The good thing about the vast majority of bookkeeping, is when studying, you do the same thing each time. This does not mean that the tasks are monotonous, but rather, that you will follow the same procedures every time you perform a task; and do the different tasks in a specific order. When you have gained a little experience, it will not seem that you are simply following procedures; it will just be “what you do”.
For example, when you enter figures from the day book, you will always debit the Sales Ledger Control, as this is an asset. You will always credit the VAT control account, as you owe this amount; and always credit the sales account. You would never do anything differently.
Bookkeeping is a vocational subject, so the best way of understanding the matter is to do practice questions. When you first start studying, and are little unsure of what you are doing and why, you perhaps will not have an intuitive debit and credit feel. However, this will come with practice and “keeping everything in balance” will become intuitive. It will become that you always debit the expense account, as we have incurred an expense, and credit the bank account as we have had a reduction in the asset.
The same repetition can be applied to your studying. Read the material, do the questions, check the answers. If you have made a mistake, ensure that you know the reason why it is incorrect and then re-do the questions. Similarly, ensure you do a mock exam, check the results, make sure you understand any errors, and repeat. By the time of the exam, you will then be well versed in your preparation technique.
Bookkeeping is all about “doing the job”; the more practice you get in the work place and also, doing tasks which are on a par with those expected to be in the exam, the better.
Professional golfer, Lee Trevino, was once asked how he was so lucky. He replied it was strange, as the more he practised, the luckier he got! So the more you practice the more likely it is that you will get “lucky” and get questions you can answer.
Article by Nick Craggs
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