financial statements, including basic ratio analysis.

During the course you will:

  • practise recording transactions and events
  • maintain accounting records manually
  • gain some familiarity with computerised accounting software
  • prepare periodic financial statements for sole traders, partnerships, non-profit organisations and single-entity private and public limited companies
  • develop your skills in explaining, analysing and applying the mechanism of double-entry bookkeeping and the accounting cycle.

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • review and illustrate the purpose, context and environmental influences and constraints on financial accounting and business practices
  • explain and evaluate the need for ethics in the behaviour of accountants and the need for independent auditing in the reporting process of public and large enterprises
  • explain and review the relations between corporate governance, auditing and financing
  • explain and review issues of business law and how they relate to financial accounting and management.

Vocational relevance

If you pass both Financial accounting (B291) and Management accounting (B292) you will be awarded the Professional Certificate in Accounting.  Please note that this Certificate will not qualify you as an accountant. To obtain that status you will need to pass the qualifying examinations of a professional accounting body. The institutions in this list have granted exemptions to students who have passed B291 and/or B292.

Entry

This is a Level 2 course and you need to have a good knowledge of financial accounting, obtained either through Level 1 study with the OU or by doing equivalent work at another university. Ideal preparation for this course would be our Level 1 course Introduction to bookkeeping and accounting (B190), but please note that the credits you gain for B190 cannot be counted towards Professional Certificate in Accounting (S25) or the BA (Honours) Business Studies (Q70).

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

If you have a disability

Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Because of the significant amount of tabular material, students with severe visual impairment or those who rely on screen reading software may need to access sighted assistance in their study of this course. Please note that assistance will need to be sorted out well in advance of the course start date. Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.

This course involves calculations that most students may do using a pen and paper, but these activities may also be done using a spreadsheet or calculator. The materials will contain formats and layouts found in accounting reports such as balance and income statements which will be available electronically as tables. The course team is actively working to make the course as accessible as possible.

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:

  • help to determine your study requirements and how to request the support that you need  
  • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
  • using a computer for OU study
  • equipment and other support services that we offer
  • examination arrangements
  • how to contact us for advice and support both before you register and while you are studying.

Study materials

What's included

Seven printed texts and a website with resources to support your learning. An introductory version of Sage accounting software on CD – a software programme you may encounter when you progress to professional accountancy training.

You will need

A calculator will be useful and will be required for Management accounting (B292). Spreadsheet software is useful but not essential.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this course. It includes online activities – you can access using a web browser – and some course software provided on disk.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer running Windows since 2007 you should have no problems completing the computer-based activities.
  • A netbook, tablet or other mobile computing device is not suitable for this course – check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you have an Apple Mac or Linux computer – please note that you can only use it for this course by running Windows on it using Boot Camp or a similar dual-boot system.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. There will also be four tutorials and one day school which you are strongly encouraged to attend. Where tutorials and day schools are held depends on the distribution of students taking each course.

Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this course can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

You will not have access to a computer or spreadsheets for the examination. You will be expected to use only a calculator.

Future availability

The details given here are for the course that starts in October 2013 and April 2014. We expect it to be available twice a year, in April and October.

How to register

To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.

Student Reviews

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“This was a very good introduction to Accountancy - a new departure for me with an Arts/Humanities background. As my ...”
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Distance learning

The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

For more information read Distance learning explained.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.
Course facts
About this course:
Course code B291
Credits 30
OU Level 2
SCQF level 8
FHEQ level 5
Course work includes:
2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
3 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
Examination
No residential school

Course satisfaction survey

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