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sam.utute

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An Accounting Guide for 2011 by Former Students
« on: December 17, 2010, 02:13:04 pm »
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I've been harping on and on and on about studying a lot during the holidays to everyone who asks me how I did well. But some people just don't get what or how they should study. With the help of the awesome people on this board, I was able to achieve success in all my subjects.

The guide that follows allows you to complete the Unit 3 course relatively quickly. A year ago, I wanted to get a headstart on Accounting, but I was clueless how to start. I read the textbook a few times and aimlessly tried a few exercises. In desperation, I called one of my friends over for help and he sat with me for 5 hours going through the entire course, highlighting tricky bits, giving advice and generally putting me at ease with VCE Accounting. Hopefully, this guide will help you to achieve your dream score in one of the most enjoyable subjects in VCE.

Also, do not feel that you MUST follow the guide to get a high score in Accounting. There are numerous ways to achieve success, and this is no doubt one of the more difficult and challenging. Nevertheless, it is definitely one of the most rewarding. After all, "Hard work pays."

As EPL has mentioned so often, success in Accounting is all about practice. Keep refining your skills, studying and remain determined to ace this subject.

Good luck to all of you.

Accounting Guide

OK, as promised, here is an example of how you can finish the accounting course over the holidays. I'm using the Cambridge textbook as it seems to be the most popular one. If you have the Box textbook, you can still follow this structure by completing the chapters that correlate to the Cambridge textbook.

Some General Info:

- Read the textbook once through up to chapter 12. You can basically skim through, but try to understand some of the concepts while you read. Annotate sections that were bewildering.

- Don't do Checkpoints concurrently. The number of mistakes and errors will enrage you and have you thinking you are failing, when in fact it is the book itself which sucks.

- Write your own notes if you feel that it will help you understand and remember the content. It is not necessary, as hopefully the hours you spend practicing will embed the content in your brain.

- If you didn't do accounting Units 1 and 2, it becomes even more important that you work hard. Everyone else has a one year headstart on you. Level the playing field.

- Please, please do not look at the answers until you finish EVERYTHING. Seeing your mistakes after you have a sound grasp of the content will help you identify what you did wrong.

- The suggested structure is only a guide for people who have a lot of time on their hands. Feel free to spread the workload out, but do make the effort to finish the Unit 3 course before school starts. It will be worth it. I promise.

Exercises

Day 1
Complete Chapter 1 - This is one of the most important chapters in the book. Theory questions will be on both the Unit 3 and 4 exams.
Chapter 1 has 12 exercises which are all under a page long (if you have the workbook). Attempt all the questions without looking at the answers. Leave the questions you are unsure about, and come back to them after you have finished Unit 3. They will be your "challenge" questions (this is the same for all the questions you do from the book).

Skim through Chapter 2 - A fairly straight-forward chapter that should be easy for anyone who did Units 1 and 2. It involves basic classifications and an introduction to the structure of the Balance Sheet. For anyone who did NOT do Year 11 accounting, this chapter is a MUST. It will bring you up to speed on accounting terms and related rules (debit and credit etc.).

This chapter only has 7 exercises, and if you feel confident, you do not need to complete every exercise (This is extremely important. There are so many tough questions and prac exams in accounting, that you will have to manage your time efficiently). Have a go at a few, and if you make mistakes, do an extra one. I recommend doing 2.3, 2.6 and 2.7 as a minimum.

Day 2 (and 3 if you want to do it over two days):
Complete Chapter 3 - DR. vs CR./Ledgers/Footing/Balancing - This will be all you will have to do today. This chapter is the first real foray into Year 12 accounting. You should begin your first accounting steps with a sound understanding of the foundations. The entire accounting course will be built on the content in this chapter.

This chapter will probably cause a few difficulties for some people. Make sure that you get help from a sibling, friend, tutor or teacher if you have access to them. If your foundations are weak, it will become difficult to understand the rest of the course.
There are 8 exercises in this chapter. Try to do every single one.

Day 4 (have a rest day... don't kill yourself)
Complete Chapter 4 - Introduction to GST/Source Documents - Very similar to the previous chapter with a smallish introduction to the different source documents that are prevalent in VCE accounting.

If you've got the hang of debits and credits, you can make do with doing every second exercise (4.1, 4.3, 4.5, 4.7).
If you made quite a few mistakes in the previous chapter, try to complete all exercises. This is still part of the foundation of accounting, and as mentioned previously, a large determinant to your future success in this subject.

Day 5
Completing Chapter 5 - Special Journals - An extension to what should have been covered in Year 11. Students who did Units 1 and 2 will find this topic relatively easy, with few areas they do not understand or haven't seen before. The only new bits in Chapter 5 are the subsidiary ledgers and the posting from the credit journals.

Try to get through exercises 5.2, 5.3, 5.5, 5.6, 5.8 and 5.9. Split it up into two days if you need to. You will find these exercises very repetitive. Unfortunately, accounting is a subject that requires practicing the same content over and over.

Day 6
Completing Chapter 6 - Special Journals - Posting/Discounts/GST - Cash journals will be a little more tricky than their credit counterparts. There is more content to cover in this Chapter, but you'll find parts that overlap with the previous chapter (Posting etc.).
This chapter may take a while to complete. It is a little tedious.

Have a go at exercises 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 6.10 and 6.12.  I know that seems like all the exercises, but I only avoided exercises that repeated questions (even then it will seem tedious and repetitive to most people).

Day 9
Completing Chapter 7 - The General Journal - A new journal, one that will appear frequently on both the Unit 3 and Unit 4 exam. Still, its uses and related theory is straight-forward. Once you understand it or do it a few times, you should be able to remember it for ever. Keep in mind that while repetitive, it essentially offers "free marks" in the exam for students that have taken the time to properly understand its concepts.

Try: 7.2, 7.3, 7.5, 7.6, 7.8, 7.10, 7.11, 7.12.  Another advantage of leaving out some of the exercises is that you can come back and do them for extra revision. Only complete all the exercises if you desperately feel the need for additional practice. As I was already ahead of the class, I finished of the one or two exercises I left out when the class was starting the topic.

Tip: Get used to doing 'Narrations'. Work out a generic method for every possible narration, and use these generic structures to write the narration for specific questions. Less thinking required = more time to work on other questions.

Day 10
Complete Chapter 8 - Stock cards - This chapter is the easiest part of Unit 3. The past few VCAA exams have backed this up, with the average mark for Stock Card questions generally being extremely high (VCAA 2010 Unit 3 Exam Stock Card: Average Mark was 2.6/3; VCAA 2009 Unit 3 Exam Stock Card: Average Mark was 4.5/5). The only new information involves using the General Journal which was introduced in the previous chapter. Stock losses and stock gains should be familiar to Unit 1 and 2 students.

Have a go at: 8.1, 8.2, 8.4, 8.7, 8.8, 8.10, 8.11 and 8.12.

Day 11
Complete Chapter 9 - Profit and Loss Statements (the bread of most businesses [butter being Cash Flow Statements]) - While setting up the P/L Statement and actually calculating profit is relatively straight-forward, using the General Journal to close accounts can be a little tricky. Simply understand this: as expenses are debited when they are incurred, to "close" the accounts (i.e. delete them by bringing the account value to zero), you need to credit them (the opposite of what you did to increase their value - multiply and divide).  The Profit and Loss Statement remains virtually the same from Units 1 and 2, with the addition of "Add Other Revenue" which allows you to include revenue earned from other sources other than sale of goods.

Try: 9.3, 9.6 and 9.8.  Again, as usual, if you make any mistakes in 9.3 (which you will find out once you finish), then have a go at 9.1 and 9.2. Same thing with the exercises on P/L Statements.

Day 12
Complete Chapter 10 - BDAs: Prepaid/Accrued Expenses - The last three chapters were/are considered the hardest part of Unit 3. While they overlap a little with Year 11, recording them now involves use of the General Journal and the Ledger. The theory questions related to this topic are pretty easy (perhaps in compensation for the more difficult practical work). Answers will involve stating the definition of expense or Reporting Period (IMPORTANT) etc.

Have a go at:
           Prepaid: 10.1, 10.3, 10.5
           Accrued: 10.7, 10.9, 10.10
           Reporting: 10.12 and 10.13

Day 13
Complete Chapter 11 - Depreciation of Non-Current Assets - This is one of the few sections in Accounting that requires 'tough' calculations. You'll need to get used to using the correct number of months or days in order to accurately calculate depreciation. Year 11 students will recognise this topic from the previous year.  Along with tricky mathematical calculations, this section can also includes some challenging theory questions relating to the purpose of depreciation. This section is again expanded on further in Unit 4.

Have a go at: 11.1, 11.3, 11.4, 11.7, 11.9, 11.11, 11.13

Day 14 LAST DAY!! OMG!
Complete Chapter 12 - Cash Flow Statement - THE LAST CHAPTER OF UNIT 3! And thankfully, it is extremely straight forward.
To summarise it in a few sentences:
The CSF is made up of three sections:
Operating Activities - which refer to the day-to-day trading activities of the business (stock purchases, expenses, cash sales, GST received and paid etc.)
Investing Activities - which relate to the sale and purchase of non-current assets (purchase of premises, equipment etc.)
Financing Activities - which relate to changes in the financial structure of the firm (loan, drawings, capital contribution etc.)

Just familiarise yourself with the layout of the statement and you'll score some free marks on the exam :D

Try: 12.2, 12.3 - the actual CSF
       12.4 - 12.9 are about getting used to the different categories; do every second one if you find it tedious
       12.11, 12.12, 12.13 - A question of this sort is GUARANTEED on the exam. Must understand and practice these questions.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 03:13:21 pm by heidiii »

eeps

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Re: An Accounting Guide for 2011 by Former Students
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2010, 02:15:55 pm »
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GET A MOD TO STICKY THIS THREAD!
« Last Edit: December 18, 2010, 12:08:54 pm by EPL.11.4ever. »

ruchika5

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Re: An Accounting Guide for 2011 by Former Students
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2010, 02:32:14 pm »
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^agreed, this is so helpful!

eeps

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Re: An Accounting Guide for 2011 by Former Students
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2010, 03:18:30 pm »
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I'd like to add that what Sammy has done here is pretty impressive. If you're a dedicated and hard-working student, then Accounting should be a breeze. I'd strongly recommend to do what Sam has laid out here. I don't see any major issues/flaws in what Sam has said.

Quote
A year ago, I wanted to get a headstart on Accounting, but I was clueless how to start. I read the textbook a few times and aimlessly tried a few exercises.

That was me a year ago as well. xD

Put in the work and effort now and you'll reap the rewards - i.e. LOOK AT SAM'S ACCOUNTING SCORE... 47. Use the resources here on VN and your school teachers. Others including myself, Sam, darcy42, _avO, davyp3 (I thought I'd throw in some other names!) etc are willing to help out if you're unsure of anything - Accounting is no way a daunting subject, and as Sam said you can finish the course in minimal time. Be assured, if you work hard now, you'll end up doing well come the Unit 3 & 4 exams.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2010, 03:23:47 pm by EPL.11.4ever. »

ech_93

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Re: An Accounting Guide for 2011 by Former Students
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2010, 03:19:33 pm »
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This is great, thanks for doing this :D
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_avO

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Re: An Accounting Guide for 2011 by Former Students
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2010, 10:43:48 pm »
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Great guide, EPL is right if any 2011 Accounting students require assistance, do not hesitate to PM any of us throughout the year. Best of luck with your studies!
2011-2014: Bachelor of Commerce/Economics @ Monash Clayton

chelseaFC

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Re: An Accounting Guide for 2011 by Former Students
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2010, 12:05:56 am »
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This is incredible. I will complete all of it. Thank you!

Chavi

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Re: An Accounting Guide for 2011 by Former Students
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2010, 12:13:35 am »
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Accounting = consistency. All high achieving students will tell you that you will achieve high scores if you don't cut corners and provide as any theory points as the question asks for (3 marks = 3 different points)
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2010: English [47]|Specialist Maths[44]|Physics[42]|Hebrew[37]|Accounting[48]  atar: 99.80
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JinXi

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Re: An Accounting Guide for 2011 by Former Students
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2010, 01:06:12 am »
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God I realised how commited my competitions are just a couple of days after results are out :o
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eeps

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Re: An Accounting Guide for 2011 by Former Students
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2010, 04:31:11 pm »
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Accounting = consistency. All high achieving students will tell you that you will achieve high scores if you don't cut corners and provide as any theory points as the question asks for (3 marks = 3 different points)

I agree. With theory questions make sure you answer the question properly - make sure it's concise and don't ramble on. Theory is probably more important than the practical side of things (that is, doing the reports) - it's what separates the best from the rest.

sam.utute

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Re: An Accounting Guide for 2011 by Former Students
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2010, 10:43:40 pm »
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Another little tip:

Set yourself a quantitative (measurable) goal. This should include a realistic and dream target for overall study score and SAC rank. WRITE THESE DOWN. By writing them down, you are committing yourself to the achievement of the goals, and you will no longer be able to make excuses to yourself without feeling somewhat disappointed or guilty.

eeps

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Re: An Accounting Guide for 2011 by Former Students
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2010, 01:51:18 pm »
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Quote
In terms of SACs, they are important, but don't stress out if you do poorly. In Accounting, you receive consequential marks if you get one calculation wrong, but you use that figure all the way through. Do enough practice before your SACs - i.e. your school's previous years SACs and exercises in the textbook and you'll do well. In any case, my school often used parts of exams and the Cambridge SACs (separate from the textbook) as our school SACs - which you'll find on VCENotes

That as well.

If you're Rank 1 in your cohort, then any SAC moderation shouldn't affect you too much. I found using study guides before SACs helpful (to a degree) - another form of revision! Find one that's good and you see what you like - others are just crap, and the solutions are totally wrong.

By all means aim high, but as pointed out, be realistic.

My friend this year was hoping to get 40+ (realistically), and he ended up getting 50 - bettered his expectations. As Sam said, write your goal/aim down and put it somewhere - it's a reminder of what you hope to achieve by year's end.

sam.utute

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Re: An Accounting Guide for 2011 by Former Students
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2010, 11:05:53 pm »
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So how's everyone going with their Accounting study? Anybody stuck or lost motivation? :P

ruchika5

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Re: An Accounting Guide for 2011 by Former Students
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2010, 01:55:36 am »
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I only got up to the end of Chapter 3 and started giving up :(
I received this task from my teacher for holiday hw and I really need help with it, I was considering posting it up here soon so people could help out!

mba

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Re: An Accounting Guide for 2011 by Former Students
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2010, 08:41:04 am »
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I only got up to the end of Chapter 3 and started giving up :(
I received this task from my teacher for holiday hw and I really need help with it, I was considering posting it up here soon so people could help out!

Post it in the Accounting Questions thread ~ http://vce.atarnotes.com/forum/index.php/topic,35965.0.html. I'm sure someone will be able to help you out  :)
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