An introduction to Spreadsheets
This Advanced level unit is about using spreadsheets to accurately enter, analyse and present information so that informed accountancy judgements can be made. The skills and knowledge from this unit integrate spreadsheet use within the other Advanced level accountancy subjects.
Accounting technicians need to use spreadsheets as it is important that financial information is accurately analysed and presented in an unambiguous way. Spreadsheets are widely used within industry, commerce and practice, and a variety of spreadsheet packages are available specifically to assist with accounting roles (routine and one-off): Features of spreadsheet packages allow calculations, manipulation of data, analysis, budgeting, preparing financial statements, reporting, forecasting and decision making.
The student will add value to their organisation if they are familiar with the underlying principles of such software and can use it competently within their workplace. Completing this unit will allow the student to apply these important skills to Advanced Bookkeeping, Final Accounts Preparation, Management Accounting: Costing and Indirect Tax.
The student will be able to analyse data using their spreadsheet skills and then communicate the most important information to enable appropriate judgements to be made. This means that the information presented needs to be accurate and easily understood by the recipient.
The objective of this unit is to equip students with sufficient skills and knowledge to enable them to select the correct information and then accurately input raw data into a spreadsheet. The student may need to use spreadsheets developed by others or to produce their own. The student will then be able to demonstrate their use of a range of skills to analyse this data in line with accountancy conventions. Skills such as the use of formulas, functions, data analysis tools, sorting and filtering will be vital within accountancy to enable students to perform complex calculations quickly and accurately. After analysis, the data needs to be comprehensively checked and then presented using a range of methods, for example as a structured spreadsheet with pivot tables and charts. The responsibility for checking accuracy of information at Advanced level remains with
Students need to demonstrate their spreadsheet skills across the whole range of accountancy topics at Advanced level. Therefore, this unit can only be examined when the knowledge and skills of the other Advanced level units are understood.
Students must have access to a suitable spreadsheet software package as part of their study for this unit and for the assessment. The program selected by learning providers must be capable of producing reports in at least one of the following formats at various stages of the process: XLSX.
Assessment evidence submitted in alternative file formats will not be marked. Spreadsheets for Accounting is a mandatory unit in this qualification. This unit links to Advanced Bookkeeping, Final Accounts Preparation, Indirect Tax and Management Accounting: Costing at Advanced level.
Learning outcomes for Spreadsheets
1. Design and structure appropriate spreadsheets to meet customer needs
2. Use spreadsheet software to record, format and organise data
3. Use relevant tools to manipulate and analyse data
4. Use software tools to verify accuracy and protect data
5. Use tools and techniques to prepare and report accounting information