Here are eight suggestions on how to study accounting:
- Stay current. Don't skip class, don't skip an assignment. Not only are accounting concepts related, they build on earlier concepts. Postponing and cramming is the wrong way to study accounting. Do not delay gaining a true understanding of accounting concepts, homework assignments, exam questions, etc.
- Understanding beats memorizing. Accounting concepts are related. For example, if you have a true understanding of the accounting equation, debits and credits, and the matching principle, you will see the logic of adjusting entries. That understanding will eliminate the need to memorize a lot of details concerning adjusting entries.
- Strive to understand WHY. As you are learning accounting, make sure that you know the WHY of each concept and principle. When doing your assignments, ask yourself "WHY is my work correct or incorrect?" If you don't understand WHY, read the free AccountingCoach.com explanation that pertains to the topic. Having a second presentation may give you the insight you need.
- Test your understanding. After briefly reviewing your lecture notes, try our free quiz questions with answers. We provide questions for each accounting topic so you can quickly identify what you know and what you don't know. (Studies have shown that answering quiz questions will improve the retention of information.)
- Communicate with your instructor. If you do not understand the WHY of a concept or a solution, ask your instructor for assistance. There are several benefits associated with this: companies that recruit students are looking for communication skills, you will likely need a faculty reference sometime in the future, company recruiters might ask your instructor about you, etc.
- Realize that you are learning for your future. If you need more motivation, keep in mind that you are learning accounting for more than your next accounting exam. You are learning accounting to be successful in your first job, your career, your own business, etc.
- Review and prepare with our practice exams. To deepen your understanding and to improve your ability to recall accounting concepts, we provide 1,700+ practice exam questions (with answers). These are a great tool for preparing for your final exam or job interview. All of the questions were created by a CPA with more than 25 years of teaching experience.
- If you struggle with the basics, we have visual tutorials. If you need more assistance, we offer eight Visual Tutorials for the following accounting and bookkeeping topics: debits and credits, accounting equation, adjusting entries, introduction to financial statements, balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, and bank reconciliation. Each tutorial presents the important concepts in a methodical, step-by-step manner and concludes with an interactive quiz to give you immediate feedback.