The Accounting and Finance ATAR course aims to make students financially literate by creating an understanding of the systems and processes through which financial practices and decision making are carried out, as well as the ethical, social and environmental issues involved. It helps students to analyse and make informed decisions about finances.
Financial literacy gives individuals the ability to make sound financial judgements. In an age when many business practices and ethical standards are being questioned, awareness of the ways financial practices impact on their lives helps students take responsibility for their own financial commitments. It gives them the problem-solving skills to operate at many levels of financial decision making.
Through engagement with the course, students develop an understanding of the fundamentals on which accounting and financial management are based. Many students will find themselves self-employed and there is a high probability that they will have to engage in some form of accounting practices. Having an understanding of these practices enables them to analyse their own financial data and make informed decisions based on that analysis.
In a rapidly changing world, the impact of technology on financial and accounting practices has been vast. The use of computer systems for record keeping, and the communication of financial data is already vital, and will continue to shape future careers. Many of these careers have not yet evolved, but when they do, they will involve technology and financial practices at some level.
Accounting and Finance – Year 11
The focus for this unit is on double entry accounting for small businesses. Students apply their understanding of financial principles, systems and institutions to manage financial information and make decisions in a variety of small businesses. Students develop an understanding of the rationale for the use of particular conventions and principles and the consequences of disregarding them. Students record and process financial information using the double entry system and apply the principles of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Students learn about the various forms of business organisations adopted by small business.
The focus for this unit is on accrual accounting. Students apply financial systems and principles to the operations of businesses and distinguish between cash and accrual methods of accounting. Students prepare and analyse financial reports for a variety of types of business organisations and become familiar with the main aspects of electronic processing of financial data. Students learn of the role and functions of the professional accounting and financial associations.
Accounting and Finance – Year 12
The focus for this unit is on internal management for business. Students prepare and interpret budgets and performance reports in relation to forecasting a business’s future. The unit distinguishes between internal and external reporting requirements. Decision-making processes using cost accounting techniques are a feature of the unit. The unit focuses on critical analysis of financial information. The unit also explores the importance of short and long term planning for business.
The focus for this unit is on Australian reporting entities and how they are regulated by the Corporations Act 2001. The Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of General Purpose Financial Reports (The Framework) and the Accounting Standards are used in the preparation of the financial statements for a reporting entity. The financing options of larger entities are identified and evaluated, particularly in relation to conformity with basic principles, including profitability and stability. The unit addresses corporate social disclosure issues and ethical behaviour within corporations.