The Open University since 2006
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Exodus: Our Journey To Europe: EPISODE 3Friday, 29th July 2016 00:45 - BBC Two21 year old Alaigie is preparing to leave Gambia to travel “the back way” 6000 kilometres to Italy to find work. Read more: Exodus: Our Journey To Europe: EPISODE 3
More or Less: Waitrose, EU Ref, Antiques Roadshow and Computer Science and SocksFriday, 29th July 2016 16:30 - BBC Radio 4
More or Less: Waitrose, EU Ref, Antiques Roadshow and Computer Science and SocksSunday, 31st July 2016 20:00 - BBC Radio 4
Full Steam Ahead: Episode oneTuesday, 2nd August 2016 01:35 - BBC Two
Exodus: Our Journey To Europe: EPISODE 3Available until Sunday, 28th August 2016 01:4521 year old Alaigie is preparing to leave Gambia to travel “the back way” 6000 kilometres to Italy to find work. Read more: Exodus: Our Journey To Europe: EPISODE 3
Managing virtual project teamsMany projects are now ‘virtual’, i.e. some or all of the team are located remotely and may be... Try: Managing virtual project teams now
English: skills for learningEnglish: skills for learning, is a free course for anybody who is thinking of studying for a... Try: English: skills for learning now
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.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.
All our alternative formats are free for you to download, for more information about the different formats we offer please see our FAQs. The most frequently used are Word (for accessibility), PDF (for print) and ePub and Kindle to download to eReaders*.
- Word (715 KB)
- PDF (413 KB)
- ePub 3.0 (546 KB)
- ePub 2.0 (548 KB)
- Kindle (331 KB)
- RSS (110 KB)
- HTML (765 KB)
- SCORM (765 KB)
- OUXML Package (17 KB)
- OUXML File (52 KB)
- IMS Common cartridge
- Moodle backup (624 KB)
*Please note you will need an ePub and Mobi reader for these formats.