One of the challenges when we sat down to think about writing the Study Guide for Introduction to Bookeeping was the structure. There are a number of very good textbooks already offered by different publishers, so what could we do that was different from what was already out there?
Quite quickly, the answer came. What we could offer was something that had been lost in the change by AAT from AQ2016 to Q2022. The Using Accounting Software unit in AQ2016 had a scenario-based approach, in that students would enter transactions for one month. It had a sense of shape and story that we felt was right for Introduction to Bookkeeping.
In the Introduction to Bookkeeping Study Guide, students follow the journey of Megan Rothby over a period of three months, as she starts her new business, Delta Q Bikes Ltd.
In the first month, students follow Megan as she enters opening entries for the business, discovering about the behaviour of the Bank Account, as well as assets, purchases and the trial balance. Although the trial balance is not part of Introduction to Bookkeeping in Q2022 and has instead been moved to Principles of Bookeeping Controls, students revisit the trial balance at the end of every chapter to see the impact that the transactions have had on the business so far.
Students are reminded of the scenario at the beginning of every chapter, whereas at the end of every chapter, along with a summary, there is a Digital Focus section, that shows how students can apply the theoretical knowledge gained to computerised accounting software.
During the first month, the business makes a range of credit purchases of bike parts it will need to make its products and takes advantage of a prompt payment discount to save some money.
In month two, Megan then begins to sell bikes to her credit customers and allows a credit customer to take advantage of a prompt payment discount. Students are able to see the impact of these transactions – sales, sales returns and discounts allowed – on the individual General Ledger and Receivables Ledger accounts.
Finally, in the third month of operation, students are introduced to the Cash Book and Petty Cash Book, allowing them to see the role of those two books, as well as a wider range of transactions in the business beyond credit purchases and sales.
Students are encouraged throughout to have access to accounting software that enables them to input the same transactions that Megan is entering for her own business. This emphasis on the practical aspects of accounting software allows students to practice the same skills digitally as the unit outlines manually, whilst putting themselves in the place of Megan and acting as her bookkeeper. Students can therefore see how the business grows over time, as their own skills grow and as they are given guidance on how to enter these transactions into the accounting software, including finding the correct General Ledger accounts and the correct parts of the software to find to make entries.