Home For AAT student members General AAT student discussion
Current updates regarding coronavirus (Covid-19) and the precautions AAT are taking will be continually updated on the below page.

Please check this link for the latest updates:
We hope you are all safe and well and if you need us we will be here. 💚

hallo plus practising

hi guys

I am the new one here and would like to say hallo to everybody. I learn English as a second language. I hope you don't mind that. My question refers to the way you guys practice. Many people use excel and T accounts for practicing. If you have transactions numbered let's say from 1 to 12 you put number close to the entry so that you know what transaction your entry refers to. Well, if you have many T accounts it takes some time to find corresponding entry. You have to check every T account for transaction number you are looking for. It seems quite annoying , at least to me. In Osbourne books they teach you that every entry consists of date, details and amount. In ' details' you put the name of corresponding account. I find it very helpful but do you guys put the name of corresponding account in ' details' section of your entry when you do exercises in excel ? Are there any computer programs that require that you put the name of corresponding account in ' details' section of your entry?


  • ariadneariadne Registered Posts: 218
    I'm just a student so not fully clued up on what the real accountancy world is like. For the purposes of double entry, as you learn in the basic accounting modules (I used Osborne books for this too), you do use the corresponding account name for the transaction so you can see both parts in either account on opposite sides - credit and debit. It's probably very simplified so I just go with what the book is asking me to do and that should enable you to pass the exams. In the real world there are computer systems to do this, rather than excel or writing it up manually. I've only used xero and didn't set it up so don't fully understand the background workings of how it does double entry. I was just entering new transactions and reconciling them with bank records. These entries would have more details and references plus I would select an account to allocate these transactions. I presume that the transaction would be entered in the right two accounts, eg credit bank and debit rent. I doubt the organisation I helped had payables and receivables control accounts so it was more simple than usual. The sage course may help understand how it works better, this is used for the AAT L2 course or can be bought separately. I have heard that many real accountants don't understand double entry these days, particularly those who go straight into the chartered qualifications. Hopefully someone else can give a real world view.
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,432
    It's true that with the use of software, a lot of double entry bookkeeping entries are automatically done by the system i.e expense/ asset account to bank, purchase invoice to creditors, sales invoice to debtors, VAT to VAT control etc... However double entry becomes extremely useful when entering journals and I don't agree @ariadne that "real accountants do not understand double entry"!. Most quarter end/year end adjustments do need a fairly good understanding of it! Even the most sophisticated software will not do all manual journals for you!
  • ariadneariadne Registered Posts: 218
    This is what I've heard as to why AAT is good, because we get a better grounding in double entry, while the chartered only qualified have less understanding of this process. I'll see if I can find where I read that.
  • ariadneariadne Registered Posts: 218
    I can't find it but saw something similar. It was a random forum entry I saw a year or so ago when deciding whether to do AAT or go straight to the chartered quals. It was a reason to do AAT as it gives a better understanding, despite having a degree. I've also seen criticism of AAT for covering basic things in too much detail compared to the chartered modules. I've no doubt there will be people in accounting roles who don't know how it works fully until they do some training or for those who don't need to understand for their roles, I don't know if CIMAs do bookkeeping or perhaps they forget as they don't need it. I'm pretty sure the finance team in the charity I helped didn't understand it because the computer software means you don't need to, they employ someone else to do end of year accounts.
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,432
    I agree that the AAT qualification may put more emphasis on basic bookkeeping and double entry than higher qualifications. I can only speak of my experience in practice where the chartered accountants I have met could certainly work out their debits and credits!
    It may be different in industry.
  • Gem7321Gem7321 Experienced Mentor DevonMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    edited October 2014
    It is no different in industry or practice. An accountant who knows double-entry knows double-entry whether they are in practice or industry, it purely depends on whether they have been trained how to do it.

    Out of interest @MarieNoelle‌ had the chartered accountants you refer to previously completed AAT?

    I have worked in practice and we would find that our graduates who enrolled straight in to ACA struggled with double-entry. But they were the ones out on audit and therefore didn't need to know how to do it.
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,432
    edited October 2014
    I don't think we disagree @Gem7321. I was merely speaking of my own experience; the two chartered accountants I have worked for have been pretty hands-on (it may be we were mainly dealing with small companies and sole traders). It could also be that they are of an older generation where perhaps the training focused more on bookkeeping.

    Edit: to answer your question, no they qualified straight with ACA but it would have been in the early 1990's.
  • Gem7321Gem7321 Experienced Mentor DevonMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    To clarify, I disagree with your flippant comment 'it may be different in industry'.
  • stevefstevef Well-Known CarmarthenRegistered Posts: 258
    As an ACCA member and Head of Finance in the public sector I would be sunk without a good knowledge of double entry and debits and credits. It is true that virtually every transaction is dealt with through a computerised ledger system, with most transactions being automatically generated through feeder systems (payroll, payments, income, stores, asset management, fleet management etc). But to get manual journals correct you need to understand the entries.

    Computerised systems take most of the "grunt" out, but when things go wrong, they really go wrong. To put it right you need an impeccable knowledge of credits, debits and double entry. I am still seen, particualry during the accounts closure season, drawing up "T" accounts in an attempt to work out what the computerised sytems have done, what they should have done and the journal entries needed to correct it.
Sign In or Register to comment.