The school syllabus provides a thorough grounding in the basic principles of Accounting, as well as introducing pupils to a wide range of forms of business-ownership, and the books kept by these businesses. The boys will learn how to draw up the books and prepare financial statements of sole traders, partnerships, non-profit organizations and companies (including cash flow statements). Other topics include reconciliation statements, disposals of fixed assets, budgets, manufacturing accounting and business ethics. There is much scope for work beyond the school curriculum and we explore investment options and company analysis in fair detail. The boys will learn factors important in investing in companies and what issues need to be considered in dealing in shares on the JSE. This subject is designed to develop the logical thought processes of the pupils. Rote learning is not part of this course and pupils are expected to apply their knowledge. This does mean that they have to be actively involved in the lessons and work continuously at the subject as the concepts are built up in a hierarchical fashion.
Experience has shown that sound ability in Maths and English is usually a prerequisite for success in this subject, and boys should be attaining at least 60 to 65% in Maths at the end of Grace 9. Language is important as there is much in the way of interpretation and analysis. However what is probably more important than that is an ability to think logically, a strong work ethic, enthusiasm and good levels of concentration. Success, and an interest, in Economic Management Science in Grade Nine should not be taken as an indicator of success in Accounting as Accounting tends to be of a far more technical nature as opposed to exploring the broad business concepts in Economic Management Science. In the same manner, the subject is in no way related to Economics which is far more theoretical. An interest in business would however be a prerequisite for taking Accounting as a subject.
Accounting is definitely a life skill subject, as everyone needs an understanding of finance. More importantly it is a business language and requires a definite aptitude for this “type” of work in order to prevail. Pupils going on to study a business degree/diploma will find that they have a head start on those who have not taken Accounting before.
The department consists of Mr Russell as the only teacher of the subject at Bishops.