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Introduction to the context of accounting
Revenue, profit and loss, balance sheets – are these accounting terms that intimidate...
Revenue, profit and loss, balance sheets – are these accounting terms that intimidate you? This unit will help you to understand the very basics of accounting, from its historical beginnings to the objectives of modern day accountants. You will learn how an accountant in business balances conflicting demands to maximise market share and profit.
By the end of this unit, you should be able to:
- describe accounting's primary objective;
- explain what is meant by inputs to and outputs from the accounting information system;
- explain the relationship between data, data processing, data summarisation and information;
- explain the difference between data and information;
- describe the five main characteristics of 'good' information;
- explain the link between accounting information and organisational objectives;
- describe how to find relevant information on the internet.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 What is accounting about?
- 2 Accounting information systems
- 3 What is an accountant?
- 4 Data v. information
- 5 The characteristics of ‘good’ information
- 6 Accounting and the objectives of the firm
- 7 Summary
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Introduction to the context of accounting
Through a series of activities and practical examples, this unit provides a broad overview of the field of accounting, including: its origins and objectives, the nature of accounting information and accounting information systems, and accountancy’s role in helping organisations meet their objectives.
This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Certificate in accounting (B680) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Accounting and Finance courses or view the range of currently available OU Accounting and Finance courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Monday, 6th June 2011
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
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