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The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine Practical Accounting Fundamentals Review by Dena WoodLori Peterman
Insight Technical Education
13410 NE 92nd Street
Vancouver, WA 98682
Practical Accounting Fundamentals is a self-taught, step-by-step accounting. Geared for ages 13 through adult, the book begins with an explanation of what accounting is and ends with a description of various business forms and a brief introduction to payroll. The program is devised so that, once finished, the student will have the skills needed to set up a basic accounting system for either personal or small business use.
Having earned an Associate of Science in Accounting degree myself, I must say that I am impressed with this program. It truly covers what you actually USE in "the real world." A small business owner successfully working through this book would be equipped to successfully handle their own bookkeeping. While they would still want to hire an accountant for tax, and perhaps, consulting purposes, being able to do their own books, or at least understand the meaning behind the numbers is an invaluable money-saving skill.
The program is introduces small, clearly explained concepts lesson-by-lesson. Each lesson, which is only a few pages long, includes an explanation of the concept, examples, and an exercise. Answers to the exercise are listed in the back of the book so that the student can verify they are understanding and applying the information accurately after each lesson. Exercises are incremental and build logically on one another. The student learns to set up an income statement, balance sheet and record journal entries as well as deal with payables, receivables, marketable securities and more.
If I could add anything to the program it would be to have a section with additional exercises for areas of struggle. Though each lesson ends with an exercise it would be good to have the option of extra practice if needed. However, since the program builds incrementally, there are generally recurring opportunities to deal with the same types of problems. Also, an area of weakness would be identified and the Resource section in the back of the book could be utilized to seek extra help or information.
I am honestly quite impressed with this program and most definitely intend on using it with my children when they are older. Accounting is not always easy to explain in clear, concise, understandable language. This program does a good job of that as well as dealing with the information students will truly need to use in their business or personal financial lives.