Read the following extract from a case study about using the balance sheet.
Think of the best word to fill each gap.
The first one (0)
is given as an example.
How a good balance sheet helped me to improve my business
Sandeep Sud is a qualified solicitor (0)
uniform business based in Hounslow, (1) _
also runs a school partnership
class=cell valign="top" style=" width:0.00pt;">
with his parents. The company, which has four full-time employees,
(2) _ balance sheet to gauge how the business is
_also been a key factor in securing a
bank loan for the improvement and expansion of the company premis?es.
'(4) _a partnership, we produce a balance sheet as part
of our annual accounts and as an internal management exercise.
(5)_ , a balance sheet gives a snapshot of how the busi?ness is doing at a particular time. (6) _ this is useful,
you have to remember that it (7)
For example, if you were in debt on April 30 when you did
(8) _year-end accounts, but paid this off on May 1, you
would get a (9)_different picture of the strength of the
(10)_, the balance sheet is useful when looked at along?side the profit-and-loss figures because then you get the whole picture.
If you borrowed a lot in one particular year, (11) _had
made a profit, the profit would show on your profit-and-loss accounts.
(12) _, the amount you owed would only be apparent on
the balance sheet. It's important to be aware of both sets of numbers.'
Introduction to ICFE
Section B EX*
1 Word formation
Look at the words in the box on the right. With a partner,
discuss how many words you can form from each one.
Then decide which words fit in the same numbered gaps in the text. Write the words in CAPITAL LETTERS.
Test of Reading Part 3
On its (1) (2)- the IASB made a
that the IASC Foundation Trustees
agreed that accounting standards issued by IASB would be designated International Financial Reporting Standards'
and (3)_their decision in a press release
dated 23 April 2001. On 23 May 2002, the IASB made an
(4)_regarding the publication of the
Preface to International Financial Reporting Standards.
Sir David Tweedie, IASB Chairman, said this document
provided 'a brief (5)_of the purpose
and function of the main structures of the new
(6)_for setting global standards'.
Following this, the first IFRS was published in June 2003 (IFRS 1).
2 Multiple-choice cloze
Read this extract from a statement about the sub-prime crisis.
Choose the best word or phrase (A, B, C or D) to fill each gap. The first one (0) is given as an example.
FINANCIAL REPORTING ISSUES ARISING FROM THE SUB-PRIME CRISIS
Over the last 12 months, many capital and other financial (0)
experienced considerable (1)_. These difficulties, which would appear
to be the result of problems that started in the US subprime (2)_sector
in 2007, have had a number of consequences, both for companies and for
markets. Steps are now being taken to (3)_confidence.
At such times, it is essential that (4)_action is taken to ensure that the
interests of European
(5)_are looked after properly. While we do not
believe that financial reporting has caused the crisis as some have (6)_,
we do believe it is essential that a comprehensive
(7)_is carried out of
existing external financial reporting requirements to determine
whether any of those requirements has intensified some or all of the problems that have arisen.
Test of Reading Part 1A
C markets) C decline
Introduction to ICFE
3 Topic sentences
ss=font24 style=" line-height:12.96pt;">
In the article below about the stereotype image of accountants,
the first sentence of each paragraph is missing.
Read the article, paying close attention to the words that follow each gap, then match these sentences
(A-F) with the correct paragraph (1-5). There is one extra sentence which you do not need to use.
A The stereotypical views about accountants seem to be firmly set in people's minds.
B At Kingston Smith, we have a number of initiatives to encourage greater
understanding about the reality of the profession,
from partners giving talks at local schools to a summer-holiday scheme allowing university
students to gain an insight into the reality of the profession before committing to a career in this area.
C Instead of accepting such damning criticism, we should be doing everything we can to promote the message that accountants are at the heart of business and can play a key role in the strategic development of a business.
D In a recent study, scientists at City University of Hong Kong have proved that the belief that accountants are boring is actually true.
E Why is accountancy still considered to be so dull?
F However, further analysis revealed that accountancy still has a major image problem,
especially when compared to other professional career choices.
Test of Reading Part 5
First, you need to read the gapped text to get an overall idea of the structure and the meaning of the text,
and to note in particular the information and ideas that appear before and after each gap. Next,
you should decide which sentence fits each gap. Each letter may be used once only,
and there is one sentence which you do not need to use.
It's time for the profession to tackle stereotypes of accountants
Kingston Smith recently commissioned research into career choices and perceptions about our profession.
It was encouraging to see that, of 48 different career options,
accountancy ranked as the fourth most popular career choice - more popular than teaching, HR, engineering,
marketing, journalism, veterinary surgery, catering and hairdressing - and was equally popular amongst men and women.
Twice as many people wanted to go into law or medicine as accountancy.
We clearly have a long way to go to persuade people that accountancy can be an exciting and challenging career option.
Until they are addressed, we will continue to be considered an inferior profession
when compared to medicine or law,
deterring many strong candidates.
Our research indicates that the overriding personality trait associated with accountants is that we are boring.
Almost half of those polled thought this was the case,
with 2896 believing us to lack a sense of humour, and only 4/6 perceiving accountants to be fun.
We all know that accountants need far wider skills than just an aptitude for numbers,
but we must continually communicate this externally,
Anyone in practice knows that we wouldn't attract any new clients if we couldn't relate to people.
Maybe we need to go a stage further, however.
We all need to be more accountable for our image problem.
Is it time for a sustained PR campaign, perhaps organised by the ICAEW with direct input
from the top 20 firms? What else can we all be doing together to tackle this ongoing issue?
'Some people think accountants are just boring number crunchers ...
but actually 47% of 235 people covering 34% of the demographic profile thought that 39% of accountants were
introduction to ICFE
What do you know about the history of accounting? Look at the quiz and, with a partner, decide if the statements are true or false.
HISTORY OF ACCOUNTING QV\l
1 The first textbook on accounting was written in the 13th century.
2 The calculator was invented in the late 19th century.
3 Bankers in Babylon recorded transactions on stone tablets in 1000 BCE.
4 Evidence suggests that double-bookkeeping was used by the Romans.
5 In 1772, Joseph Wedgewood saved his firm from the recession by applying cost-accounting methods.
6 Accountants were first registered as 'accomptants' in England at the end of the 18th century.
7 The modern cost-accounting system was invented by William Cooper in 1854.
8 Amatino Manucci is said to have been the first 'real' accountant.
'Forensic scientists have now
determined that the fall of the Roman Empire was due to an accounting error.'
1.1 Listening for gist
Listen to a student opening his presentation about the history of accounting. Tick the topic this part of his speech is about.
A The start of accounting standards Q B The man who invented accounting Q C The importance of accounting Q
1.1 Listening for detail
Listen again, and complete these sentences.
1 Venice used to be_
in the Renaissance period.
Pacioli was often referred to as
3 Pacioli studied as_
One of his friends at the time was_
His book provided a summary of_
The Summa presented the idea of_
7 One of Pacioli's suggestions was_
8 Other subjects Pacioli referred to were ethics,
Introduction to ICFE
■ Section B
Look at the book cover below. With a partner, discuss what you expect to hear about this book.
A student's guide to International Financial Reporting Standards
1.2-1.6 Multiple matching
TASK ONE: REASON FOR BUYING THE BOOK
Listen to five people talking about a book on accounting standards. As you listen, choose from the list (A-P the reason each speaker gives for buying the book. (hie reason is not mentioned by any ot'the speakers.
A I lad difficulty understanding accounting standards B As background reading for a short introductory talk C In preparation of a seminar and discussion group 1) Needed a book with a strong, graphic style F To v. rit?? a report about accounting standards F Someone at work suggested getting the book.
TASK TWO: BENEFITS OF READING TI IE BOOK
Listen again and choose from the list (A-F) the main benefit of the reading the book for each speaker. One benefit is not mentioned by any of the speakers.
A Written in a clear, simple style not technical
B Each chapter provides an overview of key Issues.
C Provides solutions to problems with accounting standards
D Provides up to date information
F Is easy to find information in the book
F Contains excellent graphics which aid memory
3 Read and check
Now read the audio transcripts 'page 121 and highlight the parts in which the speakers refer to the benefits of reading the book. Then discuss them with your partner.
Introduction to ICFE
1 Improving your speaking skills
In order to improve your discussion and presentation skills, use every opportunity both inside and outside the classroom to practise your speaking.
1 Practise speaking every day about a finance-related topic.
2 Expand your use of language for expressing your ideas and opinions.
3 Record yourself speaking every day.
4 Practise the pronunciation of difficult technical words.
5 Listen to podcasts about finance, then try to recreate them.
6 Create a weekly topics log and practise giving simple presentations.
7 Read snippets of financial news and talk about them.
8 Practise explaining several financial terms every day.
Now, with a partner, discuss other ways of improving your speaking skills.
Being an effective group member
Listen to other students and offer your comments.
Well, I hadn't thought of that...
Include everyone in the group.
What do you think about that?
Show your agreement.
Encourage the group to keep to the point.
I'm not sure that's relevant.
Add your comments to other people's views.
Encourage other speakers.
That's a good point.
May I go on?
Well, we are agreed on that, then.
Talk to your partner about each of the topics below for two minutes. After two minutes, your partner will continue the discussion.
1 Many people believe that accounting is dull.
2 Accounting has changed significantly in the past few years.
3 Some of the negative impacts of corporate accounting scandals are ...
4 There is a shortage of accountants these days.
5 Bankruptcy accounting is interesting because ...
6 If I were aware that a client had manipulated his / her accounting figures, ...
7 The most difficult tasks facing an accountant are ...
8 Employers should have a process in place that allows employees to report questionable accounting if...
■ Section B
1 Responding to questions
With a partner, ask and answer these questions in turn. Then discuss what you think would be the best answer for each question.
What interests you most about your present job?
What would you like to be doing in five years' time?
What are your biggest successes professionally?
What would you like to change in the firm you work for?
What is the worst part of your job?
What qualities does a good accountant have?
Tell me something about your education.
Tell me something about your work experience.
indiscreet. Answers sometimes are,' Oscar Wilde
Tell me something about your boss.
I don't know.
I've never really thought about it.
> = BAD
I'm not sure really.
Well, I'm not an expert in this field, but I think ...
In my opinion ... / In my view, ... / Personally, I think ...
« Relax and focus on giving clear, confident answers. ??? ??? Give full answers to the examiner's questions.
1 speak clearly. z Use the KISSpnnaple (Keep It Short and
Simple)-, provide a clear introduction, m.ddle
and end. 4 Use clear signposting
language to guide
listeners through your
2 Collaborative discussion
With a partner, discuss what qualities make a good accountant and list five essential qualities. Then report back to the group.
^ See Language bank. Discussions, page 118
3 One-minute presentations
Look at these questions and discuss your opinions with a partner. Both of you will give a one-minute presentation of your views on each question in turn.
1 In today's corporate environment,
do you feel that accountants are the 'conscience of last resort'?
2 How often do you feel pressure from clients to manipulate the figures in your work?
3 Should the term 'accountant' be regulated so as to limit those who can use the term?
4 Is the government in your country doing enough to address the skills-shortage crisis in accountancy?
See Language bank. Presentations, page
Introduction to ICFE
Section A Skills
J.P. Morgan, the American financier and banker, started with a degree in accounting.
1 Improving your writing
Look at the topics below and, with a partner,
make of list of three reasons for each one.
Then spend five minutes writing about each topic, introducing each one and outlining the reasons.
that I decided to study accounting.
for the standardisation of accounting standards.
for both internal and external auditing.
60pt;">??? that companies experience cashflow problems.
that accounting is becoming more attractive as a profession.
2 Keeping an error log
Whether you are writing a short or long piece of writing,
get into the habit of editing your own work and keep a log of the types of mistakes you make.
Swap the introductions you wrote above with a partner and edit them using these symbols. Discuss what are your most common errors.
Type of error
3 Error workshop
Choose a couple of your own 'favourite'
errors and write them on pieces of paper.
Swap your errors with other members of the group and, as you do so, correct the errors on the slips of paper.