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The ICAEW Accounting Skills Certificate (ASC) consists of the following modules. Percentages indicate the weighting of each module.

The syllabus

Introduction to Finance and Accounts Preparation

Weighting: 50%

The first stage of this module introduces participants to:

  • The core components of the financial statements (statement of financial position, income statement and cash flow statement)
  • The interaction between the statement of financial position and income statement

Participants will also be introduced to the main accounting concepts and principles and the rules for preparing accounts. They will gain a clear understanding of the difference between profit and cash, the idea of working capital management and also sources of funding for a business (debt and equity).

On completion of the Introduction to Finance participants will:

  • Understand why businesses produce financial statements, and know what the component parts of financial statements are
  • Understand the basic composition of the statement of financial position and income statement be aware of the basic rules that apply when financial statements are produced
  • Appreciate that 'cash' is different from 'profit', and will also understand the importance of managing profitability and cash flow
  • Understand the concepts of cash flow and working capital

The second stage of this module focuses on the techniques used to maintain accounting records, and prepare the financial statements of a business covering:

  • The basics of debits and credits and ledger accounting
  • Source documentation and books of prime entry
  • The concept of a bank reconciliation
  • Adjustments to accounting records and financial statements (including accruals, prepayments and depreciation and identifying and correcting omissions and errors in accounting records and financial statements)
  • Preparation and presentation of financial statements

On completion of Accounts Preparation participants will:

  • Understand how businesses record accounting transactions and prepare accounts ( "bookkeeping" ), and why double entry bookkeeping is used
  • Have practised the techniques of Accounts Preparation (double entry bookkeeping), and be able to prepare simple financial statements
Management Accounting and Project Appraisal

Weighting: 35%

Participants are introduced to the differences between financial accounts and management accounts, and the reasons for these differences. Covering topics such as:

  • The nature of the costs – fixed, variable, direct, indirect
  • Business strategy – how to set a price
  • Planning and budgeting – what is the difference
  • The budgeting process (theory, creating, monitoring and reforecasting a budget)
  • non-financial indicators

On completion of Management Accounting participants will:

  • Appreciate the tools and techniques used internally in running a business and monitoring performance
  • Understand the business decision making process better

Participants will learn about the need for a formal approach to investment decision making, and some of the techniques used, including:

  • Cost/benefit analysis
  • Relevant costs and cash flows
  • The time value of money
  • le discounting
  • Profit/accounting driven vs. cash driven measures, including accounting driven, accounting rate of return (ARR), payback, cash driven, net present value (NPV), definition of an annuity, and how to use an annuity table.

On completion of Investment Appraisal participants will:

  • Appreciate the key things that should be considered when making a financial decision, and techniques to measure potential investments
  • Be able to support decision makers in making better informed decisions
Understanding and Analysis of Financial Statements

Weighting: 15%

Participants will learn the basic concepts of analysing and interpreting the information included in financial statements, and will:

  • Work through a statement of financial position line by line
  • Work through an income statement line by line to gain and understanding of the key elements presented in the financial statements, and what these numbers may show us.

Participants will be introduced to:

  • Common terms used in analysis – e.g. EBITDA
  • Analysis of companies without ratios
  • Analysis of companies using key ratios to measure
  • Profitability
  • Solvency
  • Gearing
  • Working capital (current ratio, inventory days, receivables days, payables days) techniques to monitor performance

On completion of this module participants will:

  • Be able to perform basic ratio analysis on published financial statements
  • Understand how financial analysis is put in context
  • Appreciate that financial statements are not definitive

Accounting Skills Certificate (ASC)

For further information or an application form contact +971 (0)4 304 3241 or fill in the registration of interest form below.