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Financial Accounting Fundamentals

This course introduces students to the fundamental principles and procedures of accounting. Students will develop financial analysis and decision-making skills that will assist them in future studies and/or career opportunities in business. Students will acquire an understanding of accounting for a service and a merchandising business, computerized accounting, financial analysis, and ethics and current issues in accounting

Teaching / Learning Strategies

Students learn best when they are engaged in a variety of ways of learning. Business studies courses lend themselves to a wide range of approaches in that they require students to discuss issues, solve problems using applications software, participate in business simulations, conduct research, think critically, work cooperatively, and make business decisions. When students are engaged in active and experiential learning strategies, they tend to retain knowledge for longer periods and to develop meaningful skills. Active and experiential learning strategies also enable students to apply their knowledge and skills to real-life issues and situations. Some of the teaching and learning strategies that are suitable to material taught in business studies are the use of case studies and simulations, teamwork, brainstorming, mind mapping, problem solving, decision making, independent research, personal reflection, seminar presentations, direct instruction, portfolios, and hands-on applications. In combination, such approaches promote the acquisition of knowledge, foster positive attitudes towards learning, and encourage students to become lifelong learners.

Assessment and Evaluation Strategies of Student Performance

Assessment is the process of gathering information that accurately reflects how well a student is achieving the curriculum expectations in a subject or course. The primary purpose of assessment is to improve student learning. Assessment for the purpose of improving student learning is seen as both “assessment for learning” and “assessment as learning”. As part of assessment for learning, teachers provide students with descriptive feedback and coaching for improvement. Teachers engage in assessment as learning by helping all students develop their capacity to be independent, autonomous learners who are able to set individual goals, monitor their own progress, determine next steps, and reflect on their thinking and learning.

Teachers will obtain assessment information through a variety of means, which may include formal and informal observations, discussions, learning conversations, questioning, conferences, homework, tasks done in groups, demonstrations, projects, portfolios, developmental continua, performances, peer and self-assessments, self-reflections, essays, and tests.

As essential steps in assessment for learning and as learning, teachers need to:

  • plan assessment concurrently and integrate it seamlessly with instruction;

  • share learning goals and success criteria with students at the outset of learning to ensure that students and teachers have a common and shared understanding of these goals and criteria as learning progresses;

  • gather information about student learning before, during, and at or near the end of a period of instruction, using a variety of assessment strategies and tools;

  • use assessment to inform instruction, guide next steps, and help students monitor their progress towards achieving their learning goals;

  • analyse and interpret evidence of learning;

  • give and receive specific and timely descriptive feedback about student learning;

  • help students to develop skills of peer and self-assessment.

Teachers will also ensure that they assess students’ development of learning skills and work habits, using the assessment approaches described above to gather information and provide feedback to students.

The Final Grade

The evaluation for this course is based on the student's achievement of curriculum expectations and the demonstrated skills required for effective learning. The percentage grade represents the quality of the student's overall achievement of the expectations for the course and reflects the corresponding level of achievement as described in the achievement chart for the discipline. A credit is granted and recorded for this course if the student's grade is 50% or higher. The final grade for this course will be determined as follows:

  • 70% of the grade will be based upon evaluations and assessments of learning conducted throughout the course. This portion of the grade will reflect the student's most consistent level of achievement throughout the course, although special consideration will be given to more recent evidence of achievement. All assessments of learning will be based on evaluations developed from the four categories of the Achievement Chart for the course.

  • 30% of the grade will be based on a final evaluation administered at the end of the course and may be comprised of one or more strategies including tests and projects.. This final evaluation will be based on an evaluation developed from all four categories of the Achievement Chart for the course and of expectations from all units of the course. The weighting of the four categories of the Achievement Chart for the entire course including the final evaluation will be as follows.

Program Planning Considerations for Business Studies in General and Accounting in Particular

Teachers who are planning the program in Accounting take into account considerations in a number of important areas. The areas of concern to all teachers that are outlined there include the following:

  • The Role of Technology in the Curriculum

  • English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Literacy Development (ELD)

  • Antidiscrimination Education in Business Studies in General

  • Literacy, Numeracy, and Inquiry/Research Skills

  • Career Education

Considerations relating to the areas listed above that have particular relevance for program planning in this accounting course, are noted below.

The Role of Technology in the Curriculum

In this Introduction to Financial Accounting course, information technology is considered a learning tool that must be accessed by the students in many areas. As a result, students will develop transferable skills through their experience with word processing, spreadsheets, journals, flow charts, and telecommunication tools, as would be expected in an accounting environment. Information and communication technologies are integrated into the business studies curriculum in a way that mirrors the dynamic environment in which business is conducted today, creating an authentic and relevant learning environment for students.

English As a Second Language and English Literacy Development (ESL/ELD)

All of our Business studies can provide a wide range of options to address the needs of ESL/ELD students. Since business seeks ways to address the needs of diverse markets and communities, students can apply their own experiences and backgrounds to analyze various markets’ needs and business strategies. In addition, since businesses require employees with a wide range of skills and abilities, many students will learn how their backgrounds and language skills can contribute to business success.

Antidiscrimination Education in Business Studies

Antidiscrimination education promotes a school climate and classroom practice that encourage all students to work to high standards, ensure that they are given a variety of opportunities to be successful, affirm their self-worth, and help them strengthen their sense of identity and positive self-image. The business studies curriculum is designed to help students acquire the habits of mind that are essential in a complex democratic society characterized by rapid technological, economic, political, and social change. These include respect and understanding with regard to individuals, groups, and cultures in Canada and the global community, including an appreciation and valuing of the contributions of Aboriginal people to the richness and diversity of Canadian life. They also involve respect and responsibility for the environment and an understanding of the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of citizenship. Learning the importance of protecting human rights and of taking a stand against racism and other expressions of hatred and discrimination is also part of the foundation for responsible citizenship and ethical business practice. In business studies, students will learn about the changing workplace and the Canadian and global economy. They will learn how business is carried out effectively and equitably in the local and global workplace and how it is affected and enhanced by the diversity of the global marketplace. Learning activities in business studies courses should be inclusive in nature, reflecting diverse points of view and experiences. They should enable students to become more sensitive to the experiences and perceptions of others, to value and show respect for diversity in the school and in the wider society, and to make responsible and equitable decisions in their personal and business relationships. The critical thinking and research skills acquired in business studies courses will enable students to recognize bias and stereotyping in text and images, as well as discriminatory attitudes that create barriers to productive relationships in business and trade.

Literacy, Numeracy, and Inquiry/Research Skills

Success in all their secondary school courses depends in large part on students' literacy skills. The activities and tasks that students undertake in the business studies curriculum involve oral, written, and visual communication skills. Communicating in a business environment and using business software require the use and understanding of specialized terminology. In all business studies courses, students are required to use appropriate and correct terminology, and are encouraged to use language with care and precision, in order to communicate effectively. The business studies curriculum also builds on and reinforces certain aspects of the mathematics curriculum. Students need to learn how to locate relevant information in a variety of print and electronic sources, including books and articles, manuals, newspapers, websites, databases, tables, diagrams, and charts.

Career Education

A course in Accounting can help prepare students for employment in such diverse areas as small-business creation, marketing, management, accounting, government service, and international business. The skills and knowledge that students acquire through this accounting course are essential for a wide range of careers. Students gain an understanding of various aspects of business functions and practices, such as management, marketing, accounting, and entrepreneurship. In addition, the personal management, interpersonal, and career development components of career education in the business studies curriculum will prepare students for success in their working lives. Our entire business studies curriculum also helps students to appreciate the variety of types of businesses so that they can begin to determine which types are suited to their backgrounds and interests.


Accounting 1, Sixth Edition, Pearson Education Canada © 2002.

Principles of Accounting, Third Edition, Pearson Education Canada © 2002.

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