Step 1

What an extraordinary, yet surprising read.

I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge professor Martin Turner for putting together a text that truly emphasizes the prestigious power of accounting. It would be an understatement to say that his written introduction expanded my interest into the lucrative field of accounting. Growing up with a mother and father who are both engineers and mathematicians really triggered my love for numbers. Additionally, I found it disconcerting that in secondary school I had a strong desire to embrace the love for arithmetic’s enough to potentially include it in my future career. Furthermore, throughout my international baccalaureate diploma program journey (IB) in grade 11 and 12, my love for arithmetic’s encouraged me to select several subjects where many of the aspects were linked to the very basics of accounting.

 

The thought of having accounting as a subject within a Bachelor of Business really frightened me as it is considered to be one of the most intensive and rigorous university courses that exist. Several times I have heard peers refer to accounting as the most boring career you could possibly choose with many comments similar to this: “ Why would you study accounting? All you do is sit in an office, work with numbers all day and analyze costs.” However, little did I know what accounting actually was. Whenever I heard such stereotypical, common response about accounting as a bachelor degree I never really knew what to expect from such a course. So I would like to thank you Martin Turner for easing my daunting thoughts on accounting with an introduction to accounting, learning and online communications. Needless to say, you have definitely debunked the myth and common perception that accounting is unexciting.

 

After completing my IB diploma and travelling around former Yugoslavian regions, I wasn’t completely on-board or committed to immediately start studying a degree like business. Furthermore, I felt lost and nervous looking through the course planner on Moodle and the title ACCT11059 made me look blankly at my computer screen. After reading the introduction to accounting, learning and online communications, I was very pleased as it gave me an excellent run down on the learning tasks, the importance of interaction, learning techniques and effective online communication. For the first time, I felt as though I actually understood what I was getting myself into. Yet at the same time, I am very excited to take this course as an opportunity to expand my knowledge of accounting.

 

The very first sentence from I.1 Learning tasks is a quote that really struck out to me and motivated me for my accounting studies. It states: “Any difficult task seems easier if you break it down into manageable steps.” Following this quote was another, which reinforces the fact that we have the same number of hours per day as legends Michelangelo, Mother Teresa and Albert Einstein. These quotes will definitely push me into taking the opportunity to really expand and develop future accounting knowledge that I will learn in this course. Furthermore, it boldly explained to me how serious we should take our studies into account. The encouragement to break down the heavy workload step by step gave me the drive to really focus on my studies every day in order to achieve a extensive range of accounting knowledge in the future. I can definitely agree to the fact that in the past I have been guilty of leaving my studies until the last minute. Reading section I.3 How we learn really reminded me of that especially when Martin wrote about how we tend to ‘vacuum clean’ our brains at the end of each unit we study. Throughout my studies in a Bachelor of Business I really aim to not do this, because I believe that every piece of information learnt will be valuable to me in the future. In order to not ‘vacuum clean’ the knowledge learnt from accounting, I will need to encourage myself to change the way I view learning, just as though professor Martin Turner will encourage us to, ensuring us to work in a real and active way.

 

I very much enjoyed reading about the lone ranger approach and how it does not work well in this unit. My whole life I have loved working in groups as I thoroughly believe the views of and ways of thinking of a group of people is a lot stronger than one person. Furthermore, communication with my peers about accounting, learning and online communication will definitely help me learn and commit to each topic throughout the course, stirring myself away from the ‘vacuum clean of knowledge’ that Martin had emphasized previously in his text. Moreover, I am very thankful we have so many online communication platforms such as PeerWise, Moodle and several different blogs where us students can exchange questions, answers and effective feedback. This will most definitely help us learn together as a group of university students. At first, I thought PeerWise would be a waste of time. However, as soon as I got into it and exchanged questions and answered others questions, I realized it was an excellent learning tool. Furthermore, it will definitely help me keep up with my studies. To be honest, I am getting quite addicted to it. I honestly never thought I would. In today’s world, even though face-to-face communication is richer as Martin had mentioned, we still need to learn how to communicate and interact online. Especially because the amount of accounting software’s, blogs and discussion forums out there are increasing in numbers and we most likely will need to use at least a few one day within the workplace.

 

 

Chapter 1

 

Honestly, chapter 1 took me by surprise. Again, I would like to thank Martin Turner for writing such a beneficial chapter along with another 8 chapters! As mentioned before, although I was nervous to start accounting, after reading through the introduction I am delighted to have a unit coordinator who is so passionate and dedicated to teach us the fundamentals of accounting in a way we can understand it best. While reading through the first chapter, A Way of Viewing Business, the first thing I really asked myself was “What is accounting?” Furthermore, I am sure many others who are not very familiar with accounting are wondering the same thing. From the IB diploma subjects I took in secondary school in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I only learnt a limited amount of knowledge as to what accounting really is. From what I’ve learnt, it is a record of financial transactions and an accountant’s role is to prepare and examine these records in order to ensure that a business is run efficiently. In summary, I learnt that the role of an accountant is to generate a plan of action for improved financial well being. This knowledge that I had learnt from school is only very basic, and I didn’t realize that there was so much more involved in a business.

 

After reading chapter 1, I felt more at ease. Since many people referred to accounting as being the worlds most boring course, I honestly thought I would have fallen asleep after the fifth sentence. However, reading through how it is all about reality, keeping records, having two sides to everything and the importance of the five elements of accounting, it was hard to put the 15 pages down and stop reading. Some things to me were not entirely new, however, the things that were blew me away! The quote “First you must understand how numbers changed reality. Some people think numbers merely reflect reality….but we believe that numbers create reality,” really encouraged me to keep reading especially as Martin mentioned its importance for anyone with a serious interest in running or investing in a business. After university, my goal is to start up my own business. Little did I know how the information from accounting really connects the business realities of a firm. Furthermore, when I went on to read about how half of the directors of listed companies in Australia have accounting backgrounds, I was inspired and encouraged to learn as much as possible for my own benefit! When Martin wrote about Yeppoon and all of the businesses surrounding him I looked at the sheet of paper and froze in shock. I have visited Yeppoon multiple times before but wow! I never really focused on how many retail, service or manufacturing businesses there actually were.

 

In section 1.2, Charlie Mungers quote made me realize how important accounting actually is, especially as he referred to it as “the language of practical business life.” Furthermore, the next part of the quote, “double entry bookkeeping was a hell of an invention,” confused me. I thought to myself what on earth is bookkeeping in accounting!? Then I went on to read about how a firm’s accounts come from transactions and other economic events, which someone has recorded in a firms accounting system. Martin then when on to emphasize how recording these transactions has developed over time, and that was what double entry bookkeeping was. I thought to myself, surely it hasn’t been around for that long. Then I struggled to understand how it was around even before the 15th century. This part made me the most interested because I never thought accounting was as essential back then! I was intrigued to find out that merchants in Venice during the Italian Renaissance used double entry bookkeeping and the fact that it has progressed so much since then, makes me think about what it may be like in the future. I can’t even imagine what it could possibly be like! I now comprehend why there are so many programs out there such as Xero and MYOB that were made to make it simpler.

 

Furthermore, I found an immense connection between my past and Charles f. Kettering’s quote where he states ‘There is a great difference between knowing and understanding; you can know a lot about something and not really understand it.” The reason why I was connected to this quote is because in my previous schooling, I had a tendency to memories things before an exam and I thought I knew everything; however, I never understood what I was memorizing. Thus, emphasizing the difference between knowing and understanding. I just went with it and didn’t realize that I wasn’t properly learning, especially because after the exam I would have immediately forgotten about it. Thus, my new goal for studying a Bachelor of business at CQU is to personally engage and connect with learning ideas, so that I actually gain an understanding of the knowledge. What got my attention most due to my love for mathematics was the equations involved in accounting. The way Martin explained the extended accounting equation made me very intrigued. The part I found most interesting about the equation, Assets = Equity + (Revenue- Expenses) + Liabilities is the fact that one equation like this can really help me understand the five elements of accounting which are mandatory to businesses. This section in chapter one made me more motivated to start a business in the future.

 

So once again, what a surprising read written by our professor Martin Turner. I definitely look forward to learning more accounting knowledge from you in the future. Furthermore, I cannot wait to start reading the next few chapters you have so kindly written for us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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