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1. You need to demonstrate critical engagement with the subject matter throughout weeks 1 — 6, including (but not limited to):

  • Building up an accounting glossary or list of terms used in this unit and providing explanations of accounting concepts in your own words.
  • Accumulating a list of defmitions, equations, formulas etc. that need to be memorised and being aware of which will be helpful when recording day to day business operations.
  • Preparing a summary of the knowledge and skills you are developing from topic to topic, demonstrating a degree of synthesis and integration rather than being just a list of points.
  • Showing evidence of learning activities undertaken, demonstrating the application of accounting principles to practice and/or reinforcement of technical skills.

2. You should demonstrate active engagement in your learning experiences. This can include: self-evaluation of progressive assessment tasks completed, how you feel you could have improved your results in quizzes, and in the self-test questions, and how you plan to make best use of feedback provided for future practices.

3. You can make meaningful reflections on your progressive learning experience, showing how the results of your reflection on learning in earlier topics improved your learning in later topics. Self-evaluation is designed to give you the opportunity to reflect and comment on the way you approach assessments, such as quizzes and is a critical part of your learning journey.

4. Your thoughts and comments should be integrated and should be expressed clearly and concisely. 

You should cover the content introduced in learning materials of topics 1 — 6 during weeks 1 — 8 of the study period.

The topics that you will cover in your Reflective Learning Journal should include, but should not be limited to: management control systems, customer values, shareholder values, balanced scorecard, accounting equation, financial performance measures, bottom up pricing method, pricing methods, responsibility accounting, cash budgeting, inventory costing methods, inventory valuation, internal control, cash management, types of fraud and reasons, different variances and capital budgeting techniques. 


You don't need to cover all topics listed above. However, make sure your Reflective Learning Journal meets the four expectations/assessment criteria listed above. 


Helpful thought provoking questions The following is a list of thought questions that may help you to address the required areas as you develop your reflective learning journal: 

  • What am I learning in this unit and why am I learning it?
  • How am I learning in this unit and how am I using what I am learning?
  • What are my priorities and challenges as a learner in this unit?
  • How can I overcome my learning weaknesses and build on my strengths in this unit?
  • What different skills are needed for different components of my learning in accounting?
  • How can I use the feedback from my assessment tasks to improve my learning?
  • How are different parts of my learning connected?
  • How is my learning in this topic affected by my learning (or lack of learning) in earlier topics?
  • How well am I achieving my goals in accounting? How can I improve my learning process?
  • How are my attitudes and ideas changing through the learning process?
  • What are my strategies for achieving my goals and ambitions, and for overcoming my identified weaknesses in learning this unit?

Calculating Financial Performance

Going through this unit has taught me different new things concerning financial management.  For example, I have been able to understand various things concerning management control systems, balance score cards, customer values, shareholder values, accounting equations, cash budgeting among others. Learning these things will be fundamental in assisting me to undertake some of the day to day activities in my workplace especially those concerned with preparation and reporting of financial statements.

The unit has also taught me how to calculate various things that are essential in financial management such as how to measure financial performance of an organization, how to use balance scorecards to show how each perspective builds on the previous one. Apart from these aspects, this unit has enabled me to realize how to use different formulas and techniques to come up with financial information that is essential in identifying the performance of an organization. Some of them include how to use capital budgeting technique, how to use inventory costing methods, bottom up pricing method, among others.

One of the ways that I am using to learn these aspects is through striving to ensure I attend all lectures and I complete assignments on time. According to Kirk (2013, P. 99), a good student is the one who ensures he/she does not miss classes due to irrational reasons. For me, I trust that being present in class and remaining attentive to the tutor is the best way of making me learn new things. Therefore, I ensure whenever a lesson is in progress, I avoid all distractors that can affect my ability to comprehend what my tutor teaches.

The other way that I use to learn these things is undertaking individual research. Belo-Osagie (2012, P. 79) asserts that incorporating intensive research is a good way of learning because it enables a student to find information that can assist him/her to proper understanding of important concepts of a particular topic or unit. Some of the things that I use to do my research include the use of google, reading books, journals and so forth.

I also link up with my class mates during our free time to have group discussions. During the discussions, I request my colleagues to assist me to understand some of the things that seem challenging such as how to do some of calculations.

One of my priorities as a learner in this unit is to properly manage my time in order to unsure I am equipped with sufficient information that can assist me to not only pass my exams but also to attain knowledge that can assist me to succeed in my career. I also prioritize being attentive in class and asking questions on matters that I do not understand.

One of the challenges that I face as a learner in this unit is lack of sufficient time to revise some of the things that I find challenging to understand. Considering the fact that this unit includes both theory and mathematics, a lot of time is required to ensure I go through everything that I learn to avoid confusions and forgetting (Kuczala 2015, P. 67). Sometimes, getting the time for research and revision is difficult because there are other essential things that I need to attend when I am not in class.

Using capital budgeting and inventory costing methods

According to Aytac & Hatice (2011, P. 67) overcoming weaknesses and building strengths is important because it makes students to avoid the barriers that are likely to prevent them from attaining success. One of the ways that I will use to overcome my weakness and build strength is being good in time management because I have important things that contradict with the time that I should spend in this unit.

According to James (2015, P. 26), accounting can be referred as a number-heavy course that requires strength in statistics and mathematics. Being able to see and comprehend pattern in the data provided and finding solutions can be associated with a strong quantitative and good problem solving skills.

To succeed in learning accounting various other skills such as having an eye for details, learning to love numbers, good business knowledge and being good in calculations are also required (Krisandra 2015, P. 88). Other skills such as being organized, commercial awareness, good communication, proper understanding, being innovative and adapting to technological advancements are also essential in learning accounting.

Irena (2013, P. 25) asserts that assessments are crucial in learning because they assist students to identify their weak areas and come up with improvement measures. Using feedback from my easements can assist me to realize some of the things that I require to improve (Jenny 2010, . 70). This can be judged through using the feedback provided by tutors to find out what makes me not attain good marks.

Different parts of my learning are connected through having a common objective of going through different topics in financial management unit to ensure I attain good grades in this unit. They are also connected through having different topics that are related to one another.

The fact that all topics in this unit are related to accounting, learning earlier topics has been essential in helping me to understand the concepts because most of the topics borrow ideas from one another. For example, some of the formulas found in different topics are closely related and therefore going through all the topics has made it easy for me to understand everything in details.

From the things I have learned through this unit and others, I can state that I am attaining my accounting goals in the proper way because I have been able to understand new things such as what is accounting, various techniques used to calculate and prepare financial statements and so forth. Because I want to become one of the best accountants, I want to improve my learning process through utilizing my time well in studies through doing extensive research and socializing with friends who can assist me in understanding some of the accounting things that I find challenging.

Through undergoing accounting course, my attitudes and ideas have been changing positively. Initially, I thought accounting was a difficult course and therefore did not have full trust that I would make it. However, through undergoing various topics and units, and also having been able to understand every concept, I find accounting to be one of the courses that I fully want to pursue.

To attain my goals and ambitions, and to overcome my identified weaknesses in learning this unit, I plan to use various strategies which include viewing my tutors as friends and people who have what I need to succeed in my life. I also plan to make use of the available sources of information such as the internet and print media to do extensive research in order to fully understand everything that pertains accounting. Because I have various things that need my efforts and attention, I plan to properly utilize my time through doing things based on their priority. Because education is the one that determines my future, I plan to give it the highest priority by ensuring I spend enough time in attending classes and doing assignments.

References

Aytac, G & Hatice, G. (2011).  Learning Styles and Effective Learning Habits of University Students: A Case from Turkey. College Student Journal, 45(3), 65-78.

Belo-Osagie, H. (2012).  Financial Management Digest: Emerging Risk Management Challenges* Journal of Financial Management & Analysis, 25(1), 78-97.

Irena, J. (2013). Financial Management in SMEs.  European Research Studies, 16(4), 21-43.

James, M. (2015). The International Handbook of Public Financial Management.  Canadian Public Administration, 58(2), 23-45.

Jenny, E. (2010).  Inviting Students to Learn: 100 Tips for Talking Effectively with Your Students.  Alexandria, VA: ASCD

Kirk, A. R. (2013).   Balancing the Books: Accounting for Librarians.  Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited

Krisandra, G. (2015).  Does Course Delivery Method Impact Performance in Subsequent Courses? Evidence from a Financial Management Course.  Business Education & Accreditation, 7(2), 87-95.

Kuczala, M. (2015). Training in Motion: How to Use Movement to Create Engaging and Effective Learning. New York: American Management Association

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