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Revenue, profit and loss, balance sheets are these accounting terms that intimidate you? This free course, Introduction to the context of accounting, 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.
After studying this course, 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.
- 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
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Introduction to the context of accounting
Through a series of activities and practical examples, this course 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 OpenLearn course provides a sample of postgraduate study in
This free course includes adapted extracts 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
Last updated on: Thursday, 11th February 2016
- 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 and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
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