The Cambridge IGCSE Accounting syllabus introduces learners to the theory and concepts of accounting and the ways in which accounting is used in a variety of modern economic and business contexts. Learners focus on the skills of recording, reporting, presenting and interpreting financial information and build an ideal foundation both for further study and for a future career within the profession
What do you enjoy about the subject?
Bryan: I enjoy using calculators and working with figures.
Janine: I like that I learn different analytical skills.
What is the most challenging about the subject?
Bryan: I think memorising the formulas for the subject is pretty hard. For example, there’s this extremely difficult formula called the gross margin.
Janine: For me, I find the same thing hard but I also find it hard to memorise the headings for each of the topics.
Why did you choose this subject?
Bryan: I chose this subject because I wanted to try new things and I thought it would make my school life slightly happier.
Janine: I think that there are a lot of job opportunities in the future that involve accounting.
Was there anything about the subject that was different from your initial expectations?
Bryan: I certainly didn’t expect this much memorising [to be required] of all the formats like journal, sales journal, purchase journal, general journal, income statement, balance sheets, trial balance, audited accounts and a lot more.
Janine: It’s a completely new subject from year 9 so i didn’t exactly know what I would be getting into.
What to lessons look like in terms of writing, independent study, collaboration, etc.?
Bryan: All the studying we do is independent study and it is a major factor in accounting as a subject, especially because of just the subject itself. For example, the teacher will teach you the format and it’s your job to go home and do past papers and work on it and try to memorise it yourself because if you don’t, you’re not getting anywhere.
Janine: Yeah, there’s no collaboration work but every half-term he gives us an assessment about the same topic but just different questions.
How much homework or independent study will I be doing a week in this subject?
Janine: He barely gives any homework.
Bryan: Independent study. Interesting topic. I do feel that I do about 4 hours weekly just studying accounting and reading the textbook page by page.
What are the skills or knowledge you can develop in this subject and why are they useful?
Bryan: One of the major skills that I have found myself developing in this subject (accounting) particularly is applying concepts that I’ve learned from accounting itself into daily life situations. One of the examples of that would be depreciation; it’s really important.
Janine: Personally for me, I learned different analytical skills and I’m interested in business so that would help me in the future.
Any tips for the new Accounting students?
Bryan: Yes, one of the big tips that I would give to you is to never skip boosters and to ALWAYS go for boosters because you get extra help from the teacher and it does reflect on your grade. You do want a good grade.
Janine: Do independent study and do practice questions as well.
How do they study for the subjects?
Bryan: To study for accounting is really simple. You do HAVE to study for accounting. One of the easiest ways to study for accounting is to just sit down on a table, get your textbook out, flip through it and read through every single word page by page. That’s all.
Janine: I personally do a lot of past year papers.
Will taking any other subject help me to become successful in this subject?
Bryan: So there is a common misconception that taking maths or just doing maths in general will help to make you better at accounting but NO, that is not the case because maths is really complex and accounting is just simple calculations (like really simple). I don’t think any other subject will help with accounting because accounting is just one single entity and you just have to do it yourself.
Overview by Mr. Martin
In order to be successful as an accountant you must have a great attention to detail. Ideally, you will have to love problem solving, you will have to be reasonably good at maths, and you also have to be quite patient.
When a person learns about accounting, it helps them in their business career if they decide to take up a business career. Hopefully, students who study accounting, economics and business studies in this school will go on to take a degree in business studies and then maybe later on they will specialise and take a masters degree or a professional qualification, so it’s the first step towards being very skilled and very capable in a business environment.
If you like being organised, are fairly logical and enjoy problem solving, you will find [accounting] very stimulating.
Papers in IGCSE Accounting
1 hour 45 minutes
50% of total mark
Multiple choice and short-answer questions
1 hour 45 minutes
50% of total mark
Structured questions (longer than in paper 1)