Account is a subject that teaches you the method of maintaining a record of all debit and credit transactions of a particular person or a body over a fiscal period. It provides a statement of all such transactions. It requires analyses of financial statements as well as auditing the books.
Knowledge of basics of accounts is essential as it is often required in our everyday lives. You want to study accounts on your own and don’t know where to start? Here are some easy steps to guide you in the right direction:
- Create a schedule
Without self-discipline, you will not be able to learn any subject. When you’re trying to learn something on your own, it is imperative you create a schedule for yourself, allotting certain time in the day, every day or every other day, to accounts. Once you get into the rhythm, you will see you’re able to balance all your activities along with studying accounts really well.
- Understand the difference between bookkeeping and accounting
Before you start to study accounts, understand the difference between bookkeeping and accounts. And then ask yourself what is it that you want to learn? Bookkeeping is one tiny part of accounts where the job is simply, to maintain the books or the records of all transactions.
- Read accounting books
The next obvious step is to get hold of the books. Look up books on basic accounting and accountancy for beginners. They’d give you a basic outline on the subject and chart out all the points you need to cover, including pointing out, where to start from. You don’t want to be all over the place. There must be a structure in your approach to the course. The books will provide you with that.
- Understand the meaning of accounting terms
Accounting has a lot of technical terms. Debit, credit, assets, liabilities, income, expenses, equity, what do they mean? These are some of the most basic terms which you will come across frequently. If you don’t understand the meaning of these terms, you will not be able to proceed forward.
- Learn how to use spreadsheets
Knowledge of spreadsheet software is absolutely essential for all accountants since everything is now online. They help in creating graphs, charts, in doing calculations and track numbers. You need to know a little more than the beginner’s level. So if you don’t know, learn it.
- Take a course online
It always helps to take at least a short course online. Accountancy requires you to use what you learnt so if concepts are not clear you won’t be able to do it. There’s absolutely no room to hide in this subject. There are many courses available online; you could do a crash course just to get your basics cleared.
- Learn the principles of accounting
What are the basic principles of accounting? If you don’t know the answer to that, you will not be able to apply the rules. There are tenGenerally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) which provide guidance to the accounting practices to ensure ethics and transparency are maintained in business transactions. They are:
- the Economic Entity Concept,
- the Specific Monetary Unit Assumption,
- the Specific Time Period Assumption,
- the Historical Cost Principle,
- the Full Disclosure Principle,
- the Going Concern Principle,
- the Revenue Recognition Principle,
- the Matching Principle,
- Materiality Principle
- the Principle of Conservative Accounting.
- Learn how to create financial statements
After all these steps are taken care of, you’re already more than halfway there. Next comes probably the most important part of accounts: the statements. Learn how to create and maintain income statements, balance sheets, financial statements. Use your spreadsheet knowledge.
- Get help
There’s no shame in taking help or asking for it. If you are stuck somewhere, and don’t know how to proceed, it is very easy to give up. Since you’re doing this on your own, there’s no outside pressure to not give up. After coming to this point getting help is that one tiny step towards you being an expert accountant. There are many online sites which are available 24*7 for you to help you answer any query you may have. Getting help is easy. All you need to do is find a site that is pocket-friendly, available 24*7 has experts in this field as tutors and has great testimonials.
The final step. Practice makes a man perfect in accounting. You’ve learned how to create statements, now utilize that knowledge. There are many simulations available online which you can help you practice your statements. Once you’ve mastered this, you’ve become ready to be an accountant!
Accounts is not an easy subject since there can’t be any gray area in your understanding of the subject and its terms. However, follow these 10steps, and you could easily become a self-declared accountant!