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The Balancing Act – Self Study Bookkeeping Course

Accountancy LearningFormat: Workbook activities supported by online training 

Price (non-SWAT UK Members): £185+VAT+postage & packaging

SWAT Full Members are eligible for a discount. Call us to find out more.

For more details and to order your copy, call 0845 450 5555 

SWAT UK has joined forces with Accountancy Learning Limited (ACL) to re-sell their excellent interactive bookkeeping course, ‘The Balancing Act’. ACL, through their sister company Aplus Distance Learning, provide the full range of AAT qualifications at Levels 2, 3 and 4 in addition to a range of bookkeeping courses, including the new AAT Certificate in Bookkeeping. 

Summary of ‘The Balancing Act’

Train new recruits on bookkeeping quickly and easily
The sooner you get your new recruits up to speed on bookkeeping, the sooner they can become fully chargeable. This self-study bookkeeping course which has been developed by Accountancy Learning, is delivered through workbook activities and an online training programme, meaning your new recruits can benefit from comprehensive bookkeeping training without having to leave the office, saving considerable time and expense travelling to course venues.

Bookkeeping training ‘on-demand’
Why lose out on chargeable time, waiting for a public bookkeeping course to become available? With this course, you can train new recruits almost immediately.

Monitor progress
The software enables you (as the employer) to monitor the learner’s progress, providing you with detailed information on their learning and usage of the course.

Case study to aid learning
Users will learn the fundamentals and then be required to apply them to a series of tasks based on a case study, helping to enhance the learning experience. 

Format of the course

The course is a comprehensive blend of paper-based workbook activities, supported by an online interactive training programme.

The paper-based workbook: “The Balancing Act”
This contains 42 separate paper-based activities that are based on a single case study and involve the user processing orders, through to preparing a balance sheet. All 42 of these activities are cross referenced to 18 online learning modules.

The activities contained in the workbook will guide learners through every step of practical bookkeeping, so they can go easily from:

Orders – to – Invoices – to – day books – to – ledgers – to – trial balance – to – profit and loss account – to – balance sheet and all the bits in between.

For each activity, learners will:

  • Acquire the required knowledge – from the online training programme
  • Test that knowledge – using the online questions
  • Apply that knowledge – using the activities contained within the workbook

The online element: ABC

The online part of this bookkeeping course is available 24 hours a day and contains an interactive bookkeeping learning programme, as well as additional questions to provide further support and test the user’s learning.

The online training programme is split into 3 units for ease of learning:

• Introduction to Bookkeeping

This unit covers the double entry recording of transactions up to trial balance, and the production of the profit and loss account and balance sheet from the trial balance. Traditional T-accounts are used, as well as journal entries in a typical computer format. No previous knowledge of accounting is required.

By the end of the “Introduction to Bookkeeping” unit, users will have learned to record transactions in double entry terms, extract a trial balance and prepare a simple set of accounts for a sole trader.

• Accounting Adjustments

This unit covers specific double entry techniques using the knowledge of double entry learned in the “Introduction to Bookkeeping” unit. Topics such as accruals and prepayments, fixed assets and depreciation, leasing, loans, and hire purchase are all dealt with in this unit.

By the end of the “Accounting Adjustments” unit, users will have learned how to process most types of common transactions and adjustments, and be able to produce a more complex set of accounts for a sole trader.

• Practical Bookkeeping and Final Accounts

This unit covers the recording of transactions in the primary records of businesses, and the posting of the ledgers from the books of original entry. The final module looks at the financial statements of different types of businesses – clubs and societies, partnerships and limited companies.

By the end of this unit, users will be familiar with the more practical aspects of day-to-day bookkeeping and the contents and format of the final accounts of different types of organisation.

Cost and time savings

We find that many firms are getting their new recruits to undertake the Balancing Act training prior to them starting with the firm. Others use it as part of their Week 1 induction process. This means your recruits learn the basics of double entry immediately, enabling them to be more productive, sooner. Furthermore, there are cost savings of not having to pay for travel and accommodation expenses, by using this distance learning method of training.


There are 18 question banks which users can complete during the course. Certificates can be provided to users who have completed the course upon the firm’s request. However, it is the employer’s responsibility to check the user is competent in all aspects of the Balancing Act before certificates will be issued.

Accountancy Learning can provide firms a paper based bookkeeping test (plus model answers and a marking scheme) if they would like their staff to undergo this at the end of their training. Marking these tests yourselves, allow you to clearly see how well staff have grasped the required bookkeeping concepts and skills..... and how neatly they can prepare accounts schedules - or not, as the case may be! The course can lead to a variety of Level 2 Bookkeeping and/or Accountancy qualifications. Contact Accountancy Learning on study@accountancylearning.co.uk for more information.

Course duration

There are no time restrictions and users are free to progress through the course at their own pace. However, it’s anticipated that the course should take 3-5 days to complete in full.

We would advise firms to give themselves plenty of time to plan for their new recruits training programme, allowing 7 – 10 working days from order, to receipt of the workbook and ABC log-ons.

Technical support and specifications

All software related queries should be directed to Accountancy Learning on 01392 435349 or via email to info@accountancylearning.co.uk.To access the ABC software, your computer should have the following minimum specification:

Intel Pentium or equivalent, 500 MHz
128 MB RAM
1024×800 screen resolution (24 bit colour)
100 Mbit Ethernet connection to Server
50 MB free hard disk space
Windows 98, 2000, XP
Flash Player version 7
.Net Framework version 1.1

To access ABC on our Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle), your computer should have the following minimum specifications:
400 Megahertz Intel Pentium III Processor (933 preferred)
64 Megabytes RAM (128 or more preferred)
6-Gigabyte Hard Drive
56.6 Kbps Modem (or Cable Modem / DSL if available)
Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, or ME


The following web browsers are supported by Moodle:

• Internet Explorer 5.5 or later

Browser Settings
Security Level - set at Medium
Accept all cookies
Enable JavaScript
Enable Java (if using Virtual Classroom)
Allow pop ups and downloads
Website listed under Protected Mode (for Vista only – guidelines are provided) 

For more details and to order your copy, call 0845 450 5555