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Last updated:

April 8, 2022


6 months

This course includes:

6 months

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

6 months


This course, Financial accounting, and reporting discuss how accountants act as processors and purveyors of information for decision making and the needs of those who use accounting information.


This course, Financial accounting, and reporting serve as an introduction to financial accounting, introducing the basic terminology, purpose and different types of accounting. You will learn about what accounting is, the purposes for which accounting information is used, how to distinguish between management and financial accounting, the components of accounting information, and the main financial reports in which this information is presented to its users. You will also have a clear understanding of how accountants act as processors and purveyors of information for decision making, of the needs of those who use accounting information, and of the role performed by accountants. Accounting does not exist for its own sake or in a vacuum: there must be a reason why accounting is being done. This course is also meant to enable you to understand the relevance of the course to your own career. For example, if you are thinking about becoming a professionally qualified accountant or studying business or management, or using knowledge of accounting in your own work situation or your own business. It also looks at the role performed by accountants and notes the need to be aware of relevant regulatory and conceptual frameworks.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:
  • Define bookkeeping and accounting
  • Explain the general purposes and functions of accounting
  • Explain the differences between management and financial accounting
  • Describe the main elements of financial accounting information – assets, liabilities, revenue, and expenses
  • Identify the main financial statements and their purposes.

Course Curriculum

    • Definitions of bookkeeping, accounting and reporting 00:30:00
    • Bookkeeping 01:30:00
    • Accounting and reporting 01:30:00
    • Reasons for and objectives of accounting 00:10:00
    • Stewardship 00:50:00
    • Accountability 00:25:00
    • Planning and decision making 00:35:00
    • Control 00:30:00
    • Management and financial accounting 01:30:00
    • The main elements of accounting information 00:10:00
    • Income and expenses 01:30:00
    • Assets and liabilities 01:10:00
    • The balance sheet 01:00:00
    • The main financial statements 00:30:00
    • Conclusion 00:10:00

About the instructor

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Open University UK